We applaud The News Tribune’s editorial warning that the 2010 Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court now threatens to hijack even judicial campaigns – along with this year’s elections – with super PAC spending.
We need public financing of campaigns at every level, including judicial campaigns at state levels where judges are elected. To roll back judicial decisions such as Citizens United that have authorized and empowered super PACs and the hijacking of our political process by great wealth, we need an aroused citizenry and a constitutional amendment. It may seem a daunting task to recapture democracy for ordinary citizen-voters, but the stakes are high and the nation as a whole is not well-served by plutocracy.
For over a decade, Washington Public Campaigns (WPC) has been working on just these issues. We’re urging Washington legislators and candidates – as well as city councils and local organizations everywhere – to call on the Congress to start the constitutional amendment process. This 28th Amendment must make it clear that corporations are not people, money is not speech, and public funding of campaigns (to prevent buying of election results by great wealth) is specifically authorized in the Constitution.
The 2012 elections are proving the need for fundamental change in how campaigns and elections are funded – and for a reversal of the Citizens United.
[Nyberg is the chair of Washington Public Campaigns - Pierce County Chapter.]