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Today, New Jersey became the ninth state to officially go on record in favor of a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and get big money out of our elections.
The passing of New Jersey’s resolution moves us one step closer towards correcting the Court’s disastrous misinterpretation of the first amendment and to ensuring that the voices of ordinary citizens aren’t drowned out by special interests.
Statement of NJPIRG Program Associate Peter Skopec on New Jersey Assembly’s Vote on A.R. 86:
We believe that in our democracy, the size of your wallet should not determine the volume of your voice. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision said that the more money you have to spend – as a wealthy individual or as a corporation –, the more influence you should have in our elections. This is undemocratic and it’s wrong, and as a member of this coalition, New Jersey PIRG strongly opposes the Citizens United ruling.
Polls show that voters across the political spectrum are upset with the effects of Citizens United. Let’s face it: We’re all annoyed with the flood of attack ads paid for by Super PACS and other outside groups, every time we turn on the TV. But what’s even worse: 70 % of Americans believe that increased Super PAC spending will lead to more corruption, according to a recent study.
Through Super PACs and shadowy “social welfare organizations,” Citizens United lets wealthy donors and corporations spend as much as they want, secretly and unaccountably, to influence our elections. Because of Citizens United, big, secret money threatens to drown out the voices of average voters once and for all.
By adopting a resolution in opposition to Citizens United, the New Jersey Assembly will send a powerful message to Congress that things have to change. Today, New Jersey is taking an important step towards fixing America’s broken campaign finance system.
 Pew Research Center, “Super PACs having negative impact, say voters aware of ‘Citizens United’ ruling.” January 17, 2012.
 Brennan Center for Justice, “Poll: Super PACs leave Americans less likely to vote.” April 24, 2012. http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/poll_super_pacs_leave_americans_less_likely_to_vote/
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