Candidates and other members of the Green Party of the United States sharply criticized a Supreme Court decision declaring limits on the total amount of money contributors may give to all candidates, committees, and political parties to be unconstitutional, which was announced on April 2.
"The court's ruling on McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is a victory for plutocrats and a serious blow to democracy," said Paul Glover, Green Party candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania (http://www.glover4governor.com).
"The McCutcheon ruling enables a dangerous expansion of the right of the One Percent to undermine fair elections. It allows the wealthiest far greater control over which candidates will be chosen by parties and over the outcome of elections. It ensures that the most powerful corporations will have even greater influence over the legislative decisions made by politicians of the two corporate-money parties," said Mr. Glover.
The Green Party supports public funding of federal, state, and local campaigns and a constitutional amendment that limits rights and protections to human beings (http://www.movetoamend.org). Greens insist that the U.S. Constitution must protect people, not corporations and the privileges of the super-rich.
"McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is consistent with the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, which upheld corporate 'personhood' and allowed unlimited independent spending by corporations for political campaigns," said Ellen Brown, Green candidate for Treasurer of California, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of "Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free" and "The Public Bank Solution" (http://ellenbrown.com). "These rulings are based on two fallacies. The first is that spending money is protected under the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. The second fallacy is that corporations must be treated as natural persons under the Constitution."
Greens noted that the McCutcheon ruling does not affect base limits on contributions given to individual campaigns. Instead, it invalidates the limit of $123,000 total in each two-year election cycle that can be contributed to political candidates and parties.
The ruling's permission for unlimited aggregate spending on candidates and parties will allow wealthy contributors and powerful corporations far more influence over the Democratic and Republican parties, especially over their platforms and approval of candidates.
"It is ironic that the First Amendment couldn't protect Occupy protesters while they were literally raising their voices on behalf of the 99% of Americans who cannot afford to make large contributions to candidates and elected officials, but silently writing checks for millions is now protected as free speech," said Ian Schlakman, candidate for the Green Party's nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland, 2nd District (http://www.ian42.com).
The Green Party and its candidates accept contributions from individual donors and refuse money from corporate PACS. Greens have called the increasing domination by Wall Street, Big Oil, defense contractors, insurance companies, agribusiness, and other major corporate sectors over the U.S. government and the election system one of the severest crises of the 21st century.
"The five conservatives on the Supreme Court believe that having a lot of money entitles the wealthy to use election laws to advance their agenda. They surely understand that recent decisions on campaign spending are bringing an end to the U.S. as a republic and replacing it with an oligarchy. The growing gap between the political power of the One Percent and the rest of us parallels the extreme economic gap between the One Percent and working people in the U.S.," said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for Governor of New York (http://www.howiehawkins.org).
"The response must be a strong protest movement demanding public funding of elections, repeal of these decisions, and constitutional abolition of corporate personhood, as well as the emergence of parties like the Greens that reject the influence of the One Percent," added Mr. Hawkins, who co-authored "McCutcheon on the Hudson: Clean Money in Albany Now" with Steve Breyman, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator in the Green Shadow Cabinet (CounterPunch, April 3, http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/03/mccutcheon-on-the-hudson).
Green Shadow Cabinet statements:
• 'Rule Of Money' Gets Stronger With Court Ruling
Kevin Zeese, Attorney General, April 3, 2014
• Abyss Between Governors and Governed Deepens
Richard Wolff, Council of Economic Advisors, Chair, April 3, 2014
• Supreme Court rules: Democracy 90% for sale - not enough
Lee Camp, Commissioner for the Comedic Arts, April 3, 2014
• The State of Play: Money in Politics
Alice Slater, Secretary of Sustainability, April 3, 2014
• Supreme Court Vote 5-4 For More Money in Politics
David Cobb, Commission on Corporations and Democracy, Chair, April 2, 2014
Move to Amend Statement on McCutcheon v. FEC Decision
MoveToAmend.org, April 2, 2014
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