For Immediate Release
January 21, 2020
Statement from Wendy Fields, Executive Director of Democracy Initiative, on the ten year anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC decision:
Ten years ago, with Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court of the United States told the American people that corporations are people, and opened the flood gates for unlimited, undisclosed corporate money in our elections.
They have demonstrated they damn well don’t act like people! At least not the kind of people that care about ensuring everyone has a living wage, clean air, clean water, fair criminal justice system and political equity.
We know who they are. Companies like Facebook, fossil fuel companies, private water companies, private prisons, anti-union companies, and predatory banks want to be seen as people, but — like our President — they are nothing more than greedy bullies who lie to the American people while calling themselves good corporate citizens.
These companies put profits before people, buy politicians to ensure they can operate without accountability, and take our hard-earned money in the form of tax breaks and subsidies 365 days a year. The bottom line — enabled by the Supreme Court — is that they have stolen our government to make it work only for them and their wealthy friends. To add insult to injury, when we rise up, they spend millions to ensure we can’t run for office in fair elections, suppress our votes, provide fake news, and refuse to secure our democracy from foreign interference.
The good news is that over the last few years, our democracy movement of millions of hardworking people across the country have been taking collective action and fighting back — and winning. Today the stakes are high. We must take greater risks to win the greater reward of a true democracy that works for everyone. If corporations are people, then we need to change their behavior. To do that, we must increase voter engagement this year and set the bar high — 75% if we are to govern in 2021.
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