Get Non-U.S. Citizen Money Out Of Our Elections
  • Petitioned The President, The U.S. Congress, and State Legislatures

This petition was delivered to:

The President, The U.S. Congress, and State Legislatures
The U.S. House of Representatives
The U.S. Senate

Get Non-U.S. Citizen Money Out Of Our Elections

    1. Petition by

      Curt Clause

      Encinitas, CA

The Power of Our Democracy has been seized by our Highest Court and granted to non-U.S. Citizens representing the special interests of multi-national corporations and wealthy domestic and foreign interests.

As a result, our government is no longer representative of the interests and values of the Citizens of the United States of America, but rather the special interests and the single human value of profit, held by a select handful of people from around the world who are both advantaged by and consumed by the power of wealth.

Because of the actions of five U.S. Supreme Court “justices,” this travesty of justice can now be remedied only by new provisions in our laws that recognize the sanctity of our elections-- that they are reserved for U.S. Citizens ALONE.  These Non-U.S. Citizen interests have been handed Our Democracy, and they will not stop until they own our rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

While we were asleep or distracted, thieves came in and robbed us of Our Democracy.  Now we’re taking it back.  And it may require an amendment to our Constitution.  We must be outraged enough to DEMAND it!

Please join this campaign to restore and protect our Democratic Rights and Liberties as U.S. Citizens.  Educate yourself on this critically important issue by reading the details below and researching it on your own.  Sign the petition letter, and get the word out to every U.S. citizen.  So much is at stake, including Our Democracy as we have known it for over 235 years.

History books are riddled with examples of those who would try to usurp power from the People.  Time and again, those who try are eventually reminded- sometimes the hard way- that real power belongs to the People.  As we embark on this next chapter of our history as a nation, let's not forget that unfettered and unyielding extremism from any source- left or right, external or from within, originating from any ideology- is the true enemy.  Now is our opportunity to demonstrate the true power of democracy.  The whole world is watching!

 

Curt Clause

United States Citizen, Independent Businessman

October 15, 2011

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Note: when you digitally “sign” the petition located on the next tab of this screen, a copy of your letter will be e-mailed to info@whitehouse.gov, info@senate.gov, and info@house.gov.  We are also building a list of e-mail addresses for each State legislature.  After you sign, you can share the petition via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.  If you share by e-mail, you may get better results by copying and pasting the link to this petition into your own e-mail, as opposed to sending it through the Change.org e-mail web form.  This will reduce the risk of your message being mistakenly identified as junk mail, or SPAM.  Please deliver this message through your social network of U.S. Citizens.  We are trying to collect signatures from approximately 99% of U.S. voters!

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Background

On January 21, 2010, in a 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, five members of the U.S. Supreme Court -- Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas -- granted corporations and labor unions First Amendment rights on the ground that they are "associations of citizens," that money is speech, and that restrictions on these organizations to limit their “electioneering” (engineering of elections) equates to a form of censorship.

The Court’s decision overruled two precedents: Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a 1990 decision that upheld restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose political candidates, and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, a 2003 decision that upheld the part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (“the McCain-Feingold Act”) that restricted campaign spending by corporations and unions.

Regardless of the intent of the decision, which should be closely examined by the People of the United States of America, the effect of this decision is clear to any reasonable person.  It diminishes the power and influence of ordinary U.S. Citizens in democratic electionsand bestows great power to wealthy, non-U.S. citizen entities that can now exert tremendous influence upon our elections and our entire system of government. 

Since this country was formed, elections have been the foundation of our democratic system of government, the starting point of everything else that happens in the political process that has carried our country for over 235 years.  Protecting our electoral process from threats, both from within and from abroad, is the first step in protecting our entire system of government and, ultimately, the Democracy that belongs to the People of the United States of America.

The decision in Citizens United v. FEC- by Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas- only serves to drastically compound our nation’s economic, political and social struggles.  More importantly, it poses a serious threat to our national security.  It should be recognized by all for what it is-- a clear and present danger to Our Democracy and Freedom in the face of our coming elections.

History may judge this Court’s decision as a primary root cause of the social unrest that we see and hear from so many of our fellow Citizens from all walks of life- those taking to the streets in protest and countless others who feel their voices still go unheard.  We have allowed this insidious encroachment upon our government, so that the voices being heard and served are those of the Special Interests, not of the People.  The seeds sown in 2010 are now reaping a harvest of civil strife and government gridlock.  Our government has been reduced to a marketplace for the buying and selling of political influence where many on Wall Street and in Corporate America are the buyers, our elected officials are the sellers, many on K Street are the deal brokers, and our highest court is the market maker.

It is our duty as the People of the United States of America to take action NOW to fully restore Our Democracy and Freedom, which has been diluted and polluted by the decision of these five individuals- Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas.  We must tell the Supreme Court, the President and Congress with a loud and unified voice that the People of the United States of America have had enough of those in positions of power playing political games with Our Democracy and Our Future.  We the People must place our entire Establishment on notice.

With regard to the Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, we must collectively shout with righteous indignation as loud as we can:

“We, the People of the United States of America, DISSENT!  We disagree intensely with this decision, stand in firm opposition to its far-reaching power to destroy Our Democracy, and demand that protective laws be adopted immediately to minimize damage to the integrity of our elections in 2012. We, the People, cannot sit idly by while our democratic freedom is stripped from us.”

Our own governing bodies have made it incumbent upon the Citizens of our great nation to fight for and protect Our Democracy in light of this clear travesty of justice perpetrated against the People.  How will the People respond? 

Here is a reasonable and peaceful course of action.

First, the Citizens of our country, united with one voice, must petition the President and Congress demanding the immediate enactment of new law or, if necessary, an amendment to the Constitution, which

1.  recognizes the sanctity of the electoral process, that elections should be reserved for U.S. Citizens alone; and

2.  grants us rules for transparency that we need in order to be effective in our duties as Citizens to elect our governing officials.

If Congress and the President are unwilling or unable to meet the demands of the People, there is another way to achieve our objective.  The People must petition our individual State legislatures to propose such an amendment to the Constitution.  Two-thirds of the State legislatures must call on Congress to hold a Constitutional Convention to propose an amendment.  Three-fourths of the States must approve the amendment via ratifying conventions. This method has only been used once, to repeal Prohibition under the 21st Amendment.  If the People cannot find remedy from our governing bodies, the next step will be for the People to organize intently with fellow U.S. Citizens to protect Our Democracy in some other peaceful manner to be determined by the People.

 

More Detailed Background

One of the grounds sited in the Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC is indisputable- that money is speech.  In today’s environment of 24/7 media, those with money can fund essentially limitless amounts of advertising and other public messages designed to influence the outcomes of elections.  Some of this information is true, some of it is opinion or conjecture, and some is flat-out false.  The American people are left to their own devices to sort out which is which.

The other grounds for the majority’s decision are highly suspect.

To argue that all corporations are “associations of citizens,” one must ignore the very foundation of corporate law.  Neither all the shareholders nor all the employees of a corporation are necessarily U.S. Citizens.  In most cases they are not, but rather are loose affiliations of both U.S. Citizens and non-citizens bound only by legal contract.  Only in the special case where an employee is also a shareholder does the employee have any membership rights at all in the corporation.  No such rights are provided to employees under standard U.S. corporate law.  Further, in most corporations, employees- unless they are also shareholders- do not elect their officers, nor do they have any voting rights in electing the board of directors.  Therefore, neither the shareholders nor the employees of a corporation can be recognized as an “association of citizens” by a reasonable person.

In many corporations, authority to make political expenditures now rests solely with executive management, the officers, or the board of directors.  We can conclude then, that political speech spoken by or funded by an individual or group representing a corporation does not necessarily reflect the collective views of the shareholders or employees that would make up this so-called “association of citizens.”  This is true even in cases where every shareholder and employee of the corporation IS, in fact, a U.S. citizen.

Rather, it is reasonable to conclude that some portion of corporate political expenditures represents the views and values of only a few executives or members of the board of directors of a corporation, both of whose foremost responsibility in their role within the corporation is to maximize shareholder value.  This makes them, by definition, a special interest group- one with full authority to deploy the resources of the corporation to influence elections for the benefit of its shareholders.

A reasonable person may view this as a form of legalized bribery of elected officials by special interest groups.

Another serious problem with the Court’s decision stems from the fact that our corporate system, as it is structured by our laws, is not designed to reflect the complete spectrum of values and interests of ordinary citizens-- values like human decency, justice, national pride, our health, the health of our ecosystems; and the preservation of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for future generations of Americans.  In fact, our laws have structured the corporate system to value one thing far and above EVERY other human value-- profit.  Corporate profit is now the primary human value, far ahead of any other, that is represented in our elections and is the top priority throughout our system of government.

Throughout the history of our nation, it has been clear to all branches of government that neither foreign interests nor powerful domestic organizations such as large corporations (many of which have by now become MULTI-NATIONAL in scope) should be allowed to exert influence on elections.  In fact, prior to the Citizens United decision, both corporations and labor unions were restricted from funding "express advocacy," which is speech advocating the election or defeat of a federal candidate. Until Citizens United, corporations had been banned from making direct contributions to- or funding expenditures of- federal candidates since 1907, and labor unions had been banned since 1943.  Not anymore.

Further, in their decision, the Court held that any limits whatsoever on independent expenditures is a violation of First Amendment rights.  So, not only can multi-national corporations and labor unions now fund express advocacy in elections, but those allowable expenditures have no limits.  This is an unprecedentedly liberal interpretation of First Amendment rights- one that clearly ignores the best interests of ordinary U.S. Citizens in favor of wealthy Special Interest groups.

It gets worse.

Citizens United opens a floodgate of non-U.S. citizen money into elections at ALL levels of government, including state and local elections.  In the opinion of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the foundation has now been laid for dismantling any possibility of an independent judiciary, as about eighty percent of state judges are elected officials.

We should be very troubled by the idea of foreign influence in American elections, as our Founding Fathers clearly were.  The Court’s decision in Citizens United, coupled with our government’s sanctioning of political action committees (PACs) and “Super-PACs,” has created an environment in which powerful organizations and wealthy individuals from  any nation in the world, can now fund unlimited campaign expenditures– ANONYMOUSLY – without the express and transparent consent of a single U.S. Citizen.

Under these new rules, established by the decision of five members of the Supreme Court (Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas), such would-be foreign influences now have a completely darkened pathway to sneak into our elections, our government agendas and our policy decisions.  The issue is not that foreigners… or corporations… or labor unions… are inherently or necessarily evil, but rather that our elections are intimate and should be sanctified for U.S. Citizens alone. The Citizens alone bear the burden of selecting who governs us- a government of the People, by the People, for the People. Therefore, election debates should belong to the Citizens alone.  As such, it is completely reasonable and appropriate for the Citizens to protect the debate by limiting or abolishing speech in any form, including election-related expenditures, from any source other than a U.S. citizen.

If we DO NOT take action, how much influence can we expect from “less than fully transparent sources” in the next election?  “Outside spending” by groups not directly tied to any candidate skyrocketed after the Citizens United decision allowed unlimited corporate and union donations to independent groups to spend on elections.  Here are a few statistics:

* According to the Center for Responsive Politics -- a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy – there was over $300 million in outside spending in 2010, excluding party committees.

* That was a five hundred percent increase from the previous midterm election in 2006.

* Only 52.3% of outside spending was fully disclosed in 2010, while 43.8% was not disclosed at all.  The remaining 3.1% had “some disclosure.” (http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/index.php)

* The Wesleyan Media Project reported that outside groups spent $111 million in 2010 on advertising alone, with eighty-six percent of advertising funds being spent in the form of attack ads.

* On June 21, 2011, Moody's Investor Service projected that total spending on 2012 elections may clear $2.7 billion, topping the $2.3 billion spent in 2010. There is broad consensus that the 2012 campaigns will involve unprecedented levels of spending by both candidates and outside groups.

* President Barack Obama will likely set a new record by running the first $1 billion campaign, at a time when average Americans are hurting like no other time since the Great Depression.

* Four outside groups that include Karl Rove-affiliated American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, along with the oil billionaire Koch brothers, have announced spending goals totaling $595 million—close to double the total amount spent in 2010 by ALL outside groups combined.

Justice Byron White predicted in his dissent in the seminal 1976 case Buckley v. Valeo, that without limits on total expenditures, "campaign costs will inevitably and endlessly escalate."  They have.

Even under the majority's holding in Citizen’s United that spending money in elections is a form of political speech protected by the First Amendment, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens finds "nothing even arguably unfair about evenhanded rules that limit the amount of speech that can be voiced in certain times or places or by certain means."  Here’s an example: in every political debate platform, speech is limited- even for candidates themselves- by time constraints.

When the five-member majority’s decision in Citizens United held that any limits whatsoever on independent expenditures violated the First Amendment, they overturned the Court's decision just seven years earlier to uphold the same federal laws it now declared unconstitutional.  Justice Stevens spoke for 20 minutes in open Court, railing against the ruling.

The entire opinion on Citizens United v. FEC, including Justice Stevens’ passionate 90-page dissenting opinion can be found here:  http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/citizens-opinion.pdf.

The only reasonable and practical response to the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United is, ironically, for the Citizens to unite and DEMAND new rules for our elections that are fair to U.S. Citizens.

These are our practical next steps.

First, the Citizens of our country, united with one voice, must petition the President and Congress demanding the immediate enactment of new law or, if necessary, an amendment to the Constitution, which

1.  recognizes the sanctity of the electoral process, that elections should be reserved for U.S. Citizens alone; and

2.  grants us rules for transparency that we need in order to be effective in our duties as Citizens to elect our governing officials.

If Congress and the President are unwilling or unable to meet the demands of the People, there is another way to achieve our objective.  The People must petition our individual State legislatures to propose such an amendment to the Constitution.  Two-thirds of the State legislatures must call on Congress to hold a Constitutional Convention to propose an amendment.  Three-fourths of the States must approve the amendment via ratifying conventions. This method has only been used once, to repeal Prohibition under the 21st Amendment.  If the People cannot find remedy from our governing bodies, the next step will be for the People to organize intently with fellow U.S. Citizens to protect Our Democracy in some other peaceful manner to be determined by the People.

"The people are the masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it"

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Recent signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Darlene McMorris SOUTH BEND, IN
      • about 2 years ago

      Because i don't want Wall Street voting against me and the people of the United States. The 98% should speak louder and be heard more than the 2% that vote for their pockets .

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sharon Elgamal NEW YORK, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      We are a Democratic Nation and would like to remain, enough of the 1% controlling our lives, our vote needs to count for what we the 99% of the population want for our future.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bryan Carosi SAXONBURG, PA
      • over 2 years ago

      This country needs a revolution (a physical one) and this is the only way to let Politicians know we're ready. If they dont acknowledge this then its an obvious sign that this is a dictatorship and tyranny.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kim Shepperson-Jones RICHMOND, VA
      • almost 3 years ago

      WE THE PEOPLE WILL NOT LEAVE THESE CROOKS IN CHARGE OVER OUR CHILDREN'S LIVES WHEN THEY CHEAT THE WORLD. THEY MUST GET OUT, RESIGN, OR FACE THE WRATH OF THE PITCHFORKS, TAR AND FEATHERS OF THE CITIZENS!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • almost 3 years ago

      People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous.

      Edmund Burke October 10, 1777

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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