Donate Today!

EMAIL SIGN UP!

 

Popular content

California Moves Towards Overturning Citizens United

Move "helps re-establish the principle that democracy means ruled by the people, not giant corporations.”

- Common Dreams staff

The California state Assembly endorsed yesterday a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United.  The amendment, which passed by a 48-22 vote, calls on Congress to pass a Constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision that allows unlimited corporate political spending.

“This is a major victory,” said Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause. “Californians are saying that corporations aren’t people and they shouldn’t be permitted to use their tremendous economic power to take charge of our elections. Congress should listen – and act on – the message.”

Citizens united against Citizens United(photo: seth_schneider)

Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said, “Thank you, California, for helping lead the charge to re-establish the principle that democracy means ruled by the people, not giant corporations.”

* * *

San Francisco Chronicle: State lawmakers want repeal of ruling boosting corporate spending

As big money pours into the November election campaign, the California Assembly voted Thursday to ask Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that opened the door to unlimited corporate political spending.

By a 48-22 vote along party lines, the Assembly endorsed a constitutional amendment to repeal Citizens United, the 5-4 ruling in January 2010 that declared corporations and labor unions had a First Amendment right to give money to independent committees supporting political candidates.

The Constitution, the resolution declared, “was designed to protect the free-speech rights of people, not corporations.” The floor sponsors of AJR22 were Democrats Bob Wieckowski of Fremont and Michael Allen of Santa Rosa.

* * *

Common Cause: California State Assembly endorses amendment to overturn Citizens United
Golden State jumps into national drive to reform campaign finance

Sacramento, CA – The California State Assembly jumped into the national campaign finance debate today, overwhelmingly approving a resolution that calls on Congress to pass a Constitutional amendment permitting limits on corporate political spending.

The 48-22 vote in favor of Assembly Joint Resolution 22, sponsored by Assembly Members Bob Wieckowski and Michael Allen, puts the Golden State at the forefront of a national effort to undo the damage done by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. A vote in the state Senate is expected within a few weeks.

Common Cause has launched a national campaign, Amend 2012, to secure the passage of similar resolutions across the country and to help voters voice their sentiments on an amendment through ballot initiatives and referenda.

“This is a major victory,” said Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause. “Californians are saying that corporations aren’t people and they shouldn’t be permitted to use their tremendous economic power to take charge of our elections. Congress should listen – and act on – the message.”

The Citizens United decision has fed the growth of “super PACs,” fundraising operations that are collecting millions of dollars – mostly from wealthy corporations and individuals – to finance advertising campaigns promoting or opposing various candidates. The groups are required by law to operate independent of political parties and candidates, but several are run by veteran Republican and Democratic operatives and appear to be closely tied to partisan leaders. This new and unregulated flow of campaign funds has led to one of the most negative campaign seasons in modern history.

* * *

Public Citizen: Way to Go, California! Assembly Passes Resolution Calling for Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

California is well in stride to be the third state to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in an attempt to influence elections. The California Assembly passed a resolution today – by a 48-22 vote – calling for an amendment, sending the measure to the California Senate.

Introduced Jan. 5 by Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski and Michael Allen, the resolution calls for an amendment that would prevent corporations from being granted the same rights as individuals and would create fair elections, in which Congress could regulate all forms of campaign spending.

“The Citizens United decision tilts the scales of campaign funding toward those who support wealthy special interests rather than working Americans,” Wieckowski said. “This resolution is designed to send a grassroots message to Washington about the urgent need to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling and restore fair elections to the people.”

Added Jonah Minkoff-Zern, senior organizer with Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign, “California is poised to take this momentous step in calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and return fair elections and constitutional rights to the people. It is because of the work of dedicated activists throughout the state that California’s elected officials are joining them in taking a stand to say that democracy is for people, not for corporations.”

California’s in good company. Hawaii led the charge in calling for a constitutional amendment, followed by New Mexico on Feb. 11. And while Maryland does not consider such resolutions, a majority of the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates have signed onto a letter calling for an amendment.

Public Citizen has helped lead the introduction of similar resolutions in Massachusetts, Vermont and Maryland, and has supported the efforts of local activists and lawmakers who have introduced similar resolutions in Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and New York. In total, resolutions have been introduced or passed in 16 states. Public Citizen is leading a coordinated effort to pass hundreds of similar resolutions at the local level the week of June 11.  More information about this effort – and a map of resolutions introduced and passed – can be found at www.resolutionsweek.org.

“Every day brings more evidence of how Citizens United is making a mockery of our democracy,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Thank you, California, for helping lead the charge to re-establish the principle that democracy means ruled by the people, not giant corporations.”

Comments are closed

12 Comments so far

Show All

Comments

Note: Disqus 2012 is best viewed on an up to date browser. Click here for information. Instructions for how to sign up to comment can be viewed here. Our Comment Policy can be viewed here. Please follow the guidelines. Note to Readers: Spam Filter May Capture Legitimate Comments...