Joanne Boyer

Op-Ed News

August 10, 2011

If you think the insanity of money spent on political races is at an all time high, you are correct. In the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, many believed that the unlimited amount of money pouring into political campaigns would be “over the top.” But even those “in the know” are finding the spending frenzy amazing.

Take the Wisconsin state senate recall elections that came to a dramatic close Tuesday night. Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan group tracking the flow of money in Badger state politics, said, “This is so out of whack from everything we’ve ever seen.” On the weekend before the recall elections were held, it was estimated that nearly $31 million (that’s right, $31 million for state senate races) was spent. That compares with $3.75 million for the entire slate of all Wisconsin senate races in 2010.

That’s just one example of what Citizens United unleashed.   The same scenario is being repeated across the country and serves as a harbinger of what to expect on a national level in 2012.   One wonders if the electoral system can sustain itself with this type of financial lunacy at play.

Campaign Finance Reform.   The end of Citizens United.   Those two phrases cannot be repeated enough by those concerned with our democracy. In a nutshell, Citizens United (in a sharply divided 5-4 ruling) decided that the American people are powerless to stop corporations from using corporate funds to influence state and federal elections. The ruling overturned two previous cases where the Court ruled that Congress and the States may try to keep corporate money out of politics.

John Bonifaz of Free Speech For People by Joanne Boyer

Free Speech For People (, a national non-partisan organization, is one group diligently working since the day of the Citizens United ruling to educate American voters about its devastating impact and what can be done to overturn it.   The group is pressing for a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to restore democracy to the people and to ensure that people, not corporations, govern in America.

It may seem like a daunting task, but one that must be pursued, according to John Bonifaz, co-founder of Free Speech For People.

“The Citizens United ruling presents a serious and direct threat to our democracy, unleashing a torrent of corporate money in our political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in our history,” Bonifaz said. “The ruling also marks the most extreme extension yet of a corporate rights doctrine that has placed corporations over people.

Read the Entire Article, Here.


Photo by spatuletail /