Poll Finds Majority of Americans Support Limiting Corporate Spending in Election Campaigns
Interview with Drew Courtney, communications director with People for the American Way, conducted by Scott Harris
A recent poll conducted by Hart Research Associates in early June for the group People for the American Way, found that there is widespread concern about the influence of corporations in U.S. politics. The survey also found a strong majority disagreed with the Supreme Court's January decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. In that 5 to 4 decision, the justices overturned 100 years of precedents to remove restrictions on campaign spending by corporations, labor unions and non-profit groups, declaring these limits violated the constitution's First Amendment free speech principles.
During his State of the Union speech on Jan. 27, President Obama urged Congress to pass legislation to reverse the Citizens United decision. To that end, a number of proposals have been raised in Congress to rein in corporate spending on campaigns. They include measures to give shareholders more power over corporate political spending, require companies that pay for campaign advertising to identify themselves -- and restrict corporations with big government contracts from buying campaign ads. Some groups are advocating an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Drew Courtney, communications director with People for the American Way, who discusses the survey results, legislation now being considered by Congress and his group's plan to ask federal candidates running for office in this November's election to support a constitutional amendment limiting corporate spending in U.S. election campaigns.
Contact People for the American Way at (202) 467-4999 (202) 467-4999 or visit their website at www.pfaw.org where you can read more about the poll on corporate influence.
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