"Dear Fellow Progressive,
The Supreme Court made a mess when it issued the Citizens United decision. And now progressives like you and me have a chance to clean it up.
After all, we do big things -- like fighting to protect Medicare and Social Security, demanding that the wealthy pay their fair share to solve our deficit problem, and rebuilding a battered manufacturing sector and a struggling middle class.
I've taken on tough progressive fights every day of my career -- and now I've signed on to a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the Citizens United decision (the one that gave unlimited First Amendment rights to corporations and let them spend unlimited secret money on our elections). I'm writing to invite you to sign on, too.
Click here to join me in signing on in support of this historic constitutional amendment to clean up our politics by overturning Citizens United!
The amendment itself is simple -- it gives Congress and the states the power to pass commonsense campaign finance laws. If we pass it, we'll make it clear that, in America, democracy is not for sale.
You can bet the same corporate special interests that are preparing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars with their new powers under Citizens United -- and have already spent nearly $6 million attacking me in my re-election campaign -- will do anything to keep that ruling in place.
From standing with Ohio's workers to calling for the investments we need to stay competitive in the 21st century, I've never backed away from a fight when our progressive values are on the line. And I hope you're ready to join me in this one.
Raise your voice in support of our amendment to overturn Citizens United by clicking here and adding your name today!
Now is the time for progressives to give working people a voice in our elections. Now is our chance to overturn this decision and get our country back.
Thank you reading -- and thank you for taking action.
U.S. Senator, Ohio"
Here's my reply:
Sorry, Sen. Brown. I cannot sign this. While I agree with your stands on many issues, I have to say rich people and big corporations have every right to spend their money to speak out and support the politicians they like, just like anybody else. That's freedom of speech -- and it is crucial to our democracy. No citizen -- not even the rich ones -- should have their rights to speak out about political issues abridged.
It disturbs me that people call themselves "progressive" when they support such efforts to abuse our regulatory system to silence political rivals. This is the stuff of dictatorship and it has no place in a nation that believes in freedom of expression.
If you want to fight their words -- come up with better words of your own! Fight it out in the marketplace of ideas.