Campaign Finance and Citizens United
The United State Supreme Court has ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations and unincorporated associations have generally unlimited First Amendment Free Speech rights to expend funds advocating the election or defeat of federal candidates when such expenditures are not “coordinated” with a candidate or political party’s campaign. ADA believes this court decision is wrong-headed and that expenditures of money are not “speech” and that corporate and similar entities are not “persons” entitled to unrestricted political rights.
The Citizens United decision has brought about the bizarre results of unaccountable and irresponsible independent expenditure committees having more influence on who is elected than candidate and political party committees which are accountable at the ballot box. Following the Citizens United decision, many of the most influential independent expenditure political committees even, at least temporarily, fail and refuse to disclose the sources of their funding. This results in the election of candidates who are substantially beholden to undisclosed interests.
Americans for Democratic Action believes that the practical effects of the Citizens United decision must be reversed by: