Statement by Common Cause Hawaii on Today’s U.S. Senate Vote on the Democracy for All Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution (S.J. Res) 19
(Honolulu, HI) –Today’s vote is a critical and positive step on the long march toward overturning Citizens United and limiting the influence of money in our elections. While we’re disappointed that the amendment didn’t get the 60 votes needed to move it to final passage in the Senate due to a filibuster, we’re pleased that a majority of senators are now on record rejecting the Supreme Court’s assertion that corporate contributions to campaigns cannot be limited. These senators have said that big ideas, not big money, should rule in the public square.
“We are especially pleased by the leadership of Senators Hirono and Schatz who voted in the interests of the vast majority of Americans that want big money out of our elections,” said Carmille Lim, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii.
Opponents of the Democracy for All Amendment have spent the past three days arguing that the amendment is a dangerous attack on the First Amendment. Their votes today expose them as the real opponents of free speech, maintaining a system that lets a few wealthy Americans drown out the voices of millions of their fellow citizens.
More remains to be done to secure the two-thirds majority in Congress that would send the amendment to the states for ratification. That work starts with a full debate and vote on the amendment in the House of Representatives. We call on Speaker John Boehner to schedule action on the amendment before the House adjourns for the November election; voters should know where their representatives stand on this proposal before they choose the membership of the next Congress.
Common Cause Hawaii will continue to fight the influence of money in politics by promoting the People’s Pledge for Hawaii candidates. The Pledge commits participating candidates to make charitable donations from their campaign funds equal to half of any money spent for advertising on their behalf, or against an opponent, by “independent” outside groups. Their donation would be made to a charity chosen by the opposing candidate.
For more information on the People’s Pledge, visit http://www.commoncause.org/issues/money-in-politics/the-peoples-pledge/the-peoples-pledge.html