September 5, 2014
The 2014 election is still a few months away, and we hope you’re planning to vote. But in early September, there’s something even more important you can do that could change the path of American politics. On September 8th, Congress is scheduled to vote on creating a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to get big money out of politics, overturn Citizens United, and return democracy to the people. Millions of ordinary Americans have been pushing for the “Democracy for All” amendment for years - and now it has a real chance of passing the U.S. Senate. Your voice is critical to making this important reform happen!
But before we go into more detail, let’s back up for a minute. Why does Ben & Jerry’s care about this issue?
Well, at Ben & Jerry’s, we know a thing or two about dough. While it works well in ice cream, too much dough is a real problem in politics. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 gave corporations the ability to spend limitless sums of money to influence our elections. Hey, we’re a corporation, but we think that’s a terrible idea! Isn’t democracy for people?
In the 2012 election, $6.2 billion were contributed and spent in federal elections alone.
After the Citizens United decision, more and more of this money has been coming from so-called ‘outside groups,’ including SuperPACs. Individuals and corporations can now support candidates through SuperPACs without any limit whatsoever!
In 2014, the Supreme Court made the problem of big money in politics worse. In its McCutcheon ruling, it INCREASED the total amount of money wealthy donors could give in each election cycle from $123,000 to somewhere around $3.5 million. Most of us don’t have that kind of money lying around.
So it’s likely candidates will come to rely even more heavily on a tiny number of wealthy individuals and special interests for campaign funding, which has already been a threat to our democracy. Check out this chart below:
That brings us back to the opportunity we have to urge Congress to do the right thing and overturn these disastrous Supreme Court decisions. The U.S. Senate will take a vote on a 28th Amendment to the Constitution, the “Democracy for All” Amendment, on September 8th. This amendment will make clear that Congress has the power to limit spending in U.S. elections in order to protect the idea that democracy is for people. Now is the time to tell your Senator that you want to get the dough out of politics!
Tell your Senator to support the 28th amendment here, and restore democracy to the people! Act now!