Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page (2014). Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics, 12, pp 564-581. doi:10.1017/S1537592714001595.
But if money is speech and speech is freedom, then it follows that those with less money will have less freedom, less speech, and less representation.
After the election, these wealthy donors spend even more money on lobbying and more campaign contributions. Members of Congress routinely accept donations from major corporations from the same industries that they are responsible for regulating. Upon leaving office, many former members of Congress make more money by becoming lobbyists. More money for politicians, more speech for the wealthiest and most powerful Americans, and increasingly less freedom for the rest of us.
Middle class and low income groups are increasingly shut out of the process. A Princeton University study found that in the United States, "average citizens have little or no independent influence" on laws or policies. That same study concluded that “when a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.” (Gilens & Page, 2014)
We believe that everyone has a right to be heard. Everyone has a right to be represented in Congress, not just the super rich. Corporations are not people and money is not speech. Our elections should be about a contest of ideas, not a battle between ad agencies.
The problem is compounded when members of Congress make intentionally misleading statements to justify their behavior. For example, when only 2 out of every 1000 Americans stand to benefit from a change in the estate tax (Forbes, 2015), then it can't really be said that this change is "good for America" or "good for family farms", especially since the typical family farm or small business is set up as an LLC and would be unaffected by any estate tax. The repeal of the estate tax is only one example of a law that was specifically designed to help a very narrow special interest group - in this case, the sons and daughters of the extremely wealthy - masquerading as a law that helps the typical American. The typical American does not have a $5.4 million estate. Those that do already have the tools available through incorporation and other means to make sure that the rewards of their life's work is passed along to their heirs.
CD-04 deserves a Congressman who is going to represent us, not giant corporations, not out of state donors, and certainly not the radical, extremist remains of what was once a great American political party.
When Benjamin Franklin was asked whether we would have a Republic or a Monarchy, he replied, "A Republic, if you can keep it." Unfortunately, we have not done a good job of keeping it. Now is the time to bring back democracy and to restore the Republic.
We must overturn Citizens United.
Something is wrong when the wishes of one person with a million dollars are more important than the needs of a million people who only have a dollar each.
As your Representative, I will fight for a publicly funded election system. We need a system that is open and transparent, not one that allows anonymous donors and so-called "dark money". Our elections should be about a contest of ideas, not a battle between ad agencies.
Supporters of the Citizens United decision have said that people and corporations that donate millions of dollars to political campaigns through political action committees deserve the right to remain anonymous. They argue that revealing the names of these Super Donors would somehow interfere with their right to free speech. They believe that money is speech and speech is freedom.