Sanders: Koch Bros. are Exhibit A in case Against Citizens United

For immediate release
May 31, 2012

Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141
Sen. Bernie Sanders office

BURLINGTON, Vt., May 31 – A plan by the Koch brothers, a right-wing conservative family, to spend $400 million on political campaigns this year is the latest evidence of the need to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that voided campaign finance laws, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today.

Organizations related to Charles and David Koch, the billionaires who run a Kansas-based energy and manufacturing conglomerate,plan to lay out $400 million on campaigns in key states, according to a report published Wednesday byPolitico. This figure is double what the Kochs were expected to spend this year, and the sum surpasses the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire 2008 presidential campaign.

“The Koch brothers’ bid to buy elections in America speaks to the obvious need for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and subsequent rulings,” Sanders said. “In the short term, Congress must pass legislation to require disclosure of the corporations and wealthy individuals behind the ads by outside groups,” he added.

“When one wealthy family spends more money than was raised altogether by the last Republican presidential candidate, it tells us that we are no longer a country of the people, by the people and for the people. We are becoming a country of the rich, by the rich and for the rich,” he added.

Sanders cited a growing public backlash against the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Vermont and four other states have now asked Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to undo that controversial ruling.

Sanders last Dec. 8 introduced the Saving American Democracy Amendment. His proposal would restore the power of Congress and state lawmakers to enact campaign spending limits like laws that were in place for a century before the controversial court ruling.

Sanders also is a cosponsor of legislation aimed at curtailing the power of special interest groups by requiring them to disclose more information about their role in purchasing campaign advertisements. The Disclose Act would address some concerns related to the Supreme Court ruling that let corporations pour money directly into campaign ads.


Press Release


  1. Kristin Andrade :

    When are we going to formally ask our current Vermont State Legislators to break their ties to ALEC? It certainly doesn’t look good for Senator Sanders to be advocating such strong National positions when we have people right here at home openly working with ALEC and the Koch brothers.

  2. It would be interesting to know how many of our VT Legislators are involved with ALEC(American Legislative Exchange Council) Apparently, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, the Koch Brothers also are significant contributors.

  3. walter carpenter :


    I know of two: Senator Mullin and Senator Flory. I think there are a couple of representatives as well. The center for Media and Democracy has a list of all legislatives from all states who are involved with ALEC.



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