Citizens United

Citizens United.

Citizens United is a Supreme Court ruling from 2010 that has had a big impact on the way money influences politics in the United States. The ruling says that corporations and wealthy individuals have the same rights as individuals when it comes to political speech, meaning they can spend as much money as they want on political campaigns and lobbying efforts. This has led to the creation of "Super PACs," which are political action committees that can take unlimited amounts of money from corporations and wealthy individuals to support candidates and political causes.

Unfortunately, this has also led to a situation where big money has more influence in politics than ordinary citizens. For example, groups supporting President Trump's Supreme Court picks spent more than $50 million in secret money to get them appointed, which is likely just the tip of the iceberg. And during the 2022 election cycle, candidates and PACs spent nearly $17 billion on state and federal campaigns, with Republicans outpouring Democrats by hundreds of millions of dollars thanks in large part to big money donations.

The problem is that this money-driven system goes against the original intent of the Founding Fathers, who believed that all citizens were created equal and had equal rights. And it makes it difficult for ordinary citizens to have their voices heard and access to justice, as it takes millions of dollars to bring a case before the Supreme Court.

The situation with lobbying is also troubling. Lobbying is a process where citizens can try to influence public policy, but the Citizens United ruling has made it so that money is the main factor in lobbying efforts. This means that only the wealthy can effectively bribe politicians and have their voices heard, while ordinary citizens are left behind.

Our political system is messed up because rich people can bribe politicians and start their own super PAC. This means politicians can have unlimited amounts of money to get elected. Super PACs can spend more money than the candidates themselves!

People behind Trump's Supreme Court picks spent over $50 million in secret money to get them appointed. The corrupt Republicans on the Supreme Court say money is the same as speech and that corporations are the same as people, which goes against the Constitution. Money rules in America, but that's not what the founding fathers wanted. They wanted everyone to have equal rights, not just the rich.

To bring a challenge before the Supreme Court takes a lot of money, which the average person doesn't have. Rich people and their groups pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the court. They use think tanks to write legal briefs pretending to be concerned citizens. Lobbying is good, but the Citizen's United decision has made it all about money. You can't even buy a hamburger for a politician, but you can give them a million dollars and it's not considered a bribe.

In 2018, the Republicans asked for a bribe from Sheldon Adelson. Paul Ryan, the second most powerful person in the country, made the case for a $30 million contribution. The Republicans and the media only talk about how the Democrats sometimes outspend the Republicans, but they don't tell you that Republicans outspent Democrats by ten to one in secret "dark money". The Republicans won because they flooded the media with lies and fear during the last two weeks of the election.

During the 2022 election, candidates and PACs spent nearly $17 billion on campaigns. The Republicans won because they had more "dark money", and 18 of the 25 biggest donors were Republicans. Billionaires make up 20% of the total Republican donations compared to 14.5% of Democratic donations. Some billionaires donate because of their ego, like Peter Thiel who gave over $32 million to two former employees.

There is no true path to justice for the individual when unconscionable corporations with vast resources are given the right to purchase government favor, allowing them to influence legislation and laws which ultimately shape a nation's social values, thereby giving themselves all the advantages over common people. In a country where corporations rule, justice is never served.

Overall, the situation with Citizens United and the influence of money in politics is a broken system that needs to be fixed. It goes against the values of equality and democracy that the United States was founded upon, and it undermines the power of ordinary citizens to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives.

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Talking Points Information

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Citizens United created a massive loophole for foreign interests to acquire stakes in U.S. corporations and then use that leverage to influence or control the corporation’s political activity, including campaign contributions, contributions to super PACs, and independent expenditures.

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