Sunday Oct 14, 201210:13 PM GMT
Over 1,000 people spell out 'DUMP CITIZENS UNITED' at Ocean Beach in San Francisco
Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:14PM
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Photo by John Montgomery.

Over 1,000 Americans laid their bodies down on a San Francisco beach to spell out “DUMP CITIZENS UNITED!” With election day looming, this protest was just the latest, and possibly most spectacular yet, in a wave of popular anger at the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that opened the floodgates to secretive and unlimited corporate political contributions.


“The 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United trampled on America’s founding principles, swamped our democracy in corporate cash and needs to be overturned,” said Brad Newsham, the San Francisco cabdriver who organized the event. “Some truths are so self-evident that the Founders felt no need to mention them. Truths like, ‘Corporations are NOT People.’ ‘Money is NOT Speech.’ ‘Elections are NOT Auctions.’” continued Newsham. “But in the shadow of Citizens United, we all have to step up and protect America’s sacred principles. That’s why over a thousand of us came out today to make this beautiful, people-powered statement: ‘DUMP CITIZENS UNITED!’”


Recent non-partisan polls continue to show that the Citzens United ruling is deeply unpopular.


The event was a collaboration between Mr. Newsham and The Other 98%, a netroots community with over 400,000 members, plus a host of other pro-democracy organizations, including: Common Cause, CREDO Action, Code Pink, Courage Campaign, Free Speech For People, Move to Amend, Public Citizen, RootsAction, Ruckus Society,, and the San Francisco Green Party.


Americans oppose unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions by a 2-to-1 margin, according to poll results released in July by the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center.


Almost $465m of outside money has been spent on the US presidential election campaign so far, including $365m that can be attributed to the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling, according to a report released on Monday.


Super Pacs, which came into effect following the 2010 Citizens United verdict, accounted for $272m of the expenditure in the study, conducted by the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing transparency in government.


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