As January 21, the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United decision, approaches, it’s time to outline why conservatives should get behind an amendment to overturn that U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which unleashed an unprecedented flood of money into our elections.

The case for an amendment should not be partisan, as some members of Congress have tried to make it. It should be common sense. After all, it’s not a partisan issue for voters. For them, it is a commonsense solution.


Poll after poll shows that the majority of voters of all political stripes are alarmed at the record amounts of money pouring into elections. Voters feel they are being drowned out.

A bi-partisan poll conducted last year by my firm, Chesapeake Beach Consulting (Republican) and Lake Research Partners (Democratic), found that voters favor a constitutional amendment by a 61-28 percent margin. Presented with arguments for and against an amendment, Republicans strongly favor the amendment – by a 54-36 percent margin. Our poll also found that by a 6-1 margin, voters say that reducing the influence of money in politics is an important issue.

Sixteen states, and more than 550 cities and towns have supported an amendment, either by resolution or ballot initiative. Millions of citizens have signed petitions for an amendment; tens of thousands of people have called congressional offices demanding an amendment; and hundreds of demonstrations have taken place throughout the country. President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaButtigieg: America 'united in mourning' Kobe Bryant's death Obama mourns 'heartbreaking' loss of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna 'The worst news': Political world mourns loss of Kobe Bryant MORE has voiced support for an amendment.

Until recently, campaign finance reform has been part of the conservative agenda. Bipartisan reform efforts included the 1907 Tillman Act, which banned direct corporate contributions, the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act and the strong amendments to that law that were passed after the Watergate scandal. Let’s not forget the McCain-Feingold Act, introduced by Republican U.S. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainConservative activist wins contest to represent New Hampshire at Republican National Convention Schiff shows clip of McCain in Trump impeachment trial Martha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter MORE (Ariz.) and signed into law in 2003 by Republican President George W. Bush.

Big-name conservatives have fought for campaign finance reform, including Barry Goldwater, who in 1983 said, “[O]ur nation is facing a crisis of liberty if we do not control campaign expenditures. We must prove that elective office is not for sale.”

Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell Bolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT MORE (R-Ky.) – who led the charge to defeat the amendment in September – once supported a constitutional amendment to curb campaign spending.

In a 2012 survey, two-thirds of the small business owners polled felt the Citizens United ruling had been bad for small businesses – likely because most money given to super PACs and independent groups come from a small pool of wealthy donors and giant corporations. Small businesses identify with Main Street much more than Wall Street.

Business executives don’t like being shaken down for cash either. According to the Center for Economic Development, 90 percent of business executives support full disclosure of political contributions made by individuals, corporations and labor unions to political committees or other groups that spend money in elections. Disclosing the sources of the torrent of political money can help curb the amount that flows in.

A growing number of corporations agree that secret corporate political spending is bad for business, and they are taking action. Half of the companies in the S&P 100 make their political contributions transparent and require their directors to oversee the process. Further, more shareholders are demanding to know what political campaigns corporations are spending shareholder money on.

Our democracy is supposed be of, by and for the people, and we’re all supposed to have an equal say over the decisions that affect our lives. But when billionaires and corporations can spend unlimited money in politics, their voices count more than those of the people who our elected officials are supposed to represent.

Republican voters know that. Republicans in Congress should get on board.

Carpenter is president of Chesapeake Beach Consulting, a Republican polling firm.