Tuesday saw the Republican presidential primary in Michigan come down to the wire, with the final push to the finish line determining the undisputed winners, which were  . . . the funders of Mitt Romney’s SuperPAC, easily the top spender in the state, and other high-powered donors (some of them unknown). Most of that spending, of course, was on negative ads.

Just as with Florida (which saw the worst of it) and other competitive primary states before, the people of Michigan are now cleaning off a heavy dose of slime– one enabled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission and paid for by super-rich CEOs and, increasingly, corporations.

This spending and slime, of course, has nothing to do with backers’ substantial congressional lobbying expenditures, a connection that led our own campaign-finance guru Craig Holman to observe that “Citizens United has elevated lobbying entities to kingmaker status.” (Oh, and as for the cottage industry that has sprung up denying that the Citizens United ruling has anything to do with this mess, see useful correctives from the Sunlight Foundation and from election-law scholar Rick Hasen.)

Now that primaries in Iowa, South Carolina and other early primary states are over, it’s onward to next week’s “Super Tuesday” primaries in states like Georgia and beyond, with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson making another “substantial donation” to the pro-Newt-Gingrich “Winning Our Future” Super PAC and those bankrolling other candidates following suit. Super PACs are also playing a growing role in congressional races, so as depressing as it is to note, this upcoming Tuesday is really only the beginning of a long election season.

In fact, you just might as well call this coming series of primaries “Super PAC Tuesday” given the dominant role they’ve come to play. So that’s what we’re going to do, using social media to amplify and harness Americans’ disgust with the auctioning and debasement of our democracy.

Starting today and through Tuesday, Public Citizen, our Democracy Is For People campaign (Twitter: @RuleByUs), and allied organizations, elected officials and citizen activists will be tweeting about ongoing money-in-politics news with the hashtag #SuperPACTuesday.


And beyond Tuesday, we’ll be using the hash #Democracy4Sale to spread the word about the devastating effects of unlimited, unregulated corporate campaign spending, as well as ongoing efforts for fundamental reforms—including important interim steps like the DISCLOSE Act and shareholder transparency, as well as the growing movement for a constitutional amendment that overturns Citizens United and related decisions.

Efforts to highlight and combat political spending are picking up steam. Last week, strong pro-disclosure remarks by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Luis Aguilar channeled the public’s common sense and frustration. And on #SuperPACTuesday, which is also Town Meeting Day in Vermont, citizens in fifty towns across that state will be standing up to declare that “Democracy is NOT for Sale” by passing resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United. (And here at Public Citizen, we’re gearing up to dramatically build on that support, and on previous movement successes in over 30 cities like New York City and Los Angeles.)

As campaign season heats up, and the eyes of more and more people are focused on the money-fueled circus that our elections are becoming, social media will be a key outlet for exposing excessive corporate influence and building support for solutions. Americans across the political spectrum are fundamentally appalled at what Citizens United has wrought. It’s time to turn that private distaste into the kind of public outcry capable of reclaiming our democracy.

Rachel Lewis is @Public_Citizen’s New Media Strategy and Outreach Coordinator. Sean Siperstein is a Legal Fellow with Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign. Follow the campaign on Twitter @RuleByUs for the latest on the money and politics and the campaign for a constitutional amendment!

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Comments

  • Our democracy has already been bought-and bought a number of times. Citizens United is just the inevitable attempt to remediate McCain-Feingold’s restrictions. When a corporation decides how to spend it’s money, return on investment is critical, and obviously Citizens United provides a significant return for those investing or they wouldn’t do it because, in Free Markets, losers are gone and these billionaire political sugar daddies haven’t acquired the habit of losing.
    Besides, that’s what Supreme Courts are for, to validate intent.

  • Charles

    With all that i’ve seen & heard from OUR Elected Officials & ones running for Election,I’ve concluded We ALL were sold out to the Highest Bidders like a SLAVE TRADE.OUR Country has lost it’s way in Justice & Future Growth of a Nation.Depressing to know that People have died for a Country that has become so Corrupt for Greed for Power & Money that it would sell it’s own People.We MUST change this direction from the Top Up to Bottom Down.We ALL are People of this Earth,World & Planet.WE NEED the CHANGE & We NEED It NOW !!!

  • [...] kudos to all the big spenders making this Super Tuesday worthy of the hashtag, #SuperPACTuesday. Follow @RuleByUs for more on our campaign to put a light on Super PAC [...]

  • Gary Strawley

    How much of the gop and the tea super pac’s money comes from china???

  • Gary Strawley

    IT’S A CORPORATOCRACY= THE corporations RULE!!!!
    BOTH THE gop AND THE tea are helping the war from the rich on the MIDDLE CLASS and the POOR!After all they need to get the rich more tax cuts WAKE UP! Please do not vote against
    YOUR OWN FAMILY’S THE MIDDLE CLASS WILL BE GONE IF THEY GET THERE WAY,WHAT THEY ARE AFTER IS CHEAP LABOR! THATS IS WHY THEY ARE AGAINST EDUCATION!!!!!

  • Gary Strawley

    The supreme court judges, voted for the biggest night mare of our for fathers! Lets allow more money so people can try to buy the elections!! Why would the sumpreme court do that??????? that???????? Why that was most important part of there JOB!!!

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