You should support Citizens United because incumbents hate it

Citizens United is the subject of routine lies.

The Citizens United decision is good news for the grassroots but bad news for entrenched incumbents and the media. It helps level the playing field. Citizens United made competition easier for challengers, and also freed them from having to rely on the good graces of the mainstream media.

The entrenched interests, who would benefit by overturning it, don’t want you to know the following fact… 

Citizens United did NOT give political campaigns access to unlimited corporate contributions.

Indeed, one upcoming Presidential candidate is promising “not to take these huge corporate donations.” That’s a hollow promise, and he’s trying to mislead you. Campaigns don’t have legal access to this money. No Presidential candidate has access to these funds.

What Citizens United actually did was permit a non-profit, grassroots corporation to broadcast a movie about a presidential candidate. Before Citizens United, spending money to either broadcast or promote information about a candidate was illegal, unless you were a member of the privileged mainstream media. In this case, you couldn’t see the movie.

The Citizens United critics usually use the word “corporation” with a sneer. But corporations include entities like…

  • mom-and-pop businesses, who might be in an industry facing regulation, with a need to alert people
  • advocacy groups like the NRA and Planned Parenthood

Thanks to Citizens United, these enterprises can publish or broadcast information about issues or a candidate’s voting record. They can even say vote for or against. But (and this is important) they cannot directly coordinate with the campaign itself.

All of this money spent on elections should NOT scare you. James Madison, in Federalist No. 10, said that the best way to respond to partisan information was for the other side to have the freedom to express their position. More money spent on elections means more information for voters.

Plus, this expansion of political outreach benefits the underheard side. Widespread broadcast of information helps challengers far more than incumbents and frontrunners. Plus…

We explained the “Secret to defeating an incumbent” in a 2013 article: Basically, you must have enough money to force the incumbent to open his warchest. And Citizens United creates a method to make the incumbent expend funds defending his record.

Your incumbent should know you are not fooled by the deceptive information spread around by the critics of Citizens United. Tell them you’re not fooled, now…

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