The 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision opened the door to unlimited campaign contributions and spending. The result was immediate and dramatic. Within only a few years, the amount of money spent on campaigns for federal office doubled, and the percent of individual contributions provided by the top 1% of donors rose from 20% of total contributions to over 70%.
Since the candidate on whose behalf the most money is spent in a political campaign wins almost every time, an increasingly small number of donors are having more and more influence on who wins elections. And, once elected, office holders find themselves faced with needing to raise ever larger amounts of money in order to hold onto office—funds that are increasingly provided by an elite few who seldom reside in the state or district of the candidates they support. This dynamic perverts what is supposed to be a system in which residents of a district select their political representatives who are, in turn, expected to serve the people of his/her district.
Recent years have also been marked by expenditure of hundreds of millions of dark money on elections—money of unknown origin that cannot be traced. As things now stand, such contributions are perfectly legal.
The current situation is undermining the very foundations of our democracy, and asks residents to act to bring about change.
A petition drive has been launched within North Oaks to request passage of a City Council resolution on this issue -— a small, but important step in gaining the attention of our state and federal office holders. To learn more about this issue, visit americanpromise.net, or to add your name to a growing list of residents who have already endorsed a resolution for change by filling out and mailing the accompanying form. Do it today!
—Jim Bowyer, 13 Anemone Circle