Citizens United Ruling ‘More About Dollars Than 1st Amendment,’ Actor Says

By Fred Lucas | September 6, 2012 | 4:53 AM EDT

Charlotte ( – Tony Shaloub, star of the TV series “Monk,” said he was “horrified” by the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case, which lifted restrictions on political spending.

“I think there’s so much money in politics now. We need to begin to dial that back. The First Amendment, you know, it’s a bit of a slippery slope because it really becomes more about dollars than about the First Amendment itself,” Monk told at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

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President Barack Obama has said he would support a constitutional amendment to reverse the ruling.

The Democratic Party platform says, “Our opponents have applauded the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and welcomed the new flow of special interest money with open arms. In stark contrast, we believe we must take immediate action to curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests on our political institutions. President Obama signed an executive order to establish unprecedented ethics rules so that those who leave the executive branch may not lobby this administration and officials may not accept gifts from lobbyists. We support campaign finance reform, by constitutional amendment if necessary. We support legislation to close loopholes and require greater disclosure of campaign spending.”

The actor told that he absolutely disagreed with the Supreme Court’s view that political spending is protected by free speech rights.

“There shouldn’t be a limit on speech, but there should be a limit on the money that is spent because in the end it just becomes the guy, ultimately will become the guy with the most money and the most backing wins,” he said. “It’s dollars over the actual voice of the people.”

In its 2010 decision, the Supreme Court said that the government could not restrict the political speech of activist groups or other independent organizations by limiting how much money they could spend during an election cycle. The court also struck down federal limits on when independent groups could engage in election-related activities such as running television ads or publishing political materials.

Shaloub was at the Democratic National Convention on behalf of the Creative Coalition, which lobbies for more funding for the arts. Before starring in “Monk,” he was on the NBC program “Wings.” He has won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award, and also had roles in “Men in Black II” and “Spy Kids.”