posted at 2:56 pm Fri Jan 22nd, 2010 by (WherezIt_Staff)
Markowitz: 'Hardworking, everyday American citizens will be outspent at every turn'
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz released the following statement on the United States Supreme Court's decision in the case Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission:
"Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court decided a case that will change the landscape of American politics. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a majority of the court held that corporations have the same First Amendment rights (the right to free speech) as individual Americans, and therefore they have the right to spend money to influence the outcome of elections. The court held that while direct contributions to candidates may be limited, corporations may spend an unlimited amount of money to run their own ads supporting or denouncing a candidate. Previously, they had to go through Political Action Committees, but now they can simply run their own "shadow" campaigns. This ruling will have a significant impact on national elections and that it could very well trickle down to our state and local campaigns, empowering big businesses to spend money to elect or defeat candidates of their choosing.
"Get ready for an avalanche of political advertising that will cause more bitter partisan fights that further manipulate and divide our country. Hardworking, everyday American citizens will be outspent at every turn and face an uphill battle getting their views heard. No one will be able to compete against the deep pockets of corporations. And the very real danger is that elected officials will be more and more beholden to the corporations who put them into office, and will prioritize corporate interests over the concerns of their constituents.
"The economic disaster of 2008 was the direct result of members of Congress looking the other way and allowing corporations to engage in questionable practices instead of regulating our nation's financial institutions and protecting American citizens. The fallout has been devastating, but not to corporations-it's middle-class and working poor Americans who are paying the price, losing their jobs and seeing their homes go into foreclosure. And it is our money-taxpayers' money-that bailed out those corporate executives, who then gave themselves outrageous bonuses.
"Instead of creating a more civil and just democratic society, Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito, have handed corporate interests undue influence over the United States of America's elections.
"The ruling in Citizens United will have a significant impact on our elections. America's politics have been dominated by special-interest money for far too long. In 2006, the United States Supreme Court opened our electoral system to a slippery slope when it overturned Vermont's historic limits on campaign spending. As Secretary of State, I have worked for the last six terms to make elections fair and increase the integrity of our democracy. As Governor, I will serve the interests of the citizens of Vermont and protect our democracy from the unfair advantages of special interests with deep pockets."
Montpelier, VT 05602 (Set as Local)