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ETpro's avatar

What will it take to convince Americans to overturn Citizens United?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) July 17th, 2012

Last night, Senate Republicans used the filibuster 2 more times to block the majority from passing the Disclose Act, which would have required the new super spenders created by the Citizens United ruling to at least be identified, so the American People could have some idea who wants to buy an election, and perhaps they could guess what the billionaire buying a US election wants for the $100 million he’s investing. In the 2012 election, 80% of the giving is coming from just 196 people, and thanks to Citizens United, you can’t even know who they are. In fact, you can’t even know that some foreign corporation or government isn’t behind a particular smear campaign on our TV.

Rather than write up the question details, let me refer you to this clip from Rachel Maddow explaining it accurately and brilliantly. And in case you might want to know what multibillionaire Sheldon Addelson wants for his $100 million, watch this. Could it be he’d like to buy a government that would make the investigation into his possible violation of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (Bribing officials of foreign governments) just go away?

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15 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Bottom line: a new Supreme Court. This one is so thoroughly partisan that it will never change its mind.

But to do that, we need to have a progressive president and a progressive senate to approve the nominations that the president will make.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t know. I am very worried about it. Probably it would take races won by Democratic uncontrolled spending to change the Republicans minds.

Cruiser's avatar

The main reason I think this is getting this much attention it is, is because the big guns have not returned with the big checks like they did for Obama in 2008. In 2008 no one seemed to complain much about this back in 2008 when Obama was scooping up all the cash.

Here is the donor list for Barack in 2008
Here is where is at so far in 2012
Here is a peek at some of the big money behind Mittens

tedd's avatar

@Cruiser Obama has stockpiled more money so far this campaign than he did during the entire campaign in 08, and that’s with less of his base coming out. Also worth noting that the Obama campaign has stated it will refuse any donations of over 300 something thousand dollars this time around, hence why you’ll see them max out in that area in 12. I suspect most of those companies have put the rest of their money into Obama superpacs. I already know that’s where most of Mitt’s support is going.

But the real problem was never the money they were raising in their campaigns anyways, it was the money the superpacs are bringing in.

To put this into prospective for you… the Koch brothers. Two men, very conservative men… have already committed to spending more to elect Mitt Romney, than all of the money that was spent to elect John McCain in 2008 from all sources.

Rarebear's avatar

I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that our elections and our elected officials are bought and paid for.

Judi's avatar

The answer was just released today with The Story of Change.

Cruiser's avatar

@tedd I too am taken aback by the numbers involved here. To see in 2008 Obama raked in 1.6 million from a University?? Mitt already has a half a mil from a financial institution. None of this sits well with me. That’s not free speech with a dollar at all in my book.

Again this was all just fine when in 2008 Obama was able to raise twice as much money as both Dems and Repubs did combined for the 2004 election and now that Mitt is poised to raise more than Obama all of a sudden people are voicing objections.

Judi's avatar

@Cruiser , But Obama raise most of his money in donations of less than $200. I agree that it all stinks, but don’t you also agree, that if we are going to have a system where money buys so much influence, we, the voters should at lease have a chance to know who is behind all that money?

Cruiser's avatar

@Judi True about the small donations as either way it will take quite a few of them big and small to make up the Trillion dollars he is supposed to raise. A million here or there is pocket change. What I am NOT happy about is the online credit card donations which are not traceable or can’t be accounted for. That is a wide open door for abuse and foreign donors.

Judi's avatar

I have made online credit card donations and I have to say who I am and where I work. If I google my name, I find myself on a list of people who have donated to Obama.

Linda_Owl's avatar

The average American cannot over-turn Citizens United. Most of us know that this needs to be done, but barring removal of the Judges on the Supreme Court – it is going to take a Constitutional Amendment & as far as I know, only Congress can do that & the Republicans like the decision so much that they are willing to talk any opposition to death.

ETpro's avatar

@elbanditoroso No question in my mind that who appoints the next few justices will have a huge impact on what sort of country this is for the next 50 years. And the way it’s heading right now, if we stay that course, anything beyond 50 years will be irrelevant, because the USA will be a third world banana republic.

@marinelife That would sure turn the tide. But given the nature of Citizens United and who has the money, that stands zero chance of happening.

@Cruiser This is about Superpacs and not partisan politics. The Chinese Communists could easily devote $100 Billion to buying a communist government in 2016 and you wouldn’t even know who was running all the commie propaganda. Are you so blinded by partisanship that this doesn’t bother you?

@tedd Thanks for providing some grounding for those who can’t take the time to watch a video before answering. :-)

@Rarebear You need to watch the link below.

@Judi Thanks for the excellent link. I watched the video, loved it, and shared it on Facebook. They are right. We can, collectively, fix this. And it’s far easier in today’s interconnected world than it was for Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela or Dr. Martin Luther King.

@Cruiser You really need to listen to the videos I linked to. Online credit card donations are the problem. The Koch brothers bend whatever they need from their $50 billion war chest to get the government they want. Sheldon Adelson with $25 billion dollars vows to donate whatever it takes, and you are still obsessing about ordinary Americans who donate with a credit card? What fantasy world are you living in?

@Judi Thanks for returning us to the world light can still occasionally penetrate.

@Linda_Owl As silly as it seems to Amend the Constitution to affirm that the Founders, fresh from throwing off the oppression of the corporatist British East India Company, didn’t write people when they really meant Corporations; and didn’t write speech when they really meant Money, if that’s what it takes to restore sane government by and for the people, I’m on baord.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro I watched the Maddow link. I am still resigned.

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro If not for politics being partisan there would be no superpacs. Of course I am not happy with this and until a leader with REAL BALLS is elected nothing will ever change. It’s like asking these mega CEO’s to give themselves a massive pay cut..never gonna happen again until a leader with guts to buck the system gets elected.

There needs to be a serious reform to all campaign funding and spending. IMO there should be a Tax deductible limit of $1000.00 PER PERSON (of voting age) per election and that is IT. Whether that person does it as an individual or as a corporation should make no difference. Plus NO cash donations. All done by traceable credit card transactions with a receipt they can then file for the deduction on their tax return.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Totally agree. We need a rough rider like Teddy Roosevelt.

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