Jim Moran on Supreme Court Decision: "a monumental step backwards for American democracy" [UPDATE: Perriello statement]

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thank you to Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) for expressing so well what many of us feel.
Today's Supreme Court decision represents a monumental step backwards for American democracy and will allow corporations to drown out the voices of average Americans. The Supreme Court's decision to overturn precedent and allow corporations to spend unrestricted resources on political activities will undermine people's confidence that the government is acting in their best interest on issues such as the economy, health care and energy policy.

Under current campaign finance law, corporations have the ability to influence the political process through regulated political action committees (PACs). Now, these PACs will be able to funnel all of their resources into direct donations to individual candidates, letting the corporation itself fund advertising out of general funds. The boundary between commerce and corporate advocacy has been decimated and consumers will be funding the political agenda of corporations-whether they like it or not.

We must find ways to limit special interest money in our political process. That's why I support the Fair Elections Now Act, which will provide matching federal funds for candidates that only accept donations of less than $100, allowing them to compete on a level footing with special interest-funded candidates. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass measures to mitigate the impact of this decision and restore the people's confidence in the American system.
I hope that Congress acts soon to mitigate the effects of this damaging decision. Thank you to Rep. Moran for being a leader in protecting American Democracy from corporate and special interest domination.

UPDATE: Check out teacherken's thoughts on this subject.

UPDATE #2: Tom Perriello says...
When I worked in West Africa, companies would give money to public officials for private gain and we had a simple word for it: corruption. I’m dismayed that the Supreme Court has further opened the floodgates for corporate capture of our democracy, taking our government away from Main Street and surrendering it to the insurance companies, oil companies, and big banks that foot the bills for 30-second spots. Does anyone really think that unlimited corporate campaign spending won’t undermine the voice of the people? The Supreme Court’s divided opinion is also a highly unusual break from precedent that the same body set just a few years ago, displaying the kind of judicial activism earlier courts worked hard to avoid.