Former U.S. senator Jack Danforth says that the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United campaign spending decision “should not stand” but that overturning the ruling in the court will be difficult.
In remarks prepared for delivery Thursday at the Truman Library in Independence, the Missouri Republican says the decision — which broadly prohibits the government from limiting the free-speech rights of corporations — has harmed American politics.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United undermines our republican form of government,” Danforth’s speech says.
Danforth says overcoming the effects of the ruling should involve reforming campaign finance rules, but he offers no specifics on how that might be accomplished.
His other suggestions, also part of the speech, include asking television stations to offer longer airtime for issue and candidate discussions and for ordinary citizens to become more involved in politics.
“Many of us ask ourselves why politicians act the way they do. Why do they duck issues? Why the personal attacks?” Danforth’s speech asks. “The answer is that they behave this way because it works.”
Danforth will receive the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award on Thursday.