Overturning Citizens United


Sen. Al Franken, who is wonderful, has moved beyond seeking more disclosure (which the Republicans won't accept) and is now moving toward a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. He's moving his petition everywhere, and it will get a lot of traction.

But as I've mentioned, overturning Citizens United isn't that easy. It's fine to say we want to do it, and an entirely different task to write the legislation and deal with all of the First Amendment ramifications. And it still won't stop rich people from spending their own money in unlimited ways.

I don't know; maybe we have to figure out some more creative solutions. Mandate that all candidates for president and US Senate accept only public financing and match all independent expenditure spending with more public money. And then go back to the "original intent" of the US Constitution: In 1800, each member of Congress represented about 12,000 people. That would work fine today -- expand the size of the House of Representatives to guarantee that at no point does any member have to seek election from a district with more than, say, 50,000 people. That's a number you can reach without big money (see: SF district elections). Do the same for every state Legislature. Yes, more money on government -- but less money in politics. I'll take the tradeoff.