Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Was the US Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which allows for unlimited political contributions on the grounds of free speech, good for America?
Virgil Goode, US Representative (R-VA), stated the following in an interview with Tim Murphy, published Oct. 1, 2012, "Why This Man Won't Be the Next Nader," available at www.motherjones.com:
"You shouldn't have political action committees... I think a constitutional amendment on that [overturning the Citizens United ruling] would pass even though you'd have a lot of heavy hitters on both sides objecting to it." Oct. 1, 2012 Virgil Goode
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Joe Hunter, in a Oct. 9, 2012 email to ProCon.org:
"Yes. Limits on political contributions have never fulfilled their intended purposes, and never will. I believe that contributions are, indeed, speech, and that transparency and full disclosure allow voters and the public to make their own decisions as to the propriety of a candidate's sources of funding." Oct. 9, 2012 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following during his Jan. 10, 2010, "Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address," available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections. I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems." Jan. 10, 2010 Barack Obama
[Editor's Note: In additon to the above Con statement, Barack Obama made the following Con response on Aug. 29, 2012 during an online question and answer session on Reddit, available at www.redditt.com:
"Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."]
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following during a Nov. 3, 2011 interview with the Portsmouth Herald, "Romney Speaks on Supreme Court Justices," available at YouTube.com:
"Let's take the decision that the [Supreme] court had that said that corporations could make political contributions [Citizens United]. I'm not wild about the idea of corporations making political contributions... as a concept, but I think the court was saying, 'wait a second, here is what the law says, here is what the constitution says, if you don't like that you'd better change those things,' but you can't say that some corporations, unions for instance, can make political contributions, but other corporations can't, I think their decision was a correct decision. I support their decision.
I wish we could find a way to get money out of politics. I have not found out a way to do that. I think the best way, by the way, is to let people make whatever contributions they want and have it instantly reported and know what conflicts exist, so we know where the money is coming from. I think the current system on campaign finance reform is a mess." Nov. 3, 2011 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, provides the following statement on her campaign website page "Where We Stand on the Issues," available at www.jillstein.org (accessed Oct. 9, 2012):
"Reverse the Citizens United ruling to revoke corporate personhood, and amend our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech." Oct. 9, 2012 Jill Stein