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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush calls for overturning 'Citizens United' decision that unleashed super PACs



NASHUA, N.H. – Jeb Bush advocated for an overturn of the Citizen United decision that unleashed the super PAC era.

“I would turn that on its head if I could,” Bush said in response to a man’s question at the Rotary Club of Nashua. “I think campaigns ought to be personally accountable and responsible for the money they receive.

But Bush did not call for limits on how much could be given – something watchdog groups say is needed.

“I don’t think we need to restrict it.” Bush said.

“Voters will have the ability to say, ‘I’m not voting for you because (insert corporate name) gave you money.’ But the key is to have total transparency about the amounts of money and who gives it and have it with (disclosed) 48-hour turnaround. Then a candidate would be accountable for whatever comes to the voters through the campaign.

“Unfortunately the Supreme Court ruling makes that at least temporally impossible. It’s going to require an amendment to the Constitution.

Bush’s comments may take some by surprise given how he’s raised more than $100 million for a super PAC that has paid for ads on his behalf and against other candidates, namely Marco Rubio.

FreedomWorks, the Koch-brothers funded group, decried Bush’s remarks

“Jeb Bush has tried to portray himself as a conservative to identify with grassroots activists, but no real conservative would oppose the right to political free speech, said Noah Wall, the group’s national director of grassroots.

“Citizens United was a victory for free speech. Bush is putting himself firmly in the corner of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, who want to gut the First Amendment and make it more difficult for Americans to engage in the political process.”

[Last modified: Monday, February 8, 2016 4:38pm]


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