Common Cause today launched a grassroots PR campaign designed to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allows corporations to spend unlimited money -- protected as free speech -- in elections.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich fronts the effort, saying a “huge majority of Americans reject Citizens United and want a government of, by and for the people, not of, bought and paid for by special interests.” There is an Amend2012.org site that will soon feature a video from Reich and information about how to get involved. Facebook and Twitter advocacy are in the works.
The campaign to dump Citizens United is a daunting task that requires support from two-thirds of the House and Senate and ratification by 38 states. That amendment would declare that corporations do not have the same constitutional rights as people, a view opposed by top politicians like Mitt Romney.
Common Cause is trying to get its issue before voters in November. It will lobby legislatures in non-ballot initiative states. The non-profit group expects support from Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party people, who are turned off by corporate control of the political process. The campaign is expected to get a major lift from people who will become disillusioned with politics after being bombarded by the torrent of ads in the upcoming presidential election from Super PACs that came to life in the aftermath of Citizens United.
On the local level, Super PAC spending by people backing Romney destroyed Newt Gingrich’s candidacy in Iowa and is currently mocking the electoral process in South Carolina, thanks to the “Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert Super PAC.” Common Cause should make common cause with Colbert, whose satirical ad depicts Romney as a serial killer since the Bain Capital founder considered the corporations that he closed as people.
Another spot from the Colbert-supporting Citizens for a Better Tomorrow Tomorrow Super PAC urges a vote for Herman Cain, who unlike Colbert, is on the ballot in the Palmetto State.
Though I’m a big fan of Reich, Colbert would be a great spokesperson for Common Cause.