Fact Sheet for New Hampshire
A Call for the New Hampshire Senate to Pass House Concurrent Resolution 2 calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court unleashed a flood of corporate money into our political system by ruling that, contrary to longstanding precedent, corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote or defeat candidates. The decision in this historic case – Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – overturned a century of campaign finance law and stands to deal a devastating blow to our democracy unless we act.
The impact of Citizens United and Money in Politics in New Hampshire
• In the 2012 New Hampshire gubernatorial race, outside groups spent $19 million, almost 5 times what the candidates spent themselves.
• 72% of New Hampshire residents oppose the Citizens United ruling (81% Democrats, 70% Independents, 64% Republicans). 69% of New Hampshire residents support a constitutional amendment that limits campaign contributions and spending (75% Democrats, 73 Independents, 61% Republicans).
• Over $5 million was spent on the election by outside sources in New Hampshire’s second Representative District in 2012; a stark contrast to the $124,711 spent in 2008 and more than twice as much as 2006.
• The New Hampshire House of Representatives has already passed a resolution calling for Congress to overturn Citizens United by a bipartisan vote of 189-139. Momentum is building for the resolution’s passage in the State Senate.
Americans Are Outraged by the Court’s Decision
• Nearly nine in ten Americans (88%) say that big companies have too much power in Washington D.C.
• Eight in ten respondents oppose the court’s decision in Citizens United.
• Republicans, Democrats and Independents who have heard about Citizens United believe by an almost 4-to-1 margin that the ruling is having a negative effect.
• 83% of Americans (85% of Democrats, 81% of Republicans and 78% of Independents) think there should be limits on how much money corporations can give in elections. And 90% of those with incomes over $100,000 support such limits.
• By a 5-1 margin, Americans agree that “there would be less corruption if there were limits on how much could be given to super PACs.” Only 14% disagree with this proposition. 75% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats agree.
• 66% of small business owners view the Citizens United ruling as bad for the ability of small businesses to compete. Only 9% say it is good for small business.
Since the Court’s Decision, Corporate Expenditures Have Soared
• Spending by outside groups rose 251% in 2012 over the previous presidential election cycle.
• In the 2012 election, the largest super PAC spent an astounding $142 million.
• Super PACs, which were created after an appeals court applied Citizens United, have collectively spent more than $631million during the 2012 election cycle. Overall outside spending was over $1.25 billion.
• Outside spending made a big difference in the 2010 congressional elections; outside groups backed the winners in 58 of the 74 contests in which power changed hands.
• The 2012 election was the most expensive in history, costing more than $7 billion.
Why a Constitutional Amendment
• A constitutional amendment is the long-term solution to fully reverse the court’s ruling, restore our rights and assert that democracy is for people, not corporations.
• A corporation is not a person. It does not vote and should not have such tremendous influence over elections; nor should the ultra-wealthy.
• Our elected officials cannot support the well-being of society when they fear that millions of dollars of corporate money will go to defeating them in the next election if they defy corporate interests.
Support is growing quickly for an amendment
• So far, more than 2 million people have signed petitions in support of an amendment. At least 125 members of Congress have declared their support.
• More than 100 national organizations – groups concerned about civil rights, the environment, climate change, open government and workers’ rights – have endorsed the call for a constitutional amendment (www.United4ThePeople.org).
• Twelve states - California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia - and the District of Columbia have called for an amendment; resolutions have been introduced or passed in more than 30 states.