Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) on July 7 joined Congressman Walter Jones (R- North Carolina) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) as lead plaintiffs in filing a complaint before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) seeking to end super PAC contributions.
The filing aims to reverse the 2010 federal appeals court ruling in SpeechNow.org v. FEC, which cleared the way for the unlimited super PACs that currently exist. The lower court ruling – and not the Supreme Court – made unlimited super PAC contributions possible. The FEC complaint alleges that super PACS have now become ways for wealthy donors to evade campaign contribution limits aimed at preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption.
“I am honored to join my colleagues and Free Speech for People as one of the lead plaintiffs to compel the Federal Election Commission to enforce federal contribution limits on super PACs,” Lieu said. “It is time to get big money out of politics. Since the Speechnow.org v. Federal Election Commission decision, the amount of money spent on our elections has exploded, adding to the public perception of election corruption. Americans across the political spectrum want to see their elected officials responsive to them instead of [to] the ultra-wealthy.”
A recent investigation revealed that over 40 percent of super PAC contributions in the U.S. came from only 50 people and their relatives.
“The idea that the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent can essentially buy an election is a threat to our democracy,” Lieu added. “We are not an oligarchy. Progress happens when people stand up and demand a change. The vast majority of the American people want to see limits to campaign contributions. It is time we address these inequities and advocate for change to our campaign finance system.”
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