October 17, 2013
Office of General Counsel
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20463
Re: The Honorable Ted Lieu et al v. House Majority PAC et al (FEC, July 2016)
I am Paula Overby, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District. Although I am not seeking at this time to join this case as a party, I am writing to express my strong support for the plaintiffs' request that the FEC reconsider its interpretation of the Citizens United case as it applies to Super PACs.
I am registered as an Independence Party of Minnesota candidate. I am from the outset disadvantaged by multiple regulations and public perceptions towards a two party campaign process. This campaign is fundamentally aligned around challenging those inequities in our political process that artificially limit the ability of voters to select representatives of their own choosing.
The influence of wealth in our political process is also negatively biased against an independent candidate in their ability to raise funds and gain access to equal media representation. Super PAC funds are always applied in favor of a major party. House Majority PAC, a super PAC which supports Democrats and opposes Republicans in Congressional races, has already reserved $2,415,794 of television time in the Minneapolis media market. House Majority PAC states that the purpose of its media campaign, in Minneapolis and elsewhere, is to “hold House GOP candidates accountable in every corner of the country.” (1).
I am not competing against the voice of two other candidates and the citizens they represent. I am competing against the influence of national donors whose interests may conflict substantially with the interests of citizens in my district.
Constitutional rights shall protect the citizens from the excesses of government and the establishment of government that is no longer responsive to the rights of it’s citizens. Groups have fought hard for constitutional amendments to give them rights under the constitution such as women's right to vote. With the failure of the ERA women have yet to achieve an equal status under the constitution. The assignment of constitutional rights such as free speech to corporations comes not through any amendment to the constitution but by decisions of the court. The Circuit Court of Appeals is further extending these rights to other entities that may readily infringe upon the rights of individual citizens.
The issue then becomes one of protecting freedom of speech for individual citizens and candidates for office from being overwhelmed or silenced by enormous amounts of money that have been used to support members of the Democratic and Republican parties. Therefore, I am urging the FEC to interpret narrowly the decision of the lower court; in such a way as not to allow Super-PACs to have the power to pour enormous sums into electoral races. It is up to the Supreme Court, not lower courts, to make that decision.
Paula M Overby
Paula Overby for Congress
PO Box 211336
Eagan, MN 55121
(1) House Majority PAC, House Majority PAC adds over $5.2 Million in Airtime (May 17,2016)