Citizen Group Seeks to Curb Corporate Power

Asks Congress to Overturn Citizens United

RALEIGH--A new group of North Carolina activists have joined a national movement to reinvigorate democracy by seeking a resolution in the North Carolina General Assembly that calls upon Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to restore democracy and overturn the Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. FEC.

“Corporations and trade unions should not be able to buy control of our democracy, says Melissa Price Kromm, Director of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections. “Elected leaders should work together to take unlimited corporate money out of politics, require immediate disclosure of all contributions, and create new streams of clean, public money to fund campaigns so that our government represents voters, not corporate donors and special interests.”

“Before Citizens United, corporations and trade unions could spend money on political activities that took a stance on specific issues and stopped short of directly endorsing or attacking candidates, says Bob Phillips, Director of Common Cause, NC. “Direct advocacy had to be done through political action committees, which are subject to more oversight and regulation. Now, corporations can funnel contributions directly into groups that don’t have to disclose their donors. These groups, in turn, can buy unlimited amounts of media or other activities directly attacking or supporting candidates.”

“Citizens United is also bad for American business.” says Sally Goerner, citizen activist and leader of Triangle Move to Amend, “In a recent poll1, for example, 66% of small business owners said it was disastrous for them because its pay to play system lets big money buy legislation that either ignores or squashes the small, medium and even relatively large businesses that provide 80% of the jobs in the United States. That's why we have outsourcing and bailouts for bankers."

“The Citizens United ruling gives special interests an unfair advantage over citizens, says Rep. Verla Insko. “Corporations and trade unions are not people and they should not be able to buy political influence through unlimited advertising or purchase control over public policies. With media so important in elections these days, their deep pockets give them way too much power over election outcomes compared to actual citizens. This is not democracy” says Insko. “Our government is so trapped, so immobilized by special interest money that amending the Constitution is the only effort strong enough to truly rescue democracy.”