Bill Maher pushes for Congress to kill ‘Citizens United’ through publicly funded elections
Although his HBO show Real Time is on hiatus until August, Bill Maher took to the show’s blog on Monday to offer some thoughts on the Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates for so-called “dark money” in the U.S. election process.
“A recent New York Times poll shows that almost everybody hates Citizens United,” wrote Maher, “that 46 percent want to ‘completely rebuild’ our campaign finance system and another 39 percent want to ‘fundamentally change’ it. How come there’s no apparent clamoring for complete public financing of campaigns? Isn’t it the only thing we can do at this point?”
He went on, “For politicians, I don’t think the bar should be calling for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United. The bar should be calling for complete public financing.”
Maher suggested using the “taxing power” of the Constitution to raise funds for these elections, saying that taking the private money out of elections would be “the greatest investment this country ever made.”
“Our elected officials wouldn’t be beholden to individual sugar daddies and lobbyists, and could spend their time on things other than telemarketing.,” he said.
“Isn’t this the most obvious thing in the world? Why is it still seen as a leftist fringe proposal?” he concluded.
Publicly funded elections are the law in several U.S. states, including North Carolina, Maine, Arizona, New Mexico and Vermont.
Norway, France and Germany make use of public funds in their national elections. Advocates point to nations like India, Russia and Brazil, which have no form of public funding for elections and staggering public corruption problems.