A handful of corporations like Walmart, Koch Industries, Monsanto and ExxonMobil wield immense power in our democracy – whether it’s through court decisions like Citizens United, through corporate-run policy shops like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), or through industry front groups promoting technologies that harm the environment. By funding research programs at our universities and exerting powerful influence over our media, they essentially control the debate over important issues affecting our health and our communities.
With your help, we can change that.
Corporate influence over our democracy is one of the biggest threats to our food, water and climate. But if we can inspire enough people across the country to stand together to shift the balance of power over the things we can’t live without—our food, water, and the environment on which it all depends—we can fix our broken democracy.
Money In Politics
In 2010, the Supreme Court made their disastrous Citizens United decision, allowing corporations like Koch Industries and Chevron to spend unlimited money to influence elections — empowering corporations over people.
We've seen a flood of corporate money rush into our political system since Citizens United. What’s worse, this spending is done entirely under the shroud of secrecy.
Industry Lobbying Over Food Policy
Giant food, agriculture and biotech corporations wield tremendous power over our decision makers. For example, the agricultural and biotech industries spent more than half a billion dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying during a ten year timeframe. And the food and chemical industries spent nearly $50 million to beat one ballot measure alone to label GMO foods in California.
Corporate Control Over The Public Debate on Fracking
Over the past several decades, right wing foundations, funded by the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel interests, have supported a network of think tanks that not only promote pro-industry policies through its so-called experts, but they’ve gone so far as to deny the threat of climate change. Companies like ExxonMobil and Koch Industries have extensively funded groups working to undermine climate science. Likewise, through industry associations and front groups, the oil and gas industry promotes fracking while understating or misrepresenting its risks.
The industry also spends a great deal of money on promoting fossil fuels and knocking clean energy. Even academia isn’t immune from the charms of industry money.
Industry-Backed Policy Shops
The American Legislate Exchange Council may sound benign, but their agenda is dangerous to our health and environment. Through ALEC, companies like Monsanto, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil have helped develop model state legislation to serve their bottom lines. Whether it’s promoting water privatization, attempting to prevent people from knowing where their food comes from, or stopping local initiatives to ban fracking, ALEC is steering your decision makers toward bad policies. ALEC has even called for the dissolution of the Environmental Protection Agency and supports initiatives to designed to restrict voting, so that people prioritizing corporate interests can remain in office.
People Power Can Beat Corporate Influence
The problems we’re facing are immense, but not insurmountable. Around the world, activists have pushed back against corporate influence at the UN and the World Water Forum. And here at home, working hand in hand with grassroots allies, we’ve stopped privatizations of our water systems, halted the use of arsenic in chicken production, and built pressure to ban fracking.
While we’ll never have the financial resources to compete on a playing field lined with corporate money, we do have considerable people power. By raising our voices together, we can create real and lasting change.