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America's Most Dynamic (Yet Under-Covered) Movement: Overturning Citizens United

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Source: The Nation



The most under-covered political movement in the United States -- and there are a lot of under-covered political movements in the United States -- is the broad-based national campaign to enact a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court rulings that ushered in a new era of big-money politics.

On the eve of the nation's July 4th celebrations, Oregon became the 16th state to formally call for an amendment. With bipartisan support the state House and Senate requested that Congress take necessary steps to reestablish the basic American premise that "money is property and not speech, and (that) the Congress of the United States, state legislatures and local legislative bodies should have the authority to regulate political contributions and expenditures..."

Oregon is the fifth state to make the call for corporate accountability in three months, making 2013 a banner year for a movement that began with little attention and little in the way of institutional support after the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling, in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that corporations could spend as freely as they like to buy favorable election results.

Support for an amendment now stretches from coast to coast, with backing (in the form of legislative resolutions or statewide referendum results) from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. The District of Columbia is also supportive of the move to amend, as are roughly 500 municipalities, from Liberty, Maine, to Los Angeles, California -- where 77 percent of voters backed a May referendum instructing elected representatives to seek an amendment establishing that "there should be limits on political campaign spending and that corporations should not have the constitutional rights of human beings."

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about politics (more...)
 
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"In Parts one and two , a strong case was... by Ethan Hollow on Saturday, Jul 6, 2013 at 10:25:13 AM
Was mistrust of the American political sy... by Gary Glaxon on Saturday, Jul 6, 2013 at 2:52:21 PM
Getting money out of politics is essential.  ... by George Flower on Sunday, Jul 7, 2013 at 3:40:57 AM