DNC Chairman Tim Kaine Says Supreme Court Ruling on Campaign Finance Undermines Free and Fair Elections and Democracy - Must Not be Allowed to Stand

Jan 21, 2010, 16:37 ET from Democratic National Committee

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Democratic National Committee Chairman (DNC) Tim Kaine released the following statement after the Supreme Court's decision on the Citizens United campaign finance case today:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/DNCLOGO)

"The Supreme Court's ruling today will allow the money of corporate interests to flood the political process, will undermine free and fair elections and further erode voters' confidence in our system of Democracy. It is a major victory for oil companies, banks, health insurance companies and other special interests that already use their power over Washington to drown out the voices of regular Americans.

"As we said in our amicus brief on this case, restrictions on corporate influence over elections are necessary if we are to have a system that allows actual voters and candidates to be heard and if we are to encourage the record number of small donors who participated in the 2008 election to remain involved. This ruling changes the rules just as more small donors are beginning to play a greater role in the political process.

"Voters are angry and anxious because they believe the system is tilted against them and instead is designed to benefit the special interests. The concerns of voters are well founded - as we have seen over and over again how armies of corporate lobbyists descend on Capitol Hill to fight everything from health care and financial regulatory reform to efforts to lower energy costs and reverse the effects of global climate change. This ruling undermines the free speech rights of citizens whose views will be drowned out by wealthy corporate interests whose aim will not just be to influence which candidates get elected - but how they vote once they are in office.

"Not surprisingly, Republicans have hailed this decision -- the same Republicans who have stood with corporate America year after year to block any measure that would benefit Middle Class Americans at the expense of the corporate bottom line. Republicans are tone deaf if they believe that the anger and disgust that voters have right now towards our political system is not borne in large part out of their rightful belief that the corporate special interests have too much sway over elected officials and public policy. On this, Republicans are again taking the side of the special interests over the people's interests.

"President Obama has said that his Administration will immediately work with Congress to develop a forceful response to this decision which, in the public interest, simply must not be allowed to stand."

SOURCE Democratic National Committee