Today marks the third anniversary of the Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision by the United States Supreme Court. This ruling allows corporations and the wealthiest Americans to spend an unlimited amount of money on independent political advertising.
"Citizens United undermines the foundation of representative democracy," said Hastings. "The interests of the average American are cast aside when the loudest voices are those of the largest corporations, wealthiest CEOs, and Wall Street bankers.
"This ruling allows a small group to have undue influence on our elections. Unlimited independent expenditures means that the issues and interests most important to hardworking Americans are marginalized in the bombardment of advertising from large corporations and super PACs. For example, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife propped up the campaign of Newt Gingrich through multimillion dollar contributions to the super PAC Winning our Future despite his failures at the polls. The one-percent should not be dominating campaigns to the extent of drowning out the voice of the 99 percent.
"Though the 2012 elections are over, we must not forget the unique avalanche of political advertising that we experienced. It is time for reasonable campaign finance laws. Though this may be the third anniversary of this ruling, the fight for campaign spending is far from over."
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.