For Immediate Release


Jan. 17, 2012

Mary Boyle, 202-736-5770




Common Cause Launches “Amend2012” Effort Aims to Give Voters a Direct Voice in November on Overturning Citizens United

New Strategy Provides a Roadmap and Tools for Citizens in all 50 States to Demand a Return to Common Sense in Elections;

Launch features website and video with Robert Reich

Two years after the Supreme Court turned unlimited corporate money loose on our elections in the reckless Citizens United decision, Common Cause has launched a national effort to help voters strike back.

The nonpartisan government watchdog today announced a 50-state drive to give voters a voice to push back on corporate political spending, and build toward national referenda calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United.

“A huge majority of Americans reject Citizens United and want a government of, by, and for the people, not of, bought and paid for by the special interests,” Robert Reich, chairman of Common Cause’s National Governing Board, said Tuesday on a telephone press conference. “This campaign will help people make their voices heard at the ballot box, where the elected officials who must pass an amendment ignore them at their own peril.”

The campaign launched with a new website,, featuring a call-to-action video with Reich using an animated whiteboard to explain the damage being done to our democracy by Citizens United, and urging citizens to get involved with Amend2012. The video, which will be available Wednesday, was produced by The New Media Firm. The campaign will also rely on social media, using Facebook and Twitter to generate participation and enthusiasm.

Amend2012 provides a creative and ambitious addition to the constitutional amendment movement by giving voters a direct opportunity to make their voices heard NOW, during the 2012 elections, on the need to overturn Citizens United. The campaign aims to give voters the tools to put "voter instruction" measures on the November ballot in as many states as possible, either by voter initiative or action by the state legislature. The measures would instruct Congress to adopt a constitutional amendment to make it clear that corporations are not people and authorize campaign spending limits.

“The Supreme Court misread the Constitution and ignored common sense in Citizens United,” said Bob Edgar, Common Cause’s president and CEO. “Most Americans are appalled by how big corporations and other special interests have hijacked our government and drowned out our voices by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns from the courthouse to the White House. It’s time to restore common sense to our elections and democracy.”

The campaign will provide a roadmap and tools for citizens to push the issue onto the November 2012 ballot. Common Cause is actively exploring potential ballot campaigns in three states – Colorado, Massachusetts and Montana – where initiatives are permitted, and will work with allies and activists on the ground to assess options in an additional six states where it is still feasible to put an Amend2012 initiative on the fall ballot – Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Washington. In non-initiative states, Common Cause will work to get bills introduced in state legislatures and major municipalities that would refer an advisory question to the fall ballot.

Common Cause will tap its national network of thousands of volunteer activists to promote the campaign, reach out to allied groups, and use social media to recruit and organize citizens to circulate petitions and lobby legislators.

The Amend2012 strategy has the potential to re-engage disenchanted drop-off voters, including many attracted by the “Occupy” movement, or the Tea Party, to inject issues of corporate control and big money in politics directly into the presidential and key congressional races.

“The Occupy movement, and the Tea Party before it, provides powerful evidence of the frustration Americans of all political stripes feel about our government’s coziness with special interests and unresponsiveness to everyday citizens,” Edgar said. “Amend2012 is a bottom-up grassroots strategy designed to give voters the tools they need to force the issue into the 2012 elections.”

This week marks the second anniversary of Citizens United, which has sparked record spending in national politics, including hundreds of millions of dollars provided by undisclosed and virtually untraceable donors. The presidential race is expected to shatter all fundraising records, while Super PACs, born of the Citizens United decision, pose as independent but operate as subsidiaries of the campaigns and do the candidates’ dirty work.

“We will not, we cannot, solve our nation’s other critical problems until we rein in the power of these special interests,” Edgar said.

Common Cause coordinates its constitutional amendment work with a broad coalition of reform groups, and has been involved in efforts in a number of cities that have already passed resolutions supporting a reversal of Citizens United, including New York, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, Boulder, CO and Missoula, MT.

For more information, or to request an interview with Robert Reich or Bob Edgar to discuss Amend 2012, please contact Mary Boyle at

For more information, also visit


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.


Secret, Outside Money Will Dominate N.H. Senate Contest Unless Candidates Adopt "People's Pledge" - April 18, 2014

Common Cause Hails New York's Adoption of National Popular Vote - April 16, 2014

Common Cause Disappointed by Appeals Court's Rejection of Filibuster Suit - April 15, 2014

On Tax Day, IRS Chief Delivers Some Good News - April 15, 2014

400,000 Join Chorus of Protest Against Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger - April 9, 2014

Democracy Advocates Urge Shaheen, Brown to Get Serious About 'People's Pledge' - April 7, 2014

Again, U.S. Supreme Court Decides Against Democracy - April 2, 2014

Common Cause Lauds FCC Move to Bolster Independent, Local Media - March 31, 2014

Presidential Public Financing System Needs Strengthening, Not Dismantling - March 11, 2014

Group Tied to President Obama Opened White House Doors for Major Donors - March 5, 2014

IRS Must End Misuse of Nonprofits to Hide Political Spending But Proposed Rules As Drafted Need Major Revisions, Common Cause Asserts - February 28, 2014

Common Cause Statement on House Passage of HR 3865, to Preserve the Social Welfare Tax Loophole for Political Non-Profit Groups - February 26, 2014

Common Cause Urges FCC to Reclassify Broadband and Protect Open Internet - February 19, 2014

Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal Is Affront to Public Interest - February 13, 2014

Common Cause Statement on Introduction of the Fair Elections Now Act - February 12, 2014

Congress, President Must Staff Election Assistance Commission - February 12, 2014

Common Cause Statement on Introduction of the Government by the People Act - February 5, 2014

Common Cause Urges Ethics Probe of Rep. Michael Grimm - January 29, 2014

Common Cause Statement on the State of the Union Message - January 28, 2014

Commission Delivers Bipartisan Blueprint for Upgrading Elections - January 22, 2014