Global Exchange is a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic, and environmentsl justice around the world.

Why Stick It To Super PACs?

22nd October, 2012 - Posted by Hillary V Lehr - 7 Comments


Sick of Super-PACs yet? I’m sure over the endless mailings, the ominous ads, the outright lies, and odious half-truths. When it seems to go from bad to worse, how do you know whom to trust?

You’re not crazy, it is getting worse.

Political campaigns have always involved a fair amount of mudslinging. But in the 2012 election, the amount of slinging and the quantities of mud have skyrocketed. According to MapLight analysis, twenty-one Super PACs have raised over $433 million to spend influencing the election. Think of it as 433 million more giant barrels of mud drowning our election in corporate political speech.

This is not what a healthy democracy looks like.

So What Exactly Is a Super PAC, anyway?

Super PACs are a new kind of political action committee enabled by the infamous January 2010 Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court and a subsequent federal court case in July 2010.

Formally known as “independent expenditure-only committees,” Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations, unions, certain nonprofits, or individuals, and can then spend unlimited sums to support or oppose political candidates so long as they don’t ‘coordinate’ with the candidate’s campaign. Unlike traditional Political Action Committees, which would donate capped amounts of money to candidates, Super PAC money is simply not funneled to a candidate, enabling the Super PACs to spend unlimited dollars to buy influence over our election.

Record spending enabled through Super PACs most significantly benefits those with the most to spend and the most to gain: the corporate interests willing to spend tens of millions to get candidates in office that allow their greed to go unregulated. According to Campaign Legal Center, only a small top percentage of donors to Super PACs contribute a majority of their total funds. This corporate political speech is overpowering the voices of everybody else in this democracy.


Super PACs are Drowning Out Democracy, so What Can We Do About It?

Thousands of people are organizing to challenge the crisis in which Super PACs have placed our democracy. The solutions proposed range from campaign finance reform bills in Congress to constitutional amendments to local ordinances that prioritize community rights and decision-making. While all exciting, these victories could take years. Defending democracy means sticking with it for the long haul.

In the meantime, let’s get a big, collective “HELL NO!!!” on the record. After all, we are in the final days of the election season, and these are the moments where Super PACs are spending the most (literally tens of thousands of dollars per second) to influence your vote. So, since Super PACs are making democracy hard for us, let’s take a moment and making life hard for them, even if just for one day:

STICK IT TO SUPER PACS!

On October 25th, over a dozen organizations are partnering with Global Exchange to launch www.StickItToSuperPACs.org, a day-long action where you can tell the top-spending Super PACs exactly what you think about them. Visit the site today to Get Stickin’ and join the flood of emails, phone calls, Facebook posts, and Tweets to Super PACs that gives you, the voter, a chance to tell corporate dollars to get out of the way of democracy. Imagine your computer mouse transformed into a proverbial wrench, and then toss it into the gears of Super PACs that are drowning out everything except big-money corporate speech.

It’s not going to solve all our problems, but believe me, when I hit “send” on my letter to the top 5 Super PAC inboxes, I was happy I got to #StickItToSuperPACs today.  Sometimes it’s the little ways we take action to demand elections, not auctions, that will create momentum to usher in long term change down the line, so join me and get stickin’!

TAKE ACTION:

Stick It To Super PACs: Visit our web page to call, email, post, and/or tweet your dissent straight to the Top 5 Super PACs.

Elect Democracy, a Global Exchange campaign, is a nonpartisan effort to expose and challenge the impact of corporate money in politics. The campaign focuses on the impact of political campaign contributions and lobbying from Wall Street and its impacts for civil society.

Follow @GlobalExchange @ElectDemocracy and @HillaryLehr for updates.

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7 Responses to “Why Stick It To Super PACs?”

  • Meaghan Simpson

    MANY OF US VOTERS CITIZENS FIND ESPECIALLY THE SUPER PAC TV ADS TO BE FULL IDIOTIC MISINFORMATION WITH NO FULL CIRCLE THINKING OR RELEVANT FACTUAL DETAILS. WE KNOW THE T.V. AGENCIES ARE MAKING BILLIONS FROM THESE OVER PRICED INTELLECTUALLY INSULTING AND MEANINGLESS ADS WHICH FURTHER ERODE HONEST DISCOURSE. I AM SO ASHAMED THAT MY FELLOW CITIZENS ARE ABUSED BY SUCH GARBAGE THAT MUCH LIKE THE NARROWLY PRE SCRIPTED FAKE DEBATES, LEAVE OUT THE ISSUES THAT 95% OF USA VOTERS IN POLL AFTER POLL STATE ARE OUR CONSENSUS OF CONCERNS. USA POLITICAL ELECTIONS HAVE DEVOLVED INTO CRASS LOONEY TUNES FOR LIARS, ROBBERS AND KILLERS WHO ARE TERRORIZING THE WORLD’S CITIZENS WITH ECONOMIC WARS,ENVIRONMENTAL WARS, ENERGY WARS, EDUCATION WARS, AND ELECTRIC POLLUTION WARS UPON THE COMMON GOOD AND WILL OF HUMANITY AND ALL LIVING THINGS!!!

    T.V. AGENCIES ARE FULLY GUILTY OF EXCEEDINGLY GREEDY MOTIVES AND MAKING TRUTH A RARE AND DISRESPECTED, AS NO PRUDENT REVIEW OF SUPER PAC ADS WRITTEN BY THUGS AND CRIMINALS CAPITALISTS FROM HELL!!!

  • Meaghan Simpson

    TIME FOR A CLEANSING OF THE POLITICOS AT WAR ON THEIR OWN CITIZENS. THEY ARE TOTALLY UNFIT FOR PUBLIC SERVICE AND AT ODDS IN CONFLICT WITH 99% OF THE PEOPLE. WAR OF WACKOS WORLD’S MOST AWFUL CRUEL HEARTLESS MONSTERS.

  • Victor Biggs

    While I’m in complete sympathy, telling these (a suitable name escapes me) what you think of them will accomplish nothing. They don’t care, they might even be amused. Attention should be focused on legislation overturning Citizens United

  • Bruss

    I guarantee you, much of your audience is puzzling, HOW WILL THIS HELP ANYTHING?

    BURIED in your website is an implied goal to “create momentum to usher in long term change down the line.”

    So your real goal is to raise popular awareness and passion for the issue. YOU NEED TO SAY SO UP FRONT, as otherwise this exercise appears really, really irrelevant.

  • I saw a program about super pacs and how the Supreme Court pretty much gave them free reign to blanket every house hold with mailers full of doom and gloom just as long as (wink wink, nudge, nod) they don’t support a specific CANDIDATE.Horse feathers! You know who they support by the content in the mailings. Living in OH I get 5 to 6 of them every single day. No one, especially people outside of the state, should be able to steer the election to any candidate or issue. Almost every reasonable Republican has been hounded out of office by the rabid, far right leaving no alternative party.

  • Thank you Bruss and Victor for your feedback. Our tagline for the action is to ‘be a wrench in the gears of odious Super PACs.’ The goal for the day of action wasn’t to completely halt Super PACs forever, but to build our community’s capacity to take action and stand up to Super PACs so that we can begin to build power in the long term effort to fully reclaim and protect real democracy. These changes will take years, but in the meantime at least voters in 2012 can say, ‘We did *something* to say no!’
    In the detailed “Why Stick It To Super PACs’ blog post at the bottom of every webpage, more detail on the theory of change is listed which explains the goals and objectives for this action. Thousands of people took action, so we feel confident that these participants understood the goal and scope, but I took your advice and added clarity to our webpages. Hope that helps. Thanks again.

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