Thank you for this opportunity to submit testimony regarding the damage that Citizens United and the rise of Super PACs has done to our system of democratic government. In the text below I will discuss why rules that govern the role of money in politics are important to our democracy; the impact of Citizens United and related decisions on our electoral system; and what Congress can and must do to promote the core American value of political equality.
Baltimore’s campaign donors lack diversity across race, gender, and socioeconomic status. The Baltimore Fair Election Fund, designed with equity and community engagement at the forefront, can change that.
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a pair of decisions affirming campaign finance disclosure provisions in Maine and Rhode Island. I let out a sigh of relief when I read them.
One grievance of the protesters targeting Wall Street is that financial elites wield way too much power in our democracy. That complaint is hardly new, but the latest figures on money in politics tells a truly troubling story about the vast resources that Wall Street has put into shaping both the legislative process and elections.
Occupy Wall Street has already accomplished a great deal by shifting public discourse in this country. Instead of focusing on the need for austerity and deficit reduction, attention is rightly being directed at economic disparities and the deep structural problems that the United States faces.