Is Reversing Citizens United a Priority?
When we launched the Amend 2012 campaign–in fact, since the day of the Citizens United ruling in January 2010–Common Cause has maintained that this grievous decision by the Supreme Court poses an incredible threat to our democracy and should be among the highest priorities of active citizens. The hundreds of thousands of voters across the country–who have signed petitions, created local activist groups, and committed their energy to getting a constitutional amendment to say that corporations are not people and money is not speech–seem to agree.
But some voters don’t think reversing Citizens United is a big priority. In fact, they see it as a distraction from the real issues facing the country. In a letter to the editor of the Arizona Daily Sun, a reader/citizen from Flagstaff, Ariz., suggests that this effort is a frivolous waste of time:
“This is one of the most important issues to come before the city council, and I think it is our deep responsibility to weigh in,” [Vice Mayor Celia Barotz] said.
Wow! Flagstaff leaders’ priorities aren’t public safety, public health, housing, sanitation, recreation facilities, convenient and reliable transportation, school support, tourism, job acquisition and other local issues? Our priorities are corporate political contributions and amending the U.S. constitution.
She continued, “If this passes, it will be one of the most memorable moments of my time on the City Council.”
No kidding? One has to wonder why she is wasting her time on the Council when there is a presidential election coming up this year. If this, another in a string of frivolous, meaningless Council resolutions, is the high point of her time on the Council, it’s time to schedule a recall vote and put Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey on the ballot.
What do you think? Is reclaiming our democracy from corporate big money on par with the economy, education, and public safety issues? Can we really address these individual issues without considering how the idea of corporate personhood will ultimately affect every issue?