Posts Tagged ‘constitutional amendment’

We’ve seen an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm in recent weeks for our effort to build a grassroots movement for a constitutional amendment to restore free speech and fair elections to the people.

In our recent survey, activists across the nation expressed interest in supporting our effort to undo the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission by gathering petition signatures.

So we created a printer-friendly version of the constitutional amendment petition (PDF), a tip sheet about how to gather petition signatures and a web page where activists can pledge to collect signatures.

We’re already coordinating with activists in Washington, D.C., who are planning to help us gather signatures at several events, including Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. And we’re encouraging activists across the nation to help build the movement by gathering signatures in their own communities.

Petitioning is a fundamental way to show Congress and others in power that the American people demand action against the threat to our democracy posed by the flood of unlimited corporate money into our elections. And we’re convinced that once they hear about it, millions more will join this cause.

As Americans gather this fall for events ranging from local festivals and concerts to political rallies and demonstrations, everyone can play a critical role by collecting signatures.

So take the pledge to gather signatures for the Don’t Get Rolled petition. If you have any questions or ideas, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at action@citizen.org.

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Matthew Rothschild, editor of the Progressive Magazine, provides an insightful overview of the growing movement to amend the Constitution in response to increased in corporate influence in U.S. elections following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

Rothschild calls on progressives to “put our Susan B. Anthony hats on and get to work” restoring American democracy to the people.

In addition to legislative reforms favored by Public Citizen, such as the Shareholder Protection Act and the Fair Elections Now Act, Rothschild highlights Public Citizen’s work to restore democracy to real people:

There’s another approach, floated by Ralph Nader and by Robert Weissman, the new president of Public Citizen. While they support legislative efforts, they say the President could issue an executive order refusing to “contract with or provide subsidies, handouts, and bailouts to any company that spends money directly in the electoral arena.”

But the Supreme Court could invalidate such an order, as well.

Nader and Weissman also recommend that shareholders pass resolutions requiring their corporations to receive majority permission before spending money on elections.

Ultimately, however, Nader and Weissman favor amending the Constitution. “In the absence of a future court overturning Citizens United,” they wrote in The Wall Street Journal on February 10, “the fundamental response should be a constitutional amendment. We must exclude all commercial corporations and other artificial commercial entities from participating in political activities. Such constitutional rights should be reserved for real people.”

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As you may already know, we’ve been working to make sure Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) stands up for the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency and serious financial reform. There have been rumors he might cave in to the corporate special interests on that — but his in his statement on Citizens United v. FEC, it sounds like he just might be ready to take the gloves off and fight for consumers:

From the Courant‘s Capitol Watch blog (emphasis added):

“What a terrible day for American democracy,” U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd said in a statement. “With this 5-4 decision, a deeply divided Supreme Court has essentially given corporations free rein to drown out the voices of the American people, rejecting the sacred democratic principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ By overturning the century-old cornerstone of our campaign finance laws, they have opened the floodgates of direct corporate spending, allowing our political discourse and the legislative process to be further corrupted by huge corporations.  I intend to pursue every legislative option – including a constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the states to put appropriate limits on campaign spending – to restore the trust and voice of the American people.” (more…)

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