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Citizens United

A Primer for Engagement of League Members and Fellow Citizens - 2014

LWVUS submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service urging urged them to keep pushing to stop the secret ‘dark money,’ while at the same time protecting truly nonpartisan work to provide the public with unbiased voter information.

In last night’s annual State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Obama laid out his priorities for the coming year. Here’s the rundown of what he said on our issues and how it aligns with League positions.

In 2010, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for big money and special interest influence when they announced their decision in Citizens United v. FEC. None of us knew just how bad this decision would be for our democracy.

The League of Women Voters of the U.S. today spoke out in support of the new notice of proposed rulemaking for non-profit, 501(c)(4) organizations announced last week by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The League has been working hard to reform the nation’s campaign finance system, protect our elections system and keep big money out of politics.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear the case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC). Labeled the “next Citizens United," the case challenges the spending limits imposed on individual donors as a means of preventing corruption.

 

“On Wednesday, in the heat of another pitched American battle over voting rights, one that is playing out in courthouses and state capitals all across the nation, the Senate Judiciary Committee met yet again to remind us of how tenuous the right to vote still is in this country. ... The hearing was called "The Citizens United Court and the Continuing Importance of the Voting Rights Act" and, as the title suggests, it was an attempt by the Democratic leadership on the Committee to connect together on Capitol Hill two legal trends of recent vintage, each beginning in 2010.”

Editorial Note: This piece was first published as part of the Huffington Post's Shadow Convention discussion on money in politics and on my Huffington Post blog.The growing influence of money in politics threatens to corrupt our representative form of government, where the people – through their votes – are supposed to make the decisions. 

The Court's decision today in a pivotal campaign finance case has repeated its naïve, uninformed errors from its Citizens United decision.  The First Amendment is meant to protect essential freedoms, not as a weapon to destroy American democracy.  We look forward to the day when the Supreme Court majority deals with facts rather than imposing their own ideological views.