Recently, the Newton Board of Aldermen overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on Congress to repeal the Citizens United v Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision through a Constitutional amendment. The Court's decision overturned past precedent and gave corporations the ability to spend freely to influence US elections.
This vote by 23 of 24 Newton Aldermen was a courageous stand for democracy. Let's hope Congress hears them.
The lone no-vote of one Republican Member of the of the Board, conservative activist Greer Swiston, was a confusing stand for plutocracy.
On their Newton Patch Blog, The Newton Republican City Committee lauds Alderman Swiston's vote and provides a list of Newton non-profit organizations whose rights they say would be restricted if Citizens United is overturned. First on the NRCC's list is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Here is what the organization had to say when the Court upheld its own Citizens United ruling last month:
NAACP Outraged By Supreme Court's Decision on Unlimited Corporate Spending
“The Supreme Court has salted the wounds of our electoral process by allowing unfettered corporate political spending in federal, state, local and judicial elections,” stated Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. “It is unacceptable that, without hearing an oral argument, the court overturned decades of settled campaign finance law.”
“As the last several months have revealed, Citizens United has opened the floodgates for millionaires and billionaires, often under the cloak of anonymity, to unfairly shape our nation’s political contests,” stated Jealous. “With 72 percent of spending by outside groups on political ads in 2010 coming from groups prohibited from doing so in 2006, this decision puts our nation further down the wrong path.”
Government is what we do together. We are at our strongest when the voices of every day Americans guide the actions of government. Citizens United is an attempt to drown out those voices, so that government represents only the interests of a small, wealthy elite. Citizens United must be overturned.