Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Slams 'Corrupt' Campaign Finance System

August 30, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday said that super PACs, the campaign financing schemes spawned by a disastrous Supreme Court ruling, have corrupted American politics.

"People do not like the idea that as a result of Citizens United our campaign finance system has become corrupt and politicians have become dependent on billionaires and super PACs for money," Sanders said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Sanders also was interviewed Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Sanders has actively discouraged super PAC support and instead relied on more than 400,000 donors whose average contribution to him is $31. With $15.2 million raised altogether during the quarter covered by the most recent Federal Election Commission reports, Sanders has more contributions of $200 or less than any candidate in either major party, according to an analysis of campaign finance reports for The New York Times.

Sanders raised the same issue on Friday during a speech to the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Minneapolis.

"We need a grassroots movement which tells the Koch brothers and the billionaire class that they will not be able to continue to buy candidates and elections," he said in the DNC speech." In that speech to the DNC, Sanders also pledged not to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court "unless that candidate is loud and clear saying one of the first orders of business will be to rehear and overturn Citizens United."

Super PACs were created after the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The 5-4 ruling in that 2010 case opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on campaigns by corporations and billionaires, like Charles and David Koch. The Koch brothers, who for decades invested their fossil-fuel fortune in right-wing political campaigns, have exploited the ruling by amassing a war chest with some 400 wealthy allies who will help them put $889 million into Republican campaigns this election cycle.

Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Slams 'Corrupt' Campaign Finance System Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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