For Immediate Release January 19, 2015
Coalition to Lobby Madison Capitol on 5th Anniversary of Citizens United
Assemblywoman Lisa Subeck to introduce bill to amend the U.S. Constitution
Press Conference at 9:00 a.m.
Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, (608) 255-4260, cell: (608) 695-7368
Peter Skopec, WISPIRG, (608) 268-1566; cell: (847) 687-7229
MADISON, WI: The Money Out, Voters In – Wisconsin coalition will be holding a press conference at 9:00 a.m. this Wed, Jan. 21, in the Assembly Parlor of the State Capitol Building to kick off a day of lobbying to get money out of politics.
Jan. 21 is the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC, which said that corporations, unions and other associations could give unlimited amounts of money to try to elect candidates of their choice so long as they don’t coordinate their activities with their chosen candidates.
“The Supreme Court, in its Citizens United decision, opened the floodgates, and our democracy is drowning,” says Matt Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. “Here in Wisconsin, we’ve seen the consequences, as the Koch brothers, and Gogebic Taconite, and the school privatizers are throwing their weight around as never before.”
“Five years after Citizens United, big money is speaking louder than ever before – but the good news is that our leaders can take immediate steps to reduce its influence and empower ordinary voters,” says Peter Skopec, WISPIRG Campaigns Director. “State lawmakers should lower, not increase campaign contribution limits, and make coordination between outside groups and candidates explicitly illegal. They should empower small donors by matching small contributions with limited public funds. And they should maintain the Government Accountability Board’s independent oversight powers, rather than take us back to the days of ineffective, partisan-appointed monitoring that failed Wisconsin in the past.”
On Wed, Jan. 21, State Assemblywoman Lisa Subeck will be introducing a bill to create an advisory referendum on the November 2016 ballot asking whether Wisconsin’s congressional delegation should support, and the Wisconsin Legislature should ratify, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating that: “1. Only human beings—not corporations, unions, nonprofit organizations, or similar associations—are endowed with constitutional rights, and 2. Money is not speech, and therefore limiting political contributions and spending is not equivalent to restricting political speech.”
Rep. Subeck will be at the 9:00 press conference.
The Money Out, Voters In Wisconsin coalition believes that in a democracy everyone should have the ability to participate meaningfully, and that everyone’s voice should be heard, and that everyone should know who is buying influence in our elections and government. We believe in common-sense rules to ensure democracy, and one of those rules, which we need to put into the U.S. Constitution, is that a corporation is not a person.
The Money Out, Voters In Coalition- Wisconsin is a joint effort of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, WISPIRG, People For the American Way, United Wisconsin, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Center for Media and Democracy, South Central Wisconsin Move To Amend, Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, Citizen Action Wisconsin, AFT- Wisconsin, National Association of Social Workers – Wisconsin Chapter, United Council of UW Students, Midwest Environmental Advocates, 9 to 5, Madison Teachers Inc., Move to Amend of Southeast Wisconsin, Chippewa Valley Move to Amend, Move to Amend Rock River, Lake Mills Move to Amend, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Reedsburg Area Concerned Citizens, Wisconsin Grassroots Network, Madison Area Urban Ministry, Madison MoveOn, Peace Action Wisconsin, Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter, Door County Environmental Council, SouthWest Wisconsin Area Progressives, One Wisconsin Now, Progressive Dane, South Central Federation of Labor, Teaching Assistants’ Association, and Wisconsin Wave.