Stopping the Big Money Takeover of US Elections and Government
By Jeff Clements
Posted March 11, 2018
“A prescription for disaster.” That’s how opponents described a 2017 Ohio ballot initiative in their television ads, claiming the law would increase the cost of prescription drugs, when in fact the law was intended to decrease drug prices. What the ads didn’t say is that they were financed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, an association of for-profit pharmaceutical companies that spent more than $58 million — more than three-and-a-half times the spending of the proponents of the initiative — to defeat the citizen initiative designed to lower the price of prescription drugs.
The corporate-funded defeat of the Ohio initiative is part of a pattern. According to a report from Public Citizen, corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars in state ballot initiatives and usually win by spending 33 times more than the opposition, on average. This kind of domination of corporate money is not “free speech,” as the Supreme Court maintains in decisions such as Citizen United v. FEC; it is corporate power run amok. More…