Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's a meaningless amount of money to him...


“It’s a meaningless amount of money to him.”

That’s how someone who knows Sheldon Adelson characterized the amount of money the billionaire casino magnate may spend manipulating this fall’s elections.

How much is “meaningless”?

Just $100 million — you know, pocket change.

Let’s try to put this in perspective.

During the first quarter of this year, Adelson’s company, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, raked in profits of $100 million every 19 days.

If a family with the median American household net worth of $66,740 (for 2010) committed the same proportion of its income as Adelson to a political candidate, that amount would be $268.

By signing a few checks, Sheldon Adelson could decide our next president for — relatively speaking — what you might spend on a new cell phone.

This is why Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ridiculous ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is so important. Read on for an update on the latest progress and exciting next steps in our campaign for a constitutional amendment to preserve democracy for We the People.

Here’s just some of the good work Public Citizen is getting done of late:
  • Resolutions Week, the nationwide days of action we coordinated, saw events held from coast to coast, in cities and towns such as Bellingham, Washington; Huntsville, Alabama; Irvine, California; Providence, Rhode Island; and Wichita, Kansas.
  • So far, at least 250 local resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment have passed — with the rate ticking up to almost one a day since we launched our local resolutions campaign in early March.
  • More than 85 national organizations have joined the call for a constitutional amendment, 17 of which partnered with us to help make Resolutions Week such a success.
  • Well over 100 members of Congress have backed a constitutional amendment, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. President Barack Obama also has voiced support for a constitutional amendment.
  • Public Citizen and our partners are gaining substantial ground in efforts to pass statewide resolutions in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina. This follows resolutions we and allies already have helped pass in Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont.
And here’s what’s on tap for the campaign in the coming weeks and months:
  • We’re gearing up to take our case to Congress. Millions have spoken out in favor of an amendment, and lawmakers are listening. We’ll be helping to organize rallies, meetings and other events where people can directly engage their members of Congress, as well as other lawmakers, to make sure our public officials know that saving democracy from a corporate takeover is job one.
  • Although Resolutions Week has come and gone, dozens of resolutions are poised for passage over the summer, and resolution efforts in other towns are just getting started. Whether it’s for a city council resolution or a local ballot initiative, we’ll continue working with activists across the country to build the foundation for an even bigger movement.
  • State lawmakers are getting the message — speaking out against the Citizens United ruling is something the public is expecting form local officials. We’ll be working with activists and allies to build networks capable of getting resolutions and other measures passed at the state level through the remainder of 2012 and into 2013.
Public Citizen was loudly and proudly calling for an amendment within moments of the Supreme Court issuing its disastrous decision on that fateful day back in January of 2010.

At that time, more people than not thought we were being foolish or naïve.

But now the threat of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is mainstream news, and millions have joined the movement for a constitutional amendment — a movement that simply wouldn’t look the same without Public Citizen.

And with the very future of our nation on the line, we will do nothing less than everything we can to continue building that movement and winning back democracy for We the People.

Stay tuned.

photograph of Robert Weissman
Robert Weissman's signature
Robert Weissman
President, Public Citize

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As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.