Our democracy is broken, flooded by money from corporations, billionaires and SuperPACs that puts their interests over those of the public. From big banks sinking our economy while blocking real reform to the NRA preventing sensible gun safety measures, big money forces are corrupting our politics. Since the US Supreme Court has ruled that corporations and wealthy donors have the right to spend unlimited money in our elections, a growing popular movement is now calling for a constitutional amendment to reclaim our democracy. Eleven states and nearly 500 cities and towns have joined this call. We petition President Obama to use the State of the Union to call for a constitutional amendment to reduce the influence of money in our political system and restore democracy to the people.
Response to Petition
In this year's State of the Union address, President chose to prioritize an economic agenda to create jobs and invest in infrastructure, clean energy, and education. He also called for a National Commission to address the long lines and other chronic problems at the polls every election.
But that doesn't mean fighting the influence of money in politics isn't important. In fact, President Obama agrees with you.
That's a point he made clear last fall, saying: "Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."
Now, it's going to take more than a response to this petition or a paragraph in a future State of the Union to get this done. Our founders quite consciously made amending the U.S. Constitution a difficult piece of business.
That's where you come in. If this is a fight that motivates you, you need to work for it. Keep making your voice heard and encourage others to take a stand against limitless corporate spending in our elections. And speak out in favor of changes that will reduce the influence of special interests.
There's a reason that this President has worked to make his administration the most open and accountable in history. He's trying to lead by example, and change Washington from the ground up.
That's why he banned lobbyists or lobbying organizations from giving gifts to appointees in the executive branch. That's why he directed agencies to stop appointing lobbyists to federal boards and commissions. That's why lobbyists aren't allowed to work in the Administration on matters or agencies they had lobbied in the preceding two years. And that's why appointees aren't allowed to lobby the Administration once they leave.
It's why our visitor logs, daily public schedules, staff salaries, and ethics waivers are all posted on the White House website. And it's why we've created a program like We the People -- to allow citizens like you to write to us directly and build support to compel our response.
If we want to get this done, we all have plenty of work to do in the months and years ahead. So let's keep at it.