A coalition of citizens groups in New Jersey is urging Congress to overturn a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows unlimited political contributions by corporations and labor unions.
Very simply, the “Citizens United” ruling distorts democracy, says Peter Skopec with the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group.
He says the money 32 billionaires and corporations gave to super PACs added up to the amount that 3.7 million individuals donated to the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney combined.
“When individuals have the opportunity to spend millions of dollars on the election, it minimizes the contributions of ordinary citizens and allows mega donors to directly translate their wealth into political power,” Skopec said.
Princeton is one of nine New Jersey towns that have passed resolutions calling for the Citizens United ruling to be overturned.
Princeton Mayor Liz Lampert says the unlimited spending it allows by often secret outside sources is changing democracy at every level of government.
Outside groups spent more than $3 million in New Jersey in the run up to last November’s election, according to the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group. It says 99 percent of that money came from out-of-state donors.