MOVE TO AMEND
In January, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United vs FEC (Federal Election Commission). This devastating ruling says that money is free speech and allows the incredibly rich to flood our elections with unlimited “big money” and “dark money” through the use of Super PACs (Political Action Committee). No longer are there any restrictions on how much money is put into our elections or which representative can be elected with millions of dollars. With Super PACs no one knows where the money is coming from, or going to. It is untraceable. These funds could be drug money, foreign money, or from some other extreme group or person.
As the huge money rolled into our elections, my husband Milt and I could see how it was buying our democracy. Our voices were not being heard by our representatives. Our government was becoming an oligarchy controlled by the very richest 1percent of the people. This is not the America we wanted for our granddaughters. What could we do? We had to fight back and regain our country. Then I heard how the national and state organization, Move to Amend, was taking this issue directly to the people. We could join the movement to amend to the Constitution. This amendment would reinstate transparency and regulations on the money that elects our representatives.
How does Move to Amend work? Each community petitions its citizens. This petition drive must have 15% of the last gubernatorial election in that community. The signatures must be collected in 60 days from start to finish. The petitions are then turned into the city/town clerk who checks the signatures and presents the referendum to the city council or town board. On the next election date, the referendum is put on the ballot for the voters to decide. In the 53 communities in Wisconsin that have put it on the ballot, all have passed with a large percentage of the votes. Three more communities are on the April 7th ballot.
Wausau’s referendum reads as follows:
“Shall the City of Wausau adopt the following Resolution?
“Whereas, the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission and related case law allows unlimited spending to influence local, state, and federal elections, Be it resolved , that “We the People” of the City of Wausau, Wisconsin call for reclaiming democracy from the expansion of corporate personhood rights and the corrupting influence of unregulated political contributions and spending. We stand with the Move to Amend campaign and communities across the country supporting passage of an amendment to the United States Constitution stating:
- Only human beings—not corporations, limited liability companies, unions, no-profit organizations, or similar associations are endowed with constitutional rights,; and
- Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not the equivalent of limiting free speech.
Be it Further Resolved, that we hereby instruct our elected officials, state and federal, to enact resolutions and legislation to advance this effort.”
Milt and I plan to continue helping with this movement to amend the Constitution. We have spoken to other communities and have continued to educate people in the area. If someone is interested in knowing more about Move to Amend, these websites are very helpful:
www.wimta.org and www.mopvetoamend.org .
Also check out the Wausau Move to Amend Facebook page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.