DEMOCRATS CALL FOR HEARING ON PROPOSED CITIZENS UNITED RESOLUTION

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The Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics held its first meeting of the 2017-18 legislative session. Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) and Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) requested that Committee Chairperson, Rep Scott Allen (R-Waukesha), include Assembly Joint Resolution 53 [2] on today’s public hearing agenda.

AJR 53 would place a statewide advisory referendum question on the ballot asking voters whether they support a constitutional amendment overturning the United States Supreme Court’s decision in _Citizens United v. FEC_. AJR 53 was referred to the Committee on Constitution and Ethics in May.

Yet, Rep. Allen refused the Democratic Legislators’ request, calling the advisory referendum, a democratic process defined and allowed under Wisconsin law, “politics at its worst.”

Political spending has exploded since the _Citizens United_ decision, much of it undisclosed. A vast majority of Americans view our election system as corrupt. Special interest money has enormous political influence and everyday citizens feel they are getting no representation.

Here in Wisconsin, 115 communities have called for an amendment to overturn _Citizens United_. Almost half of Wisconsin lives in jurisdictions that have voted for this and the Yes votes are in the 80-90% range. Across America, 19 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as about 750 towns, villages, cities and counties.

Wisconsin United To Amend is an non-partisan, all-volunteer organization that helps citizens organize around this issue. Co-chair, Jim Crist said: “There are plenty of billionaires on both sides of the aisle. Both parties are raking in campaign cash. While many politicians may like this crony capitalism, the rest of America is disgusted by it.”

“It is stunning that Republican Representative Scott Allen considers giving the average Wisconsinite the opportunity to have their say at the ballot box to be ‘politics at its worst,’” said Rep. Subeck.

“Wisconsinites are fed up with the massive corporate and special interest spending Citizens United has ushered into our elections, and it is time to let them be heard.”

Matt Rothschild, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, summed it up succinctly: “People across the ideological spectrum get it:

All of our voices are being drowned out by those with big money.”

United To Amend is a NON-PARTISAN, grassroots movement. For more information visit wiuta.org