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Jack Danforth says the Citizens United campaign spending decision ‘should not stand’

Former U.S. senator Jack Danforth, who earlier this year delivered the eulogy for Tom Schweich, will talk about the harm caused by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in a speech Thursday at the Truman Library.
Former U.S. senator Jack Danforth, who earlier this year delivered the eulogy for Tom Schweich, will talk about the harm caused by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in a speech Thursday at the Truman Library. The Associated Press

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.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to dhelling@kcstar.com.

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