NAACP Opposes Citizens United and Calls on the Passage of Local, State, and Federal Policies that Overturn Citizens' United and Promote Greater Transparency and Integrity in Elections
WHEREAS, on January 21, 2010, in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission the United States Supreme Court opened the door to unlimited corporate financing of elections and in so doing struck down prior deliberations on the need to regulate this kind of financing as set forth in the 1907 Tillman Act, the 1925 Federal Corrupt Practices Act, the 1943 War Labor Disputes Act, the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, the 1971 FECA, and the 2002 BCRA; and
WHEREAS, in 2001, the NAACP affirmed its position on campaign finance as a civil rights issue and in 2007 reiterated its support for public financing of House and Senate campaigns; and
WHEREAS, after Citizens United outside groups largely funded by special interest monies were reported to have spent more than three times as much money to influence the 2010 elections than they did during the previous mid-term cycle; and
WHEREAS, Citizens United allows unlimited special interest financing of elections by for-profit corporations; and
WHEREAS, the reasoning therein directly impedes upon, and for most ordinary citizens, completely thwarts their ability to elevate their interests before their elected officials; and
WHEREAS, unlimited financing of elections through special interest money coupled with non-disclosure policies has opened the floodgate of electioneering ads and other political advertisements from anonymous front groups and those ads mean to confuse voters; and
WHEREAS, an April 2012 report by the Brennan Center for Justice showed that nearly 70 percent of Americans polled believe money in politics will lead to corruption and also revealed that African American and Latino voters reported they will be less likely to vote because they believe big money donors have far more sway than the average citizen; and
WHEREAS, special interest money is being used to fund initiatives to pass or defeat legislation amounting to an attack on democracy including the expansive attack on voting rights, immigrants, workers' rights, and women; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP reaffirms its position on campaign finance matters as a civil rights issue and its support for public financing of House and Senate campaigns.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls on all units to support local, state, and federal legislative efforts that would overturn Citizens United or which encourages public financing of campaigns so as to increase the public's confidence in the integrity of the nation's elections; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP work with national partners in efforts to overturn Citizens United and educate units and the communities they serve on the impact of special interest money in elections through education efforts that enable units to better understand the long term impact of special interest money on elections and thereby, minority voters' ability to fully participate in the democratic process.