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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2019 


President Trump asks SCOTUS to block release of his tax returns; use of the death penalty is on the decline across the country; and a push to make nutrition part of the health-care debate.

2020Talks - November 14, 2019 


It's World Diabetes Day, and health care, including the high cost of insulin and other drugs, is a top issue for many voters. Plus, do early states like Iowa and New Hampshire have an outsized role in the nomination process?

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Citizens United: 5 Years of Too Much Money in Politics?

GRAPHIC: Today is the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which said in essence that money is speech and corporations are people. Many groups across the nation, including Wisconsin, are holding events today to call for the reversal or removal of that decision. (Graphic credit: Common Cause)
GRAPHIC: Today is the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which said in essence that money is speech and corporations are people. Many groups across the nation, including Wisconsin, are holding events today to call for the reversal or removal of that decision. (Graphic credit: Common Cause)
January 21, 2015

MADISON, Wis. - Five years ago today the U.S. Supreme Court, in what's become known as the "Citizens United" decision, said in essence that money is speech and corporations are people. Since then, the money floodgates have opened, leaving Wisconsin and other states awash in campaign-contribution cash.

Citing the huge influx of cash to Governor Scott Walker's campaigns, Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, says the decision has changed politics.

"Politics has become the plaything of the multi-multi-multi-multi millionaires, including on the Democratic side," says Rothschild. "It shouldn't be that. It should be a game everyone can play equally, and that's why we've got to overturn Citizens United, it was a joke of a decision."

Peter Skopec, campaign director for the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, agrees.

"Our message is that in our democracy, the size of your wallet really shouldn't determine the volume of your voice," says Skopec. "On the fifth anniversary of Citizens United we want to show there really are solutions to the problem of money in politics out there, and it's time to put those into practice."

Skopec's group along with others like "Money Out, Voters In" have organized rallies today in Madison and other capital cities protesting the Citizens United decision and calling for it to be overturned.

Supporters of the decision say there should not be limits on how much people, corporations, or groups should be able to contribute to political campaigns, but Rothschild says the people of Wisconsin don't agree.

"We've had 54 villages, towns, cities, or counties on record opposing Citizens United, in favor of a constitutional amendment by overwhelming margins," he says.

Pointing to the vast sums of cash spent by out-state interests in the Wisconsin elections for governor, Supreme Court, and even state assembly seats, Skopec says voters need more information about where the cash is coming from, not less.

"We have to have a strong Government Accountability Board instead of taking it back to a partisan-appointed board the way that some of the legislators are proposing now," says Skopec. "There are steps that can be taken at every level of government to limit the role of money in politics and that's what the people of Wisconsin want."

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI