Conlin, Citizens United, constitutional amendment

A coalition pushing for a constitutional amendment which, essentially, would reverse the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling has the backing of Roxanne Conlin.  She’s the Democrat who’s running against Republican Senator Chuck Grassley this year.  Read the details in a news release below, emailed by the groups Public Citizen and People for the American Way.

Conlin Pledges to Support Constitutional Amendment to Limit Corporate Influence on Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Iowa Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin has pledged to support a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which would help ensure that elections are not hijacked by corporations, People For the American Way and Public Citizen announced today.

The Supreme Court in January ruled in Citizens United that corporations can spend unlimited amounts to influence elections. Because of that decision, upcoming congressional elections are expected to be swamped with ads and fliers paid for by corporate interests. Already, new organizations have been formed to take advantage of the ruling, and only a constitutional amendment can completely fix the problem.

Candidates responded to a call from People For the American Way and Public Citizen, which last month launched the pledge drive at

 “Corporations already rule the roost in Washington,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Witness the oil industry’s free pass to drill offshore without adequate environmental scrutiny or the health insurance industry’s enormous influence over the outcome of the health care debate, to name just two of countless examples. The Supreme Court’s decision threatens to make a bad situation exponentially worse. We applaud candidates who stand up and say that this must be stopped.”

“Unrestrained corporate influence in our elections represents a profound threat to our democracy,” said Michael B. Keegan, president of People For the American Way.  “Voters overwhelmingly support a constitutional amendment to keep corporate money out of politics, and I’m glad that so many candidates are responding to that call. 

In 2008, to take just one example, ExxonMobil’s profits amounted to more than $85 billion. If Citizens United had been the law in that year and the company had spent a modest 10 percent of its profits – $8.5 billion – to elect its friends and defeat its enemies, it would have amounted to more than was spent by the Obama campaign, the McCain campaign, every U.S. House and Senate candidate, and every state legislative candidate in the country combined. If mega-corporations want to flood elections with money to promote or defeat candidates, they have the resources to do so.

Conlin is one of 62 congressional candidates who already have signed the pledge at this early stage in the campaign. To view the complete list of candidates and learn more about the pledge campaign, visit

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.