Con­sti­tu­tional Amend­ment Spon­sors Re­new Push to Undo Ci­ti­zens United

Stanstead Journal - - FROM PAGE ONE - Washington, DC

Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) to­day in­tro­duced a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment to over­turn a Supreme Court rul­ing that al­lowed un­re­stricted, se­cret cam­paign spend­ing by cor­po­ra­tions and bil­lion­aires. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) filed the “Democ­racy is for Peo­ple” amend­ment in the House.

Court rul­ing in Ci­ti­zens Com­mis­sion un­der­mined democ­racy by open­ing the cam­paign spend­ing flood­gates. Al­ready nine states in­clud­ing Ver­mont and towns have passed res­o­lu­tions call­ing for the rul­ing to be over­turned.

As a re­sult of the con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion, a record $7 bil­lion was spent in the se­cre­tive bil­lion­aire brothers Charles and David Koch re­port­edly steered cam­paigns.

Said San­ders, “What the Supreme Court did in bil­lion­aires like the Koch brothers and Shel­don Adel­son, ‘You own and con­trol Wall Street. You own and con­trol coal com-

pa­nies. You own and con­trol small per­cent­age of your wealth, we’re go­ing to give you the op­por­tu­nity to own and con­trol That is the essence of what is why this dis­as­trous de­ci­sion must be re­versed.”

“The Democ­racy is for Peo­ple Amend­ment will stop cor­po­ra­tions and their front groups from us­ing their prof­its and dark money do­na­tions to in­flu­ence our elec­tions while reaf­firm­ing the right of the Amer­i­can peo­ple to elec­tions that are fair and rep­re­sen­ta­tives that are ac­count­able,” Deutch said.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) is among the House cospon­sors.

The amend­ment would make it clear that the right to vote and the abil­ity to make cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions and ex­pen­di­tures be­long only to real peo­ple. The amend­ment would ef­fec­tively pre­vent cor­po­ra­tions from bankrolling elec­tion cam­paigns. Congress and states would have spe­cific author­ity to reg­u­late cam­paign fi­nances by, for ex­am­ple, lim­it­ing do­na­tions, re­quir­ing dis­clo­sure of donors or cre­at­ing pub­lic-fi­nanc­ing sys­tems for cam­paigns.

A sim­i­lar con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment in­tro­duced by San­ders and Deutch in the last ses­sion of Congress would have ad­dressed spend­ing by for-profit cor­po­ra­tions in elec­tions. Much of the “dark money” fun­neled through non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions re­stricted, but would be cov­ered by the new ver­sion of the amend­ment.

An amend­ment orig­i­nat­ing in Congress must be ap­proved by a two-thirds ma­jor­ity in the House and Se­nate in or­der to be submitted for con­sid­er­a­tion by the states. Rat­i­fi­ca­tion by three­fourths of the states is re­quired to amend the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.