Update on Constitutional Amendment

More on the Movement to Pass a Constitutional Amendment
The following states, cities, counties and organizations have passed resolutions calling on Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment to overturn both Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and the pernicious effects of big money influencing our political campaigns:

 Twelve State Legislatures have already passed resolutions, including Illinois, West Virginia, Maine, Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts –  more are pending,

The voters in the states of Montana and Colorado passed initiatives on November 6, 2012, bringing the number of states to 14.

600 Cities and towns have passed resolutions, including Washington D.C., Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle – more are pending,

On November 6, 2012, voters in 150 US cities and towns voted on measures to overturn Citizens United and money as free speech, some included eliminating all corporate constitutional rights. In every city with a measure on the ballot, the voters supported the measure, often by very large margins!

Snohomish, Jefferson and Island Counties in Washington State have passed resolutions. You can see more Washington State jurisdictions that have passed resolutions here.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously passed a strong resolution.  Many other groups have passed similar resolutions.

The resolutions are not all the same, but all of them indicate that there is huge public support for taking action against the influence of big money in our state and federal elections.

Congress is listening.  Senator Durbin, Chair of the Senate Judiciary’s Sub-Committee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights held a hearing on July 24, 2012: “Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to the Citizens United Decision and the Rise of Super PACS.”

Nearly two million people signed petitions for a Constitutional Amendment which were delivered to the Committee at the hearing.

The hearing established that half of all “independent expenditures” are coming from 22 people!

Washington Public Campaigns submitted a letter to be part of the record, receipt of which was announced at the proceedings.

Resolutions for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC

Eleven constitutional resolutions have been introduced in the 2013 session of Congress – nine in the House and two in the Senate. U.S. Representative Jim McDermott (D-7) is the only member of Congress from Washington State to sign on to any of the resolutions as a cosponsor. He has signed on to the following 3 resolutions, which are the only 3 with 20 or more cosponsors.

H.J. Res 20: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures with respect to elections.
H.J. Res 21:Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to clarify the authority of Congress and the States to regulate corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state.
H.J. Res 25 : Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to clarify the authority of Congress and the States to regulate the expenditure of funds for political activity by corporations.

The President is listening.  President Obama has voiced support for a Constitutional Amendment.

The states are acting: 23 State Attorney Generals (including Washington’s A.G.) supported Montana in its effort to uphold Montana state law outlawing corporations from participating in elections.  The Supreme Court rejected this effort, but the briefs provided stunning evidence of the evils of the Copper Barons’ control of the Montana State government in the late 19th and early 20th Century.

Washington Public Campaigns is working with many other organizations to add Washington to the list of states that have passed resolutions.  One third of current Washington State Senators and Representatives have signed a letter pledging support for a resolution, 60/147 Senators and Representatives as of November 1, 2012. (49 Legislative Districts each elect one Senator and two Representatives.)