Common Cause To Launch “Amend2012” Campaign

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  • Dale Eisman

Common Cause To Launch “Amend2012” Campaign to Give Voters a Direct Voice in November on Overturning Citizens United

Tele-presser Tuesday Featuring Robert Reich Will Lay Out Creative New Strategy

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

The nonpartisan government watchdog group will launch on Tuesday a 50-state drive to give voters a voice to fight back against corporate political spending and build toward a national referendum calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizen United, and affirm that only people are people, and that campaign spending can be limited. Common Cause will also release a new call-to-action video for the grassroots featuring its board chairman, Robert Reich.

“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.”

WHAT: Telephone press conference featuring Common Cause Board Chair Robert Reich and Common Cause President Bob Edgar to launch Amend2012, a national campaign to build and demonstrate voter support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and control corporate spending on our elections.

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 17 at noon ET.

DIAL IN: 877-317-2314, conference ID# 43756792, or ask for Amend2012

BACKGROUND: Amend2012 is a creative and ambitious addition to the constitutional amendment movement because it gives voters a direct opportunity to make their voices heard NOW, during the 2012 elections, in overturning Citizens United. This will occur by putting “voter instruction” measures on the November ballot in as many states as possible, either by voter initiative or legislative referral. The measures would instruct Congress to adopt a constitutional amendment to make it clear that corporations are not people, and that money is not speech.

The effort launches with the release of a call-to-action video featuring Robert Reich outlining the damage being done to our democracy by Citizens United. Common Cause efforts will initially be focused on three states: Colorado, Montana and Massachusetts. There are at least seven more states where it is feasible to get an Amend2012 initiative on the ballot in November: Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio and Washington.

In non-initiative states, Common Cause will promote campaigns to urge state legislatures to refer an advisory question on Citizens United to the ballot.

Common Cause believes this strategy also has the potential to re-engage disenchanted drop-off voters, like the Occupy crowd, and to inject issues of corporate control and big money in politics directly into the presidential and key congressional races. “It’s a bottom-up grassroots strategy designed to give activists the concrete hook and tools they need to force the issue into the 2012 elections,” Edgar said.

Common Cause has already 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.

Common Cause will release additional details at on Tuesday at noon ET.