Jan. 21 marks the fifth anniversary of the Citizen’s United decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. This decision says in essence that when it comes to contributing money to election campaigns, corporations are the same as people and money the same as speech. It also allows that the donations they get and who they get them from do not need to be disclosed to the public even if these donations come from a foreign country.
By so ruling, I believe the Court has done away with laws that were put in place more than 100 years ago, such as the Tillman Act of 1907, to protect our democracy from the overwhelming influence of unlimited amounts of money being contributed by a few wealthy individuals or corporations. The vast majority of citizens cannot afford such a luxury as donating millions of dollars to a candidate or an issue in an election. This puts “we the people” at a huge disadvantage when compared to the money corporations have at their disposal. What kind of democracy are the people left with when this is legal? We must work to change it. Our constitution can be amended when something so destructive to our liberty is taking place. A Constitutional amendment is called for and we should all work hard to make it happen. The Washington Coalition to Amend the Constitution is doing just that. I encourage you to contact them at WAmend.org.