The surprisingly popular presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, slammed campaign finance in the United States and called the oft-criticized Supreme Court decision in Citizens United "a national disgrace.”
“Elections should be determined by who has the best ideas, not who can hustle the most money from the rich and powerful,” Sanders said in a statement on June 30. “Unless we end this disastrous campaign finance system, our government will continue to represent the interests of the few at the expense of the many.”
For those unaware, the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down the limits on third-part campaign spending, meaning businesses and organizations could spend an unlimited amount of money on campaigns and candidates because it’s considered protected speech under the First Amendment.
Sanders supports a constitutional amendment to reverse the ruling. He called it “a national disgrace that billionaires and other extremely wealthy people are able to heavily influence the political process,” The Hill reported.
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Sanders added: “The Koch brothers alone will spend more than the Democratic and Republican parties to influence the outcome of next year’s elections. That's not democracy, that's oligarchy.”
For his part, Sanders has practiced what he preaches. He has raised $8 million from donations solicited solely through his website, Politico reported. Sanders has also refused to have a super Political Action Committee (PAC), which is frequently used to raise huge amounts of money for candidates.