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Public Citizen is under attack from Trumpian extremists, and I want to make sure you know about it.
Thanks for taking a look.
Public Citizen has been attacked by a far-right entity associated with Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff and one of the MAGA operatives charged in Georgia for conspiring to carry out Trump’s attempted coup.
Please stick with me for more about this attack.
- The Supreme Court’s absurd and anti-democratic Citizens United ruling in 2010 has allowed corporations to spend literally as much as they want bankrolling political candidates and distorting our elections.
- In response, Public Citizen launched a nationwide campaign for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
- We also brought together a broad network of local and national organizations to push government agencies, corporations themselves, and shareholders for disclosure of corporate political spending.
- That network — which Public Citizen leads to this day — is called the Corporate Reform Coalition.
Here’s where Mark Meadows comes in.
Meadows — amidst being one of Donald Trump’s chief lackeys and sorting through legal difficulties arising from the plot to overthrow the 2020 election — has found time to be part of a far-right outfit that has sponsored an array of reactionary enterprises in Washington, D.C.
One of those extremist entities is the American Accountability Foundation (AAF), which claims to be “the one new conservative organization the Left fears most.”
Just to give you a taste of how the AAF spends its time, after President Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, the group loudly repeated a Republican lie that she had called the judicial system “unfair” to sexual predators.
The Meadows-backed AAF also went after Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin — who had been nominated for a position within the Federal Reserve, and who has the temerity to think that fossil fuel companies have something to do with climate change — for missing a paperwork deadline when they were reeling from their son’s suicide just two weeks earlier.
And now the Mark Meadows-backed American Accountability Foundation has attacked Public Citizen through the Corporate Reform Coalition that we lead.
The Meadows-linked AAF has just issued a 79-page screed that denounces the Public Citizen-led Corporate Reform Coalition as a “motley crew” that is “ideologically motivated to suppress the speech of conservatives.”
- But it is not a violation of anyone’s “free speech” rights to want to know how much billionaires and Big Business are spending to essentially buy politicians — Republicans AND Democrats — and to overrun our democracy.
- In fact, the Supreme Court justified its travesty of a ruling in Citizens United in part by alleging that the way to address concerns about corporate money in politics is requiring disclosure of that spending.
- The Court’s majority seemed to think that existing law required disclosure of corporate political spending. That was wrong. And Public Citizen has been working to mandate disclosure of corporate political spending ever since.
Of course, Public Citizen is not intimidated by — or afraid of a fight with — Donald Trump, MAGA zealots like Mark Meadows, or obscurely named right-wing front groups.
But it does take real-world financial resources to stand up to these Trumpist forces.
And — for that matter — to do the important, substantive work that gets under their (thin) skin in the first place. (Not that that’s why we do it.)
So I’m asking:
Please donate today to help Public Citizen continue fighting corporate power and standing up to the extremist MAGA mob that always seems to be coming for us.
If donating today is not a good fit, that’s okay.
Either way, I hope you appreciate knowing a little more about the work you and Public Citizen are doing together and about those who don’t like that we’re doing it.
Thank you for being part of this shared project called Public Citizen.
- Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen