Fed Up with Runaway Campaign Spending, Voters Back Amendment to Overturn Citizens United
Pummeled as never before by a barrage of negative advertising, millions of voters fought back Tuesday, endorsing ballot measures in two states and dozens of localities to demand passage of a constitutional amendment restoring sensible limits on political spending.
“Millions of voters in five states sent a message that they are fed up with big money in politics,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. “Republican, Democrat, and independent, they agree that money isn’t free speech and that corporations do not live, breathe, or deserve the same constitutional rights enjoyed by ‘we the people.’ Now it’s up to Congress to act.”
In Colorado, voters supported Amendment 65 -- 73 percent to 27 percent. That measure instructs the state’s congressional delegation to propose and support a Constitutional amendment allowing Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending and permitting all citizens, regardless of wealth, to express their views on a level playing field.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to back away from its 2010 Citizens United decision and threw out a 100-year old Montana law barring corporate spending in state elections. The ruling allowed campaigns and outside groups to shatter state campaign spending records – more than $25 million was spent on a single U.S. Senate race and another $11-plus million went into statehouse contests -- and sparked voter support for I-166. Montanans also registered their disapproval of recent scandals involving American Tradition Partnership, an out-of-state political organization which brought suit against the state’s ban on corporate political spending and the limit on individual campaign contributions.
On the east coast, voters in more than 120 cities and towns scattered across Massachusetts backed ballot measures that also were part of Common Cause’s Amend 2012 campaign, instructing their representatives in Washington to support a constitutional amendment on political spending. The combined margin of victory was 78%.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.
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