citizens united
Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

There is one legal challenge that could end Citizens United and much of the “dark money” in politics, but legal scholars haven’t considered this argument.

“Dark Money” refers to any donations used to influence voters or the outcome of an election. The funds might be used to promote a particular candidate or party. Money may be earmarked for propaganda against an individual or cause, or even “education.”

The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission created a Frankenstein in the form of Super Pacs. Organizations may accept unlimited contributions from corporations and individuals with few restrictions.

More troubling is that tax-exempt “dark money” organizations don’t have disclose their donors, so the public in unaware if their candidate is in someone’s pocket.

Some p Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplasholiticians like it that way.

There is one argument could challenge the Citizens United ruling.

What is Citizens United

Way back during the Reagan era fo 1988, Floyd Brown founded a conservative non-profit think tank called Citizens United.

Major funding came Charles and David Koch, billionaires from the oil and gas Industry.

One of the most important aspects the Citizens United ruling is donations to non-profit organizations are tax deductible.

Donations to a non-profit organization are unlimited.

In short, money to political causes can flow freely to any cause, any candidate, any any amount because there are no restrictions on the how much a person may give a 501(c)(4).

Citizens United Weaponized Campaign Funding

In other words, money became a weapon

This is evident by the media. When talking about a candidate, the first thing they base success on they money on hand to finance a campaign. The major political parties weigh a candidate’s fitness by their ability to fund raise.

We have lost our way

History is undefeated.

Challenging the past often results in painful lessons. Hitler’s attack on Russia in winter is proof. He learned nothing from Napoleon.

America began when the Pilgrims left England. King Henry VIII started the Anglican Church to break away from the Catholic Church. The bottom line, you were free to practice whatever religion you wanted, but your tax dollars supported the King’s Church.

This is where we get “Separation of Church and State” in our Constitution.

Citizens United is the Anglican Church of modern times. This would appall our nation’s founding fathers .

Tax dollars are used to support a political candidate or party without our consent because of Citizens United.

Now that corporations and big businesses can donate millions of dollars in virtual secret, some of the biggest donors are government contractors.

How Citizens United Steals Tax Dollars

Some of the biggest donors to political causes are government contractors. Political candidates and causes are receiving tax dollars. Contractors concealthe donations and reward the candidates.

By definition, a government contractor is one that earns tax dollars to perform a job or service.

Defense Contractors are some of the biggest donors in the political arena. They receive billions of tax dollars annually.

Contractors who donate to a Super Pac are giving your tax dollars to political candidates or causes. This occurs even if you do not support that candidate or political party.

This seems unconstitutional on its face.

Government contractors be banned from making campaign contributions, and the original source of all donations should be made public.

The Bigger Picture

The fact is, all parties get a lot of money from these sources as well. As far as corporations are concerned, it is good to have friends on both sides of the aisle. What does separate the two major parties on this issue is some elected Democrats want to repeal Citizen’s United, but not one Republican is on board.

One way to weaken the dark money in politics is to challenge the issue of allowing tax dollars to go to a political party, organization or campaign.

In the Citizens United ruling, the Supreme Court determined money was “speech.” The foundation of a legal challenge should be that tax dollars are being used to silence opposing points of view and is therefore unconstitutional.

The Citizen’s United ruling allowstax dollars to be used to infringe upon First Amendment rights of all Americans. This should be the foundation of a legal challenge.

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Gene Smith

Gene Smith is a Chief Campaign Strategist living in Arizona. He is a Juris Doctor, Democratic Campaign Strategist, Elected Precinct Committee person, and Democratic State Committee Member. Currently, Gene serves on the Environmental Caucus.

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