This year’s midterm election cycle is slated by the Center for Responsive Politics to become the first and only member of the $5-billion club, the costliest congressional election cycle in U.S. history. The group ranks Virginia the 6th-largest state recipient of total itemized contributions at more than $141 million, and Virginia’s 2018 receipts of over $60 million in PAC contributions rank the state No. 1.
Despite the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission Supreme Court ruling (2010) which deemed “money as speech,” a majority of Americans, more than 80 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents, support initiatives to limit corporate campaign contributions, thus bringing back power to the people.
In Alexandria, there is a movement of concerned citizens running for public office, such as Justin Wilson (mayoral candidate), Elizabeth Bennett-Parker and Mo Seifeldein, (city council), who are advocating for a constitutional amendment to ensure people — not money, not corporations or others — govern.
Several national efforts are also underway to further a constitutional amendment and enable us all to limit big money’s influence over our political system. One such group, American Promise, of which I’m a member, has recently established a Virginia chapter.
These candidates and groups join the majority of Americans in agreeing that it is time to support a U.S. amendment that secures fair, free elections by limiting the undue influence of money in politics.
Let’s vote for candidates who want to get money out of politics and bring back trust between average citizens and elected officials. We, the citizens of Virginia, should pledge to elect candidates in 2018 and 2019 who don’t take corporate PAC money. To-date, 19 states have ratified legislation supporting getting “money out of politics.” Let’s make Virginia the 20th to pass legislation to reverse Citizens United.
Nancy R Morgan