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"Citizens United Part 2"

04 Apr 2014  |   Vanessa Kritzer

The Supreme Court just made a huge decision -- one we’re dubbing “Citizens United 2.”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to lift limits on how much money individuals can give to federal candidates every election cycle.

This basically opens the floodgates for billionaires like the Koch brothers to send their dirty energy dollars directly to climate change-denying candidates in every single race around the country. We have to fight back now.

With Citizens United, corporations got the ability to spend an unlimited amount of money on their own independent electoral ads.

But until now, our election laws have drawn a line when it comes to giving money directly to candidates. Even if you have millions to spare, our laws said that you could only give a total overall amount of $123,200 to federal candidates, political parties and PACs during the 2014 election cycle.

Now it may be laughable for many of us to think of ever giving more than $123,200 in a single election cycle. But to the Koch brothers, that’s chump change. They probably have that in their wallets right now.

In Wednesday's ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC, the Supreme Court came in on the side of a coal industry executive, Shaun McCutcheon, who wanted to change our campaign finance laws so he could spend even more money electing pro-polluter candidates. By doing so, they have sent the message to every dirty energy millionaire and billionaire out there that it’s time to go on a spending spree.

We can stop them, but only if we convince Congress to pass fair election laws immediately.

Luckily, there are already two bills that have been introduced in Congress to help fix our election laws -- the Government By the People Act and the Fair Elections Now Act.

If passed, these laws would boost the influence of small donors and help millions more Americans -- rather than just a few big donors -- play a central role in determining who runs for Congress, who wins elections, and what issues make it onto the agenda in Washington.

But if we want them to pass these bills quickly to counter this horrible Supreme Court decision, we have to act fast. So please join me in sending a message to your members of Congress now. 

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