Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Occupy Victory Over Obama Evolution On Citizens United

Earlier today, U.S. President Barack Obama announced during a Reddit chat that he was now open to a legislative remedy to put an end to a controversial 2010 Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. That case came to be known by the name of its appellant, Citizens United.

“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),” he wrote. “Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

President Obama's sudden change of heart over the unlimited influence of corporate money in campaigns comes as his re-election campaign comes to a close, and after his own campaign has benefitted from tens of millions of dollars raised through Super-PAC's, such as "Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that is supporting his candidacy and run by a former White House communications aide," reported The Huffington Post.

Groups that have been fighting the undemocratic influence that the Citizens United decision is having on elections in the United State see President Obama's newly expressed rhetoric as a starting place, but until his administration takes action, there is no telling how committed President Obama really is to election reform.

One of the winners of President Obama's "evolution" on Citizens United is the Occupy Wall Street movement. On January, 3, 2012, the New York City General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement officially called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United decision (See NYCGA Notes).

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