News Release

Senate to Vote on Campaign Finance Reform Amendment

Politico reported: “The Senate will vote this year on a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress and the states to regulate the nation’s campaign finance laws.

ROBERT WEISSMAN via Barbara Holzer, bholzer at citizen.org
Weissman is president of Public Citizen. In a statement he said, “In Citizens United and McCutcheon, but also in decisions that precede them, including Buckley v. Valeo, the U.S. Supreme Court has turned the First Amendment upside down, striking down campaign spending limits that enable regular people to have an effective voice in the political process. As Justice Breyer noted in his McCutcheon dissent, Big Money in politics ‘derails the essential speech-to-government-action tie. Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard.’…

“Depending on how one counts, only 600 or 1,200 people ran up against the aggregate contribution limits overturned by McCutcheon. That’s the universe of people who will gain a greater ability to make campaign contributions as a result of that decision, to the detriment of the rest of the nation’s citizens. Here’s another indicator: The top .01 percent of the population was responsible for roughly 40 percent of campaign expenditures in 2012.”

JOHN BONIFAZ, jcbonifaz at freespeechforpeople.org
Bonifaz is president of Free Speech For People, a group that has sought to overturn the Citizens United decision. He said, “Senator Udall’s amendment bill will overturn the Supreme Court’s egregious rulings that have so threatened our democracy and the fundamental American promise of political equality for all.

“The Supreme Court has hijacked the First Amendment for the wealthy few, allowing them to drown out the voices of everyone else. We must now use our amendment power under Article V of the US Constitution to defend our democracy. We have done this before in our nation’s history. We can and we must do it again” …

FSFP also noted, “To date, sixteen states and more than 500 cities and towns have called for an amendment, as well as the President of the United States and more than 145 Members of Congress.”