'Tremendous Victory' in Growing Rebuke of Citizens United

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by
Common Dreams

'Tremendous Victory' in Growing Rebuke of Citizens United

Los Angeles joins more than 175 cities in national push for constitutional amendment

by
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

(Photo: Brendan Hoffman/ Public Citizen/ Flickr)

The people have spoken and they overwhelmingly want Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

In city-wide elections Tuesday, an astounding 76.6 percent of Los Angeles voters "emphatically endorsed" the growing national call for a constitutional amendment, declaring “Only People Are People.”

The resolution, Proposition C, calls for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the 2010 Supreme Court ruling and limit the rights of corporations so that spending money on campaigns is not constitutionally protected speech.

Further, Proposition C demands that Los Angeles elected officials and area legislative representatives promote this mandate and push for a constitutional amendment in Sacramento and Washington D.C.

"The voters have spoken loud and clear that they want big money out of our elections," said Derek Cressman with the political watchdog group Common Cause. "Now it’s up to the Los Angeles congressional delegation to heed the call from their constituents."

The Citizens United ruling "contradicts the notion of transparency that should prevail in a democracy," wrote the Los Angeles Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion, in their endorsement of the measure.

"This has unleashed an avalanche of money that denatures the democratic process. Corporations and interest groups buy more freedom of expression to promote their causes, overwhelming the level of expression of the average citizen."

The 'Only People are People' campaign was spearheaded by Common Cause, which in November initiated a national drive calling on cities and states to pass ballot measures urging Congress to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

With this vote, Los Angeles joins the more than 175 cities where the voice of the people has overruled the Supreme Court's controversial decision.

So far, thirteen states have also passed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment, including: Maine, West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii. 

"Tuesday’s Los Angeles vote is a tremendous victory for the government of, by and for the people envisioned by America’s founders," said Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause’s senior vice president for strategy and programs.

"The people are speaking here—at the ballot box and through their elected representatives," she adds. "The overwhelming majorities supporting an amendment in every jurisdiction where it has come to a vote should send a powerful signal to Washington and every state capitol."

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