The Citizens United decision, giving corporations more access to political speech than everyday citizens, has forever changed the nature of political campaigning within the United States forever. As predicted, the decision did not enable freedom of speech for Americans, but instead has now allowed foreigners to have a stronger voice in US elections than citizens.
In a common report for the mis-named American Petroleum Institute (API) you will find the name of one Tofiq Al-Gabsani, an executive of the Saudi Arabian government-run oil company Aramco, serving as a director for API. In addition, most of the funding for API comes from foreign government-owned oil companies. Yet, despite the foreign-owned and operated nature of API, Citizens United has given them all free rein to influence US elections.
The law before forbade direct election influence by these kinds of organizations, but with Citizens United, the money floodgates opened. According to The Nation magazine, API spent $68 million in 2011 for public relations and advertising, using several million in directly lobbying politicians, as well as political advertisements. This money came from members, foreign government-owned oil firms and the like.
Firms like this put the name “American” in order to disguise their non-United States origin. This particular one has spent millions since Citizens United to push the agenda of foreign governments. We can expect millions more in the next election.
The Citizens United decision has now opened up a can of worms better left shut. Now a foreign government through its fully-owned subsidy can freely meddle in our national elections. They do so through front organizations for now, but this litmus test has now been passed. This frees up companies to contribute through “dark money” organizations. Now a foreign nation would have more say over our elections than our own citizenry.
This is why there is now a movement to amend the US Constitution to overturn Citizens United. If you agree that Foreign governments should not be free to meddle in our elections, sign the petition today, and make your voice heard. The Roberts Court ignored their responsibilities under the US Constitution, and must be given a lesson. The Supreme Court must be above politics.