Eighteen Communities Voted to Amend the U.S. Constitution

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: George Penn, 608-244-6436, geo_penn@charter.net

Eighteen Communities Voted to Amend the U.S. Constitution

Madison, WI (November 9, 2016) – On Tuesday, November 8th, Wisconsin residents in eighteen communities voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only human beings should have inalienable human rights and money is not the same thing as free speech.

All referenda passed with overwhelming majorities: Rock County (86%), Reedsburg (86%), Manitowoc (81%), Delafield (79%), Neshkoro (88%), New Glarus (88%), Spring Valley (91%), Osceola (86%), Mt. Horeb (84%), Monticello (86%), Clayton (86%) and the towns of New Glarus (83%), Harris (65%), Springdale (86%), Decatur (89%), Mount Pleasant (84%), Cadiz (87%) and Lake Tomahawk (91%).

That brings the total to 95 Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment. In total, 2.7 million people (46% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 18 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as over 700 towns, villages, cities and counties.

Jeanette Kelty, a leader in Green County, said: “We are extremely pleased that these referenda passed by such high margins. This clearly demonstrates the will of the people. It is time for our state representatives to put this resolution to a statewide vote, and to move towards sending a resolution from Wisconsin to the U.S. Congress.”

Four in five Americans oppose the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, according to a Bloomberg poll. A New York Times/CBS poll from June found that 85 percent of Americans—including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—believe we need fundamental changes to our campaign finance system or to completely rebuild it.

Delafield resident Gerry Flakas explained the problem this way: “Big money has absolutely corrupted our system of government of, by, and for the people. The only solution is to amend the Constitution to clarify that money is not speech and a corporation is not a person.”

Matt Rothschild, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, summed it up succinctly: “People across the ideological spectrum get it: All of our voices are being drowned out by those with big money.”

United To Amend is a non-partisan, grassroots movement. For more information visit wiuta.org

Background material can be obtained here: pdf1, pdf2 and pdf3.

Photos: photo1, photo2 and photo3.

Meet at the Capitol and Help Get the Big Money Out of Politics!

Assemble for Redress of Grievances
Thursday January 21, 10 to noon
North Hearing Room on the 2nd floor of the State Capitol

Citizens across the State of Wisconsin want to get big money (especially big dark money) out of politics, but the state Legislature continues to ignore widespread and overwhelming calls for a Constitutional amendment to fix the problem. This is an opportunity to show them how serious we are about reclaiming our democracy.

MOVI Rally 2Rep. Lisa Subeck has introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 8, calling for a statewide referendum to determine citizen opinion on whether Wisconsin should support the “We the People” Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision. The Assembly leadership hasn’t scheduled an official hearing on it, so Rep. Subeck has arranged an informal one for 10 AM to noon on Thursday, January 21 (significantly the 6th anniversary of Citizens United). It’ll be in the North Hearing Room on the 2nd floor of the State Capitol.

The first speakers would be Rep. Subeck and Sen. Dave Hansen, who has introduced the companion Senate Joint Resolution 12. Then there’d be some notable public figures. Then comes the citizen portion.

We really want a good turnout from outside the Madison area, which will otherwise be well represented. Nobody would be expected to speak for very long — a minute or so at most — but we’d like a lot of them. Ideally, after the hearing is over, each of them would visit the offices of their own representatives and senators and deliver the same message in person — to the elected official in person if possible, to a staff member if not.

And then, that evening, you’re invited to an Unhappy Birthday Party for Citizens United, 6:30 to 9:30 PM, at the Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W. Main St. on Capitol Square in Madison. Sponsored by South Central Wisconsin United To Amend, it’ll feature Mike Crute of The Devil’s Advocates as MC, Mike McCabe of Blue Jean Nation and John Nichols of The Nation magazine as featured speakers, a couple of other notable speakers (still being confirmed), (soft) classic rock by The Sundogs, a cake, a raffle, networking with fellow advocates of democracy, and the kind of wake that the Irish are famous for. We’re hoping that democracy will sit up in its coffin and loudly proclaim “Hey! I’m not dead yet!”

More Bad-Government Bills Introduced in Wisconsin

A series of bad-government bills have just been introduced into our state legislature, which would enable more and more corruption in Wisconsin. Legalized bribery via campaign donations would be easier than ever. Other proposed bills would gut the GAB, which would aid in avoiding any repercussions for bad behavior. We must stand up and fight for what is right! Please call, write, email and meet with any and all representatives you possibly can. For some background information, please read articles HERE and HERE.

Thanks to WI Voices for the following information:

The Campaign Finance bills are SB 292 and AB 387. The GAB Bill has been assigned numbers (AB 388 and SB 294) and hearings on the bills have been set for Tuesday, October 13th at 9 am. Please continue your support against these changes helping us with the following:

Join us for our press conference

** Because we have so many people coming to the hearing tomorrow, we are NOT going to have a press conference tomorrow. Instead, everyone should go directly to the hearing at 412 East and members of the coalition will be available outside of the hearing to answer media questions. Peter Skopec from WISPIRG and Jay Heck from Common Cause will answer questions about the GAB and Campaign Finance bills, and Colleen Gruszynski from WI Voices can take questions about the online and SRD bill.

Please come to the Hearing

The Senate Committee on Elections and Local Government will have a hearing at 9 am Tuesday, October 13th at 412 East in the Capitol. The GAB, Campaign Finance and Elections Technology Bill will all be discussed.

Please spread the word!

Here is some sample language you can use for turnout:

“Hi, this is __ from ____. As you’ve seen in the media, the Republicans are trying to fast track legislation that would remove our rights to know who is spending money on elections and would cause less oversight over politicians. Would you be able to join us on Tuesday at 9 am for the hearing?”

Please call, write, email and meet with your legislators

Please make sure you and your friends are calling their legislators. A sample script could look like:

“Hi, my name is _____. SB 292 and AB 387 takes away my right to know who is spending money in politics and no longer states that campaign finance laws should serve the public, not politicians. SB 294 and AB 388 guts our ability to make sure you are obeying the rules. As your constituent, I have the right to know who is spending money on your elections and not have election officials that are in the pocket of legislators. Vote no on SB 292/AB 387 and SB 294/AB 388.”

Keep the pressure up online

Please use the #SavetheGAB. Here is a Facebook meme Common Cause created.

Register Against the GAB Bill

Please register against the GAB Bill (AB 388 and SB 294).

Let us know if you have more questions. Thanks!

Colleen

Colleen Gruszynski
WI Voices-Data and Targeting Manager
colleen@statevoices.org

Three More Wisconsin Communities Vote to Amend the U.S. Constitution

MoveToAmendWI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: George Penn, 608-244-6436 / geo_penn@charter.net

Three More Wisconsin Communities Vote to Amend the U.S. Constitution

Madison, WI (April 8, 2015) ­ On Tuesday, April 7th, three communities voted in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to make clear that money is not speech and that only real people should have inalienable Constitutional rights. This would reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates to big money in elections.

All of the referenda passed with striking majorities: Watertown (69%), Evansville (80%), and the Town of Reedsburg (63%).

This brings the total number of Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment to 57. In total, over 2.4 million people (41% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 16 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as over 650 towns, villages, cities and other organizations.

After the votes were counted, Brad Geyer, the resolution campaign leader in Watertown said: “Instead of representative government serving the people, increasingly, we have corruption, conflicts of interest and bribery. A handful of people on the US Supreme Court have handed power to the highest bidders. We will overcome this corruption when people step up in enough numbers to show our leaders our true will.”

Polls have shown widespread disapproval of Citizens United across the political spectrum. According to an August 2014 poll, more than three quarters (78%) of voters feel that reducing the influence of money in politics is an important issue.

“I’m very pleased and excited that we got our message across to the people of Evansville,” said Fran Zell, campaign organizer. “We worked hard, but also the people were ready to hear our message. This movement has gained so much momentum across the state. People believing in their power to change things is the crux of the matter.”

“When will the legislators in Madison listen to the people of Wisconsin?” said Bill Waser, leader of the petition drive in the Town of Reedsburg. “I spent over 10 years in our Navy and never once did I hear at morning muster “AT&T, GM, or Walmart. How can you say that a corporation, union, or other nonprofit organization is a person? Sure, made up of people, but so is a city… is a city a person? It’s ridiculous.

Democracy is a living, breathing ideal that needs to be nourished and worked on. Now is time to right this wrong! Stand with your fellow citizens across the land and get this referendum passed in your town, village, or city. We’re here to help you.”

Move To Amend is a non-partisan, grassroots movement. For more information: http://wimta.org

Wisconsin Move To Amend Background Information:
http://wimta.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Community-Handout-and-Messaging.pdf
http://wimta.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Citizen-Lobbying-1-pager.pdf