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Rep. Nolan Wants To Reverse "Citizens United" Decision, Add Transparency

Add Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan to the growing list of lawmakers trying to reverse a US Supreme Court decision that unleashed corporate spending in politics. The "Citizens United" decision turned three years old this month and says that money is speech, corporations are people and therefore, under the First Amendment, the government can't stop corporations from spending money on politics pretty much however they choose.

The ruling anticipated that congress would require disclosure of where the "dark money" raised from individuals and corporations came from and was spent on. But so far legislation to do so has been filibustered by Republicans in the Senate.

Nolan, a Democrat, campaigned on the issue and told supporters in Duluth Friday that he plans to introduce a package of legislation to "reverse" Citizens United, take the big money out of politics and provide more public financing of campaigns.

Nolan's election in November sent him back to congress for the first time in decades and he's been shocked by the differences between how things used to be and now.

"Way too many are spending way too much time raising the millions of dollars that they need to be successful in politics," Nolan told the crowd. "And so you hear this expression time and time and again, the problem with Washington is everybody is campaigning and nobody is governing. Well, it's literally true."

With Republican control in the US House, passage of legislation that reverses the effects of Citizens United faces long odds. So Nolan is also advocating for disclosure "something we can do right now is provide for transparency so at a minimum we know where the heck all this money is coming from and where it's going and what it's intending to do."

Transcript:
The problem is, as I mentioned, way too many are spending way too much time raising the millions of dollars that they need to be successful in politics. And so you hear this expression time and time and again, the problem with Washington is everybody is campaigning and nobody is governing. Well, it's literally true. So the first package of legislation that I intend to introduce is the legislative package to change the way we do politics starting by reversing Citizens United and taking this money out of politics. (applause)

In the mean time, till we get that done, something we can do right now is provide for transparency so at a minimum we know where the heck all this money is coming from and where it's going and what it's intending to do.

And thirdly, will provide for a package to public funding for campaigns and elections so that Representatives are beholding to the public and not most well-financed special interests.
(applause)

Because I believe with all my heart, and I've seen how it worked in the past, I see how it's not working today, and until we change the way we do politics, we're not going to be fully ready to get this country back on track and in keeping with the great spirit of the American people and the great American dream that has made this country a model emulated by the world over.

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