Citizens United

Citizens United

Sounds like a wonderful thing, doesn’t it? It’s created more divisions among people than can be counted. What is it?  A PAC formed to produce propaganda, which became a Free Speech lawsuit upheld by a Supreme Court decision in 2010 and made way for “Dark Money”, or anonymous campaign contributions and effectively unlimited corporate donations.

SUMMARY OF CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION March 2, 2010 2010-R-0124

Court decision opens floodgates for corporate cash Politico 01/21/2010
Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” by Jane Mayer  Presents the Issues and History of the Koch Brothers

Wikipedia: “The Political Action Committee (PAC) Citizens United was founded in 1988 by Floyd Brown, a longtime Washington political consultant, with major funding from the Koch family (industrialists who own “the second largest privately owned company in the United States”). The group promotes corporate interests, socially conservative causes and candidates who advance their mission.

President David Bossie, Catholic and Lenin-loving Steve Bannon, and Bannon’s propaganda producer, and Lawrence Kadish, wealthy real estate investor and founding Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, whose Victory Film Group pushes Tweets that work with Breitbart News Anti-Muslim stories. Funded by the Koch Brothers and the Mercers.

FRIENDS: Kellyanne Conway, Newt Gingrich, Michael Reagan, nationally syndicated radio show host and chairman of Citizens United’s Faith and Family Project. The Mercers funded Citizens United in later years.

FOES: Obama, Clinton, John McCain, NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

A Closer Look at Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon from Wall Street on Parade: “Three of the men associated with Citizens United, the right-wing organization that took the legal case to the U.S. Supreme Court that ushered in today’s unprecedented era of unlimited corporate money in U.S. elections, took key posts in the Donald Trump campaign beginning this past summer.

One of the men, Stephen K. Bannon, has been named by President-elect Trump to be his Senior Counselor and Chief Strategist in the White House. While Bannon is widely cited for his executive role at Breitbart News prior to joining the Trump campaign, he is also the long-tenured, right-wing filmmaker for the Citizens United organization. A number of the films made by Bannon list Lawrence Kadish as Executive Producer and Victory Film Group as an affiliated entity involved in the documentaries.

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the Citizens United Case in 2010, David N. Bossie, then President of Citizens United (who also joined the Trump campaign this year) had this to say about Lawrence Kadish:

“First and foremost, I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kadish who have been incredibly generous from the very first day of this process. We would never have been able to reach the Supreme Court without their support. I also need to thank the thousands of donors who exercised their right to free speech to support Citizens United and this defense of the First Amendment.”

What the Citizens United decision effectively did was to drown out the voice of millions of average Americans while hedge fund titans and Wall Street billionaires can now individually contribute over $3 million, $5 million, $7 million and more to Super PACs supporting pro-corporate candidates.

Kadish is a wealthy real estate investor and founding Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He has prominently backed a series of neoconservative pro-Israel groups. Kadish’s full-throttle support for Israel and his involvement in numerous Bannon films for Citizens United, suggest that the heavily distributed rumors of Bannon being anti-Semitic are peculiar charges at best.

The Victory Film Group that is associated with the Bannon/Kadish movies has a Twitter page that plants the seeds of distrust of Muslims and appears to be a form of co-branding with Breitbart News, frequently promoting news stories on the Breitbart web site. One reTweet reads: “Judge Who Ended Interrogation Of Boston Bomber Has Ties To Muslim Brotherhood.” Another reTweet states: “57 Million New Immigrants to Enter America.”

 

Positions and advocacy

Citizens United is known for its support of conservatives in politics. The group produced a television advertisement that reveals several legislative actions taken by John McCain, which aired on Fox News Channel.[5]

On October 2, 2006, in reaction to revelations of a cover-up of inappropriate communications between Republican Congressman Mark Foley and United States House of Representatives Page, Citizens United president David Bossie called on Dennis Hastert to resign over his role in covering up the scandal.[6]

The group sued New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over Schneiderman’s demand that it disclose all its donors. Citizens United lost the case.[7]

Citizens United campaigned against Michael Moore‘s 2004 film Fahrenheit 9/11, advocating for government limits on how much advertising the film received.[8] It simultaneously made advertisements attacking the film,[9] and produced a film called Celsius 41.11, meant to counter Moore’s film.[10]

Citizens United’s best known campaign centered around a documentary film it produced that was highly critical of Hillary Clinton.[11] It has also produced and screened advertisements attacking other Democrats, including Bill Clinton,[8] John Kerry,[12] and Al Gore.[11] In the 1988 US presidential election, Citizens United ran an ad that used Willie Horton to attack Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. The ad was described as racist by commentators such as Mother Jones.[11]

The group has produced a film criticizing the United Nations.[10]

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 558 U.S. 310 (2010) is a landmark U.S. constitutional law and corporate law case dealing with regulation of campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on January 21, 2010 that freedom of speech prohibits government from restricting independent political expenditures by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.[2][3]

In the case, the conservative non-profit organization Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts shortly before the 2008 Democratic primary election in which Clinton was running for U.S. President. This would violate a federal statute prohibiting certain electioneering communications near an election. The court found the provisions of the law that prohibited corporations and unions from making such electioneering communications to conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

However, the court upheld requirements for public disclosure by sponsors of advertisements. The case did not affect the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties.

The decision was highly controversial when announced and remains a subject of much discussion today.[4]

Citizens United and the Trump Administration

In 2016 the Donald Trump presidential campaign enlisted Citizens United president David Bossie as deputy campaign manager.[13] During the campaign, Bossie made regular television appearances on behalf of the Trump campaign.[14] Bossie is a close friend and longtime acquaintance of Trump administration officials Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway,[15] having introduced Bannon to Trump in 2011.[16]

Citizens United Productions

Citizens United Productions, headed by president David Bossie, has released 25 feature-length documentaries. The following is a list of films produced by Citizens United Productions.