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Who are the Citizens United - Exposing Corruption in America's Political System

Updated on October 8, 2016

This book goes in-depth into how politics have corrupted America and is an eye-opening story everyone should read.

Who are the Citizens United?

According to the mission statement on the homepage for the Citizens United, the organization is a nonpartisan group dedicated to reforming the United States government so that the citizens have more control over decision making processes.

The leader of Citizens United is David Bossie, a conservative political activist. Bossie is well known for his far-right views on government and legislative policies.

The Citizens United claim to pride themselves on being vigorous defenders of the views of the people, achieving results using a "variety of tools."

Despite their claims, their "variety of tools" consist of paychecks from large corporation, Wall Street bankers, and people with close ties to lawmakers and lobbyists.

Through hard-hitting commercials, internet advertisements, and documentaries funded by members, the Citizens United tries to connect with people on issues they believe matter most to the future of the United States. The group claims to support a limited government, individual responsibility, free market economy, and traditional American values.

Ironically, the Citizens United has the exact same "mission" statement as ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Despite their claims for a limited government and a free market economy, Citizens United is notorious for supporting money in politics and pushing conservative ideals that help the rich while hurting the middle class.

Do you agree with the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Committee? (please expand in comment section)

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Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Committee

The Citizens United versus the Federal Elections Committee is a U.S. constitutional law case that brought significant attention to the organization. The case, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, dealt with the regulation of spending for political campaigns by private organizations.

The United States Supreme Court felt that under the first amendment of the constitution, the government was prohibited from stopping independent political contributions coming from not for profit groups.

The case was a follow up to the 2002 "Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act", which made it illegal for corporations and unions to use their money to fund political campaigns.

It was during the 2004 presidential campaign that the Citizens United filed a complaint against the FEC (the Federal Elections Committee) claiming that Michael Moore had violated the law prohibiting funding for political campaigns by releasing his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, a film attacking the Bush administration for the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Once the decision was made that Moore didn't violate the 2002 Reform Act, Citizens United responded with a documentary attacking Hillary Clinton. Though they claimed the film was fact based, unbiased, and non-partisan, the United States District Court of the District of Columbia ruled that the film violated the law prohibiting political campaigning on the part of a non-profit organization 30 days within an election.

Because the film was distributed by a corporate entity, the Citizens United was found guilty of violating the BCRA, and ruling that corporations and unions would be prohibited from paying for political ads made independently of candidate campaigns within 30 days of an election.

Outside of that time period however, the court’s 5 votes to 4 votes decision ruled that it was okay for corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they want to convince people to vote for or against a candidate.

The Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission helped unleash unprecedented amounts of outside spending in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, as well as future elections.

Watch Senetor Elizabeth Warren Discuss Why an Amendment Overturning Citizens United is Desperately Needed

A List of Productions Created by the Citizens United

After receiving the green light to fund campaigns as much as they saw fit, the Citizens United started releasing documentary after documentary, and television commercial after television commericial hoping to sway the opinion of the public and support politicians that Citizens United wanted in office.

Here is a list of films produced by or funded by Citizens United:

  • Rocky Mountain Heist (hosted by conservative nut Michelle Malkin)
  • Nine Days That Changed the World
  • Occupy Unmasked
  • The Hope and The Change
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Our Sacred Honor with Senator Rick Santoreum
  • The Gift of Life
  • Battle for America
  • Fire from the Heartland (Awakening the Conservative Woman)
  • America at Risk
  • Generation Zero
  • Rediscovering God in America
  • Blocking the Path to 9/11
  • HYPE: The Obama Effect
  • Hillary the Movie

(Sidenote: Just in the 2011-2012 election cycle alone, super PACs such as Citizens United, along with non-disclosing not ofr profits spent over $500 million promoting candidates they wanted in office. These numbers were compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.)

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal

Comments

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    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      3 years ago from Bridgewater

      You bring up a good point. I would love to do a piece that talked about the issue globally.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I don't live in the states, but this is a great hub exposing corruption. It is rampant everywhere and needs to be stopped.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Great expose, Kathleen. Senator Warren hit the nail on the head. What a powerful speech! I'm on her side, without a doubt.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      This is an interesting and thought-provoking article. Whilst I know little about American politics, apart from what I see on the tv, there seem to be so many parallels with the British scene.

      We have corruption, of course, we have companies who are far too powerful and we have 'back-handers' to politicians from rich individuals.

      When will we have a world free from corruption? Probably never but we can at least try to make people aware and to stop this sort of society.

      Great hub with important information.

      Ann

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