Immediately after our victory for free speech was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, liberals from President Barack Obama to Senator Chuck Schumer said the decision would open the floodgates for big corporations to use their largesse to take over our elections by drowning out the voices of the little guy. Now, more than 11 years since the landmark decision, this prediction — like many others — simply never transpired. But the politics of fear and the barrage of outright lies continue nonetheless.
The Democrats’ latest effort to overturn Citizens United — H.R. 1 — is deceitfully labeled the “For The People Act.” The reality is that H.R. 1 would stifle constitutionally protected free speech and once again tilt power back to entrenched interests in Washington. This is exactly what President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer desperately want: permanent and total control of government and our lives.
The truth is that corporations do not dominate our elections as a result of the robust free speech rights that were reasserted by the Citizens United decision — although they have a First Amendment right to participate in the electoral process. A report by The Center for Responsive Politics in 2020 found that “Despite fears that elections would be dominated by corporations, the biggest political players are actually wealthy individual donors.”
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of a big corporation engaging directly in a multi-million dollar independent expenditure campaign to influence an election. It simply doesn’t happen and the reason is obvious. The market is always right, so why upset half of your consumers?
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