“America Deserves Better”: Newspaper Takes on Citizens United, Debate Inclusion - Open Primaries
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Posted by Jesse Shayne on August 19, 2016 at 1:50 PM

“America Deserves Better”: Newspaper Takes on Citizens United, Debate Inclusion

This article was written by Jeff Powers for the Independent Voter Network

The Editorial Board at the San Diego Union Tribune has taken to task the Clinton Foundation and by proxy, the special interests that have dominated our current political landscape.

The editorial focuses on the 2010 Citizens United decision, where a “bitterly divided Supreme Court ruled that corporations have political speech rights and shouldn’t have limits on their independent political expenditures.”

A recent article on IVN delves into this topic in-depth, looking at the impact special interest money has had on the election process and where the presidential candidates stand on Citizens United. Yet, while the issue of private money in politics is a concern for many voters, there is also the issue of how the Republican and Democratic parties are using public tax dollars to maintain control of elections.

Another article posted on IVN shows that the costs for the 2016 primaries nationwide totaled nearly half a billion dollars, more than half of which was spent on closed primary elections which, by law, exclude the very taxpayers that fund them.

The author of the Open Primaries report, Jeremy Gruber, will be on the IVN podcast next week to discuss the dominance of the two major parties. Over 26.3 million voters were locked out of closed primary elections nationwide — elections that serve the private purpose of selecting party candidates — because they were not registered to vote with the Republican or Democratic Party. Yet, closed primaries alone cost taxpayers an estimated $287 million.

When all partisan primary elections, including semi-closed and open primaries, are included in the estimate, the total cost for all private party primaries nationwide was estimated to be $427,300,168.79. And even this amount, Open Primaries believes, underestimates the complete financial impact of party primaries in the United States.

The UT Editorial Board concluded its piece by stating, “Hillary Clinton should not escape the harsh judgment her conduct deserves. America deserves much better options than these [two major party candidates].”

The board’s editorial seems to advocate that a third party candidate should be included in the presidential debates as a huge swath of voters have been left disenfranchised by the current system.


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