Everyone knows what would be the first and most important step toward campaign finance reform. The question is whether there are enough honest people in Congress to make reform a reality:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday night slammed the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision and supported legislation to overturn it. Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Michael Bennet of Colorado introduced a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would overturn the ruling, which gave corporations and unions the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.
Sanders told [Keith] Olbermann he thought passing the constitutional amendment was possible, despite the inevitable opposition from conservatives.
“I think what we are seeing now, through the Occupy movement and other efforts, is a growing anger and frustration with the power of big money in this country. You’re seeing it just the other day, when people actually defeated the biggest financial institution in America, Bank of America, who wanted to impose the $5 debit fee. We beat em.”
“I think right now, whether you’re talking to a Republican or a progressive, people are saying that that Supreme Court decision, Keith, is basically insane,” he said. “Nobody that I know thinks that Exxon Mobil is a person.”
Footnote: Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the four dissenting judges in the Citizens United case (Jan., 2010), explaining why the majority opinion was so corrupt and corrupting:
At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.