May 8, 2012
Derek Cressman (916) 600-7110
CA Senate Committee Approves Resolution Challenging Citizens United Supreme Court ruling
The Committee of the California state Senate has approved a resolution that calls on Congress to support a constitutional amendment that would reverse the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that repealed bans on corporate and labor money in politics. Today's vote sets the stage for the measure, which has already passed in the Assembly, to go to the Senate floor.
"This unjust ruling cannot stand," said Derek Cressman, who leads efforts to reverse Citizens United by the non-partisan group Common Cause. "If money is speech, then speech is no longer free." More than twenty California cities have passed similar resolutions, including Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Nevada City, and Chico, The city council of Richmond has placed a measure on this November's ballot giving voters the opportunity to directly instruct their congressional delegation to reverse the Citizens United ruling. Common Cause is working with other cities in California to do the same thing as part of its Amend2012 campaign (www.Amend2012.org).
The Citizens United ruling has been widely criticized for using the logic that corporations deserve the same constitutional rights as real people and that spending unlimited sums of money to influence elections is the equivalent of the free speech rights to speak one's mind without fear of government repercussions. Comedian Stephen Colbert had lampooned the so-called SuperPACs that sprang from the Citizens Untied ruling and other court actions on late night TV.
Wealthy individuals such as Las Vegas casino operator Sheldon Adelson, Charles and David Koch, and Foster Friess used SuperPACs to significantly alter the course of the Republican presidential primary.
Supporters of today's action included Common Cause, CALPIRG, Public Citizen, California Church Impact, the League of Conservation Voters, and other groups. The organizations turned in more than 50,000 petition signatures gathered from within California to support the measure.
California Common Cause is a non-partisan, non-profit that strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.
Office: California Common Cause
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.