For immediate release May 31, 2012 Contact Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141 Sen. Bernie Sanders office BURLINGTON, Vt., May 31 A plan by the Koch brothers, aright-wing conservative family, to spend $400 million on politicalcampaigns this year is the latest evidence of the need to overturna Supreme Court ruling that voided campaign finance laws, U.S. Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today. Organizations related to Charles and David Koch, the billionaireswho run a Kansas-based energy and manufacturing conglomerate,planto lay out $400 million on campaigns in key states, according to areport published Wednesday byPolitico. This figure is double whatthe Kochs were expected to spend this year, and the sum surpassesthe $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire 2008presidential campaign. |
The Koch brothers bid to buy elections in America speaks to theobvious need for a constitutional amendment to overturn CitizensUnited and subsequent rulings, Sanders said. In the short term,Congress must pass legislation to require disclosure of thecorporations and wealthy individuals behind the ads by outsidegroups, he added. When one wealthy family spends more money than was raisedaltogether by the last Republican presidential candidate, it tellsus that we are no longer a country of the people, by the people andfor the people. We are becoming a country of the rich, by the richand for the rich, he added. Sanders cited a growing public backlash against the 2010 SupremeCourt ruling in the case of Citizens United v.
Federal ElectionCommission. Vermont and four other states have now asked Congressto propose a constitutional amendment to undo that controversialruling. Sanders last Dec. 8 introduced the Saving American DemocracyAmendment. His proposal would restore the power of Congress andstate lawmakers to enact campaign spending limits like laws thatwere in place for a century before the controversial court ruling.
Sanders also is a cosponsor of legislation aimed at curtailing thepower of special interest groups by requiring them to disclose moreinformation about their role in purchasing campaign advertisements.The Disclose Act would address some concerns related to the SupremeCourt ruling that let corporations pour money directly intocampaign ads.
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