Rita Hart calls for overturning Citizens United in virtual rally

In a virtual rally, Rita Hart, alongside End Citizens United President, Tiffany Muller, discussed her plan to repeal Citizens United and improve transparency in campaign funding.


Tian Liu

Democratic candidate Rita Hart speaks during a brunch fundraiser for Sen. Zach Wahls at the Walker Homestead on July 14, 2019.

Lauren White, Politics Reporter

Rita Hart called for an end to corporate money in politics in a virtual rally via Zoom on Thursday. 

Hart, the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, teamed up with End Citizens United President, Tiffany Muller to discuss her plan in tackling corruption by getting big money out of politics and repealing CItizens United through her recently released reform agenda. 

“This isn’t a partisan issue, 28 states, both Republican and Democrat, have passed bills that work against Citizens United,” Muller said. 

End Citizens United is an organization that aims to repeal Citizens United, a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that states the federal government cannot limit corporations from spending money to influence the outcomes of election or advocating for their interests. End Citizens united endorsed Rita Hart in September of 2019. 

Hart said that corruption in politics has made it impossible for the common voter to feel represented in government. She said she is passionate about letting all voices be heard and that it is important to listen to those who are saying there is too much money in politics.

“These ideas have come from listening to people who are disappointed and upset because of the situations that we have created due to letting too much money into politics,” Hart said. “We need working class people, people of all backgrounds, to make up our congress.”

Hart wants to mandate the disclosure of big donors to shine a light on who is giving money and where it is going as well as block foreign ad buyers. 

Muller said that overturning a supreme court decision is difficult, but possible. She said that the Senate should prioritize corruption issues and reform the campaign finance system. 

Republican candidate Marienette Miller-Meeks’ campaign spokesperson, Eric Woolson, said that the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have a right to free speech and to advocate for their interests. 

“Citizens United isn’t just about big corporations, it protects the rights of small corporations, the very kinds of small businesses in the 2nd District, and nonprofits,” Woolson said. 

Miller Meeks has not received any donations from corporate PACs in this cycle, but in 2014 she received a $2,500 donation from the McDonald’s PAC.

Much of the rally centered on getting dark money, undisclosed funds, out of politics. Before the Citizens’ United ruling, Muller said, 85 percent of all funds were transparent, but since the case ruling in 2010, that number has dropped to 50 percent. 

Muller said that the organization wants to make sure that politicians are not choosing their voters but that voters are choosing their politicians.

“People underestimate how much voters want to see the system change,” Muller said. “We need to help people feel as though their vote matters. This will make us stronger as a nation.”

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