AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Citizens v. Federal Election Commission allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the outcome of elections; and

WHEREAS, independent studies are showing that these corporate amounts are now running into the millions and billions, creating a disproportionate influence on elections and political issues by corporations; and

WHEREAS, nonpartisan organizations and individuals that have studied the effects of the Citizens United ruling, such as Public Citizen, have reported that corporate expenditures in 2010 grew by 427 percent over the midterm elections of 2006, while the percentage of disclosures of donors dropped dramatically; that the "laws designed to protect the political system from the corrupting influence of money have been rendered dead in 24 states"; and that "power has shifted in dozens of congressional seats in races won with the help of undisclosed outside money," outspending candidates themselves by more than 2 to 1; and

WHEREAS, the corporate influence is so concentrated in American politics and issues that in 2010 more than half of the money spent came from a mere 10 groups, concentrating political influence in the hands of a very few, with 46.1 percent of the total being spent by outside groups that did not disclose donor names; and

WHEREAS, the failure to disclose the names of political donors keeps valuable information from voters, since the biases of donors to advertisements and other forms of influence will be kept secret during the election process and also during the development and enactment of public policy, limiting the voters' ability to determine facts from opinion; and

WHEREAS, the disproportionate influence of the few over the majority is a direct threat to our democracy, opening the political process to increased risks of corruption:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will affirm its commitment to fully disclose all political contributions; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will encourage its members and affiliates to promote and support efforts to require all forms of political action committees to publicly disclose their donors; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will support efforts to reform disclosure laws to force corporations to disclose contributions to or involvement with any political campaign or issue.