the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Official White House Response to Restore democracy by ending corporate personhood.
This response was published on June 8, 2012.

Building a Government that Serves Ordinary Americans, Not Special Interests

By Tonya Robinson

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the We the People petition process. We launched this online tool as a way of hearing directly from you and are pleased to see that it has been effective in soliciting your feedback. We understand your interest in the petition to support "ending corporate personhood," and we appreciate this opportunity to share the Obama Administration's stance on this issue.

First, you should know that the President believes the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case that you referenced is contrary to the public interest, in large part because it has resulted in lobbyists and special interest groups having greater, and less transparent, influence on elections. As soon as the Court announced its decision in 2010, the President instructed his Administration to get to work immediately to forge a bipartisan response to this decision. The Administration continues to work with Members of Congress and other stakeholders to find a negotiated solution to the dire results of Citizens United.

The President's disagreement with Citizens United is consistent with his long-standing commitment to make government decision-making more accessible and responsible to ordinary Americans. Under his direction, this Administration has taken historic steps to close the "revolving door" that carries special interest influence in and out of the government. For the first time in history, we now publicly disclose the names of everyone who visits the White House. The President also strongly supported a bill in Congress that would have required the disclosure of the names of corporate donors that finance political ads – legislation that Congress failed to enact.

President Obama has repeatedly challenged business as usual in Washington, and will continue to fight to preserve the American democratic tradition. Thank you once again for signing the online petition.

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Tonya Robinson is Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy

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