We know the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision has unleashed a torrent of undisclosed corporate and union spending at the federal level. It overturned a century of laws and decades of legal precedent. Common Cause has decided to stand up and take action! Common Cause has joined forces with a number of other organizations to build awareness and educate citizens across the country about the amounts of money corporations are emptying out of their own pockets to to steal our democracy. The goal of this new coalition is to strengthen the voice of the people and prepare to battle these corporations to save our democracy.
So far, we have filed a complaint with the Department of Justice asking for an investigation of Justices Thomas and Scalia for attending a strategy session hosted by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch in Rancho Mirage, California, at the same time the Court was considering the case of Citizens United v. FEC in 2008.
On January 30, 2011, Common Cause, along with over 30 organizations including the California Nurses Association, Courage Campaign, California Labor Federation, Greenpeace, held a peaceful public demonstration to “Uncloak the Kochs” and turned out 1,500 protesters to Rancho Mirage, CA for the Koch Brothers annual meeting. This event in CA had legs – and people all over the country are starting to following the Koch Brothers money trail. From Wisconsin to Nebraska, people are starting to wake up to special interests stealing our elections.
In Los Angeles, we’re preemptively stopping the Koch Brothers and other special interests from pushing money into our elections. We are working to strengthen campaign finance laws to keep special interest money at bay with our support of Measure H, which will do two things:
1. Lift the cap on the public finance trust to create a more robust public financing system.
2. Ban prospective private companies with pending bids on city contracts from making campaign contributions.
We are pleased to be standing with LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, City Council members Tom LaBonge, Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Jose Huizar, Bill Rosendahl, the California Clean Money Campaign, the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, Public Campaign, Public Citizen, the William C. Velazquez Institute and others to pass Measure H on March 8.
All politics is local and we believe that! Ifnot, then when? When Los Angeles succeeds in passing Measure H, we will send an important message that we are taking back our democracy. It does not belong to We the special, well-financed interests. Our democracy belongs to We the People.