As I talk to people in District 13, concerns have been raised regarding Citizens United and ALEC.
TheAmerican Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) works through state legislatures and has more power than a typical lobbying group. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve "model" bills that often aren't in the public's best interest. Corporations also fund many of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators bring the model bills home and introduce them in statehouses across the country as their own important public policy innovations--without disclosing their corporate influence.
In January of 2010, the US Supreme Court Citizens United ruling eliminated the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures that finance election communications. Although it is still illegal for corporations to give money directly to federal candidates, it gave big business the right to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates.
Please comment on how you think these developments are affecting state and federal elections and our Democracy as a whole. You can help me by providing the perspective of the people in Campaign Finance Reform discussions in Congress. Another way that you can Count on Cleary to represent the voices of the people.