Van Hollen and Castle Announce Bipartisan Agreement in Response to Citizens United Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE) announced that they have reached a bipartisan agreement on a legislative response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United v. FEC, which they plan on introducing shortly. Below is their joint statement: “The Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United v. FEC overturned two decades of precedents that prohibited corporate and union expenditures in political campaigns. This decision enables larger financial interests to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens, allows foreign corporations to spend money through their domestic subsidiaries, and permits major recipients of taxpayer dollars to funnel these funds into political activities. “The bipartisan legislative response to this ruling will promote openness in government and compel disclosure of the money that is being used to finance elections. We believe the American people have the right to know who is spending money to influence our democracy. Furthermore, it will close loopholes to prevent foreign influence, as well as keep major beneficiaries of taxpayer money from financing political campaigns. “The Court’s ruling in this case demonstrates a blatant disregard for its own precedents and ignores the clear intent of Congress to reduce the influence of powerful special interests. We have an obligation to provide transparency and integrity in our political process, and we urge our colleagues to join us in supporting this important legislation.”It is no doubt that Congressman Castle is a real leader in Congress. No Child Left Behind, Campaign Finance Reform, Bailouts, the Patriot Act, the “Assault” Weapon ban, and so called embryonic stem cell research. Now he is the first Republican to sign on to undermining the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling which removed speech restrictions on pure political speech even if it comes from corporations or labor unions. Leading us seems to come natural to the Congressman. The problem is that he seems to be leading us away from the founding principles. I will keep an open mind on this one until I have more of the facts. I have a request out to see the statement put out Monday which is not on any of his websites or emails. When I get it, I will bring it to you. You will have to judge for yourself.
UPDATE: Congressman Castle gives a statement on the proposed bill. Details are still being drafted so it is unavailable a this point.