California State Assembly endorses amendment to overturn Citizens United
Golden State jumps into national drive to reform campaign finance
Sacramento, CA – The California State Assembly jumped into the national campaign finance debate today, overwhelmingly approving a resolution that calls on Congress to pass a Constitutional amendment permitting limits on corporate political spending.
The 48-22 vote in favor of Assembly Joint Resolution 22, sponsored by Assembly Members Bob Wieckowski and Michael Allen, puts the Golden State at the forefront of a national effort to undo the damage done by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. A vote in the state Senate is expected within a few weeks.
Common Cause has launched a national campaign, Amend 2012, to secure the passage of similar resolutions across the country and to help voters voice their sentiments on an amendment through ballot initiatives and referenda.
“This is a major victory,” said Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause. “Californians are saying that corporations aren’t people and they shouldn’t be permitted to use their tremendous economic power to take charge of our elections. Congress should listen – and act on – the message.”
The Citizens United decision has fed the growth of “super PACs,” fundraising operations that are collecting millions of dollars – mostly from wealthy corporations and individuals – to finance advertising campaigns promoting or opposing various candidates. The groups are required by law to operate independent of political parties and candidates, but several are run by veteran Republican and Democratic operatives and appear to be closely tied to partisan leaders. This new and unregulated flow of campaign funds has led to one of the most negative campaign seasons in modern history.
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.