This year, the Citizens United decision turns 10 years old. To mark the occassion, eight pro-democracy groups have put together a forum to talk with four presidential candidates about getting money out of politics.
This Sunday, Jan. 19, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Gov. Deval Patrick will be at the Curate events center in the East Village of Des Moines. The event, “We the People 2020: Protecting our Democracy a Decade After Citizens United,” starts at 3 p.m. and is both free and open to the public.
“The public deserves to hear directly from the Democratic presidential candidates about their commitment to making anti-corruption reforms a top priority if they are elected,” said Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United.
“Sunday’s forum, which is a few days before the 10th anniversary of Citizens United, will give the candidates an opportunity to show voters why they’re the best person to lead that fight.”
Specifically, the candidates will talk about subjects like campaign finance reform, anti-corruption and ethics issues, voting rights, election security and the federal judicial system.
They will also discuss how they plan to address money in politics, protecting the right to vote and guaranteeing fair federal courts.
In those discussions, the candidates will address particular items like cyber security, gerrymandering, restoring the Voting Rights Act, the influence of lobbyists and how the candidates chosen to finance their campaigns.
The eight sponsoring organizations are:
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a group organizing around the issue for 45 years.
Common Cause, a nonprofit organization that works on ethics, accountability, money, gerrymandering, voting and other democracy issues.
End Citizens United Action Fund, a group that works with members to advance legislation to get money out of politics.
MoveOn Political Action, a group dedicated to electing progressive candidates.
NAACP, which works to ensure political, educational, social and economic equality to end race-based discrimination and ensure well-being for all people.
People for the American Way, a progressive advocacy group that focuses on multiple issues in order to fight right-wing extremism and get people involved in politics.
Progress Iowa, a multi-issue progressive advocacy group that promotes progressive ideas and causes through media.
Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that resists corporate power and defends democracy by confronting money in politics.
“Voters across the spectrum want a president who understands that progress on healthcare, climate, and many other issues can’t be achieved unless we change the way Washington works,” Muller said.
by Nikoel Hytrek