Saving American Democracy

January 11, 2012
By Linsey Pecikonis | 0 comments

A message from Senator Bernie Sanders: I know that many of you are deeply concerned about the economy, health care, education, global warming and the environment, Social Security and Medicare, civil liberties, war and peace and the national debt. But here's an issue that's even more important because it encompasses all of these issues -- and much more. Will the United States survive, in any significant way, as a democracy in which ordinary people can control their future? Or, will "democracy" simply become another commodity owned and controlled by billionaires and corporations in order to serve their own purposes? Today, as a result of the absurd Citizens United Supreme Court decision, corporations and billionaires can spend unlimited sums of money, without disclosure, in political campaigns. And that is exactly what they're doing. Karl Rove's American Crossroads has already pledged to spend at least $240 million in the elections of 2012. The extreme right-wing billionaire Koch brothers may be spending even more. And then there is Wall Street, the oil and coal corporations, the insurance and drug companies and the military-industrial-complex with all of their money. The goal of the top 1 percent is simple. They will spend as much as it takes to elect candidates who support a right-wing corporate agenda. They will spend as much as it takes to defeat those candidates who are fighting for working families. And that's about it! Please join me, Daily Kos and Democracy for America in pledging to fight to overturn Citizens United. Our strategy must be equally simple. Short-term, we must do everything we can to support those progressive candidates in 2012 who are fighting for the middle class and the values we believe in. Long-term, we must overturn Citizens United and fight for real campaign finance reform which limits the power of big money. Last month, I introduced a constitutional amendment, the Saving American Democracy bill, to overturn Citizens United. This amendment states that: Corporations do not have the same constitutional rights as human beings. The people have the right to regulate corporations. Corporations are prohibited from making campaign contributions. Congress and states shall have the power to set reasonable limits on election spending. As we approach the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision, please join me, Daily Kos and Democracy for America in pledging to fight to overturn Citizens United and to counter the unlimited resources of the right-wing in 2012. Your pledge of support today will show the Big Money interests that while they may have unlimited sums of money, we have something more important -- the power of the people. Your support could mean volunteering on local, state or national elections, organizing against Citizens United, donating to progressive candidates or running for office yourself. Please pledge your support today. Please stand with us so that, together, we can transform American politics. Sincerely, -Bernie Sen. Bernie Sanders U.S. Senator from Vermont

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