The people have spoken, loud and clear. Super Tuesday showed us that momentum is growing rapidly for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgates of corporate cash in our elections. Tens of thousands of Vermonters sent a message through town meeting ballot initiatives and floor votes that democracy and constitutional rights are for people and that Congress should have the right to limit election spending.
At least 56 cities and towns in Vermont voted nearly unanimously Tuesday on local resolutions challenging corporate personhood. The resolutions called on the Vermont Legislature and congressional delegation to support a constitutional amendment that clarifies that money is not speech and corporations are not people. (For a complete list, visit www.citizen.org/Towns.) The effort – coordinated by Public Citizen, in partnership with Move to Amend/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, VPIRG, Vermont Peace and Justice Center, Common Cause and many other groups – shows that voters are attuned to the corrosive effects of money and politics, as well as corporate power in our democracy, and they are demanding it end.
Support for the resolution cut across party lines. Six towns in Republican districts and 13 cities and towns that have sent both Democrats and Republicans to the state Legislature voted for the resolution by wide margins. This bipartisan opposition to the Citizens United ruling mirrors several nationwide polls on the issue.
We expect similar demonstrations of support throughout the country in the coming months. Today, Public Citizen is launching Resolutions Week, a campaign to get as many local pro-amendment resolutions passed as possible in the second week of June. Already more than 500 Public Citizen activists in 300 cities and towns have signed up to help pass resolutions in their towns. Public Citizen is coordinating the effort with a number of other groups, including the Communications Workers of America, U.S. PIRG, Main Street Alliance, the Move to Amend coalition and People For the American Way.