Delaware says no to Citizens United, along with 14 other states

According to Politicus U.S.A., Delaware became the 15th state to reject the Supreme Court decision for Citizens United. The Delaware legislature came to a bipartisan majority that called on Congress to overturn the Supreme Courts decision. 

Politicus U.S.A. reports that a bipartisan letter sent to Democrats Sens. Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney read in part, “There is no more critical foundation to our government than citizens’ confidence in fair and free elections. The Citizens United decision directly undermines this confidence, and was issued in the absence of any evidence or searching inquiry to refute the fair assumption that unbridled and opaque spending in politics harms American democracy. … The United States of America’s elections should not be permitted to go to the highest bidder, and yet this is the risk that rises from the ashes of the Citizens United decision.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders tasked himself with the responsibility to have Citizens United overturned at the federal level with a petition movement supporting his Saving American Democracy Amendment . Actual change, however, is ultimately a state level issue. When a majority of states reject the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the federal government will feel unavoidable pressure. Some states have already passed their rejection including Maine, West Virginia, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado, Montana, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont. And now Delaware joins the ranks of these states. Hopefully Wisconsinites can take inspiration from these states and strengthen our own rejection against dark money in campaign funding. 

Poll: Half want government-funded campaigns

Poll: Half want government-funded campaigns

Half of Americans would support government-funded campaigns- a Gallup poll finds. 

According to a Gallup poll posted on Monday, 50 percent of Americans say they would support a law banning campaign contributions from individuals and groups, which would instead have government fund federal campaigns; 44 percent said they would oppose such an initiative. Americans also overwhelmingly support limiting congressional campaign contributions, the poll found: Seventy-nine percent said they would support such limits; 19 percent said they would not.

The survey of 1,015 adults was conducted June 15-16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Local petition drive seeks resolution against Citizens United

United Wisconsin

United Wisconsin, an activist group, last month launched a local petition drive against Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that found that the First Amendment did not allow the government to restrict independent political expenditures by corporations or other groups.

The petition drive, assisted by Grassroots Tosa, gives the group 60 days to collect 3,800 signatures, which would allow a referendum to be placed on the ballot in the next general election urging a city of Wauwatosa resolution against Citizens United.

The drive is about halfway over, and Erik Kirkstein, political director of United Wisconsin, said about half the number of required signatures have been collected.

“This issue runs far deeper than any partisan issue,” Tosa Alderman Greg Walz-Chojnacki said in a statement. “For me, it comes down to the question of whether democracy means ‘one person, one vote’ or ‘one dollar, one vote.’ This referendum is an important opportunity for the citizens of our city to pause and consider the meaning of democracy in America.”

United Wisconsin holds that the Supreme Court decision increases political spending and gives deep-pocketed interests undue influence.

The referendum would ask voters to decide if the city should adopt a resolution reading:

“Resolved, the city of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, calls for reclaiming democracy from the corrupting effects of undue corporate influence by amending the United States Constitution to establish that: 1. Only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights, and 2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.

“Be it further resolved, that we hereby instruct our state and federal representatives to enact resolutions and legislation to advance this effort.”

Other units of government around the state have passed similar referendums, including West Allis, Monona, Madison, Fort Atkinson, Whitewater, Dane County, Chippewa County, and Eau Claire County, according to United Wisconsin.

Jim Pugh, public relations director of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, said: “The First Amendment provides free speech rights for individuals, and groups, and businesses, and unions, and everyone in the United States of America. To roll back the First Amendment in the United States is not a good idea.”