Dayton Daily News | Jan 20, 2024
The 2024 election money train is on the move. I receive emails every day asking for money from candidates near and far. How about you? Of course the dollars that you and I send in are only a small portion of the money being contributed to candidates. Of greater concern is the money given by corporations, trade associations, political action committees, unions—all attempting to have influence over their chosen candidates.
Jan. 21 is the 14th anniversary of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the Supreme Court ruling that is widely recognized as ushering in all this money. After Citizens United, we saw the creation of SuperPACs and “dark money”— donations that are made in secret— making it almost impossible to follow the money.
History tells us that this problem started long before Citizens United. In 1886, the Supreme Court gave standing to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company under the 14th Amendment. Later decisions added the 4th Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the 1st Amendment and more. Political spending became a form of free speech in 1976, thus protecting corporate entities from spending restrictions.
Move to Amend is an organization dedicated to ending corporate constitutional rights and money as a protected form of speech. We have legislation in the U.S. House to amend the Constitution, the We the People Amendment, HJR 54. Ask your representative to co-sponsor. Learn more about our efforts and sign our petition at movetoamend.org/motion.
- Mary Sue Gmeiner, Dayton