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New Poll Shows Broad Support for “Fixing” Citizens United

February 26, 2010


A national poll of 1,200 Americans commissioned by People For the American Way shows that the Roberts Court is far out of step with the American public over corporate money in elections. It also shows broad support for a wide range of proposals to “fix” the Citizens United ruling, including legislation being introduced in Congress and a proposed constitutional amendment.
“Americans of all political stripes believe that corporations have too much influence in elections,” said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Unlike the Roberts Court, the American people believe that Congress should be able to place limits on how much companies like ExxonMobil can spend to support or defeat candidates for public office. That’s not a liberal or Democratic position – it’s the American position.”
“In the days and weeks following theCitizens United ruling, many Republican leaders rejoiced at the prospect of more corporate money in elections,” said Keegan. “But our poll shows broad disagreement with the ruling and support for reform among Republicans and conservatives. This should be a wake-up call to Republican leadership. They have fallen out of touch with their base on this issue and should work with Democrats to restore reasonable limits.”
The results of the poll include the following:
78% believe that corporations should be limited in how much they can spend to influence elections, and 70% believe they already have too much influence over elections
73% believe Congress should be able to impose such limits, and 61% believe Congress has done too little in the past to limit corporate influence over elections
Of the over 60% of Americans who have an opinion on a constitutional amendment to fix Citizens United, supports runs greater than 2 to 1
82% support limits on electioneering by government contractors, and 87% support limits on bailout recipients
85% support a complete ban on electioneering by foreign corporations
75% believe that a publicly traded company should get shareholder approval before spending money in an election
69% think that the President, in the event of a Supreme Court vacancy, should nominate a Justice who supports limits on corporate spending in elections
“Democrats in Congress should take heed of public opinion and implement meaningful reforms well before the fall election,” said Keegan. “But it will take more than a legislative patch to fully mend the damage done by the Roberts Court. That is why People For the American Way has launched an ongoing campaign to amend the constitution. As our poll demonstrates – the more that Americans learn about an amendment to undo Citizens United, the more they support it.”
Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter
People For the American Way


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One Comment
  1. I am so concerned about the Supreme Court judges who were appointed by Bush and Clinton. I remember all the wailing in Congress over the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor; the Republican talking points during her confirmation hearings were that she would be the worse of all things, God forbid, an “activist judge”.
    This latest ruling by the court giving corporations (transnational’s included) even more control over our lives is just about as activist as a court can get. In fact, I just learned that the Supremes had the lawyers for Citizens United take their complaints and re-write them so that the Court could rule on a much broader question than the original suit. You can’t get more manipulative and “activist” than that. All the time the Court knew full well that many if not most giant corporations are partly or just short of fully owned by foreign countries such as China. The court changed over a century of established law, taking away the last barricade against mega billion dollar transnational corporations to extend their tentacles even further into our election system.
    I worry that this Court decision has given rich Trans national corporations such as Blackwater / Xe too much power to influence the awarding of multi-billion dollar government bids. . This company has a privately owned standing army in this country with missiles, tanks, armed helicopters and transport planes. They are a 100,000 man mercenary army. This is a company that has routinely broken very important laws all over the World and is apparently too big to try in court. Their corporate tentacles reach deep into our government and they are able to annul congressional investigations into their lawlessness while at the same time these tentacles reach the right places so that they can call on friends in Congress to annul investigations into their lawlessness. I suppose that I should not be sup prized to learn that the neocon privatization scheme of selling off parts of our government to corporations which are run solely for profit, has even occurred in the U.S. Marine Corp. Besides the fact that there no longer is career training in the Services, troops now only learn war. The straight and tall, spit and shine young Marines who have always guarded our embassies around the world have been replaced by corporate contract workers who are again in trouble, having broken laws in their performance in this capacity, in addition to getting $200,000.00 a year as opposed to the $30,000 paid to a U.S. Marine.
    Let’s see, they own our voting boxes, they control our health and our wealth, and now they control the Supreme Court. I think it is about time for citizens to take action to regain control of their country and protect our constitution. Vote out Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats; call your congress person and demand a repeal of this latest activist Court decision and demand that personhood be taken away from corporations and returned to living human beings. People who care about this country should have their Congressperson on their speed dial to call regularly telling them how to vote on the important issues which literally mean life and death for many American families.

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