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Business Leaders Call On Senate to Approve Campaign Finance Amendment

For Immediate Release: 
September 8, 2014
Contact Info
Bob Keener

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 8, 2014)—The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) called on the Senate to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United decision. The Senate is set today to take up debate on S.J.Res 19, the Democracy for All amendment. That debate could continue through the rest of the week.

“The Senate has a prime opportunity to undo the damage caused by the Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision,” said David Levine, CEO and Co-founder of ASBC. “Business owners who think sustainably want to invest in their companies and don’t want government policies they support to be undermined by big corporations using their deep pockets to influence elections. The Citizens United decision distorts the policy making process resulting in policies that undermine the creation of a sustainable economy. It’s time for the Senate to stand with the majority of American businesses, and the majority of Americans, and support this amendment.”

Also commenting on the proposed amendment was Frank Knapp, CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. Said Knapp, “We believe that sustainable business leaders have a valuable role to play in making policy, and we absolutely support having interested parties speak out on the issues facing our economy. However, allowing outside actors to flood the system with money destroys confidence in our political system, and puts forward-thinking businesses at a disadvantage. This is wrong and it has to stop.”

The proposed amendment would give Congress the power to set limits on campaign spending and contributions, both by candidates for federal office and outside groups. It would also allow Congress to block artificial entities like corporations from spending money to influence elections.

A 2012 poll released by ASBC found that two-thirds of small business owners said that the Citizens United decision was bad for small businesses, compared to nine percent who approved of it. Close to 90 percent of those small business owners had a negative view of the role money plays in politics.

The American Sustainable Business Council represents member organizations that span more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council informs policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy.