We came bearing the political umbrella to save We the People from the supreme 5-4 deluge against our election process. It was a grassroots effort to convince Senator Kaine to co-sponsor the Udall Amendment SJ Res 19.
Now, there are other resolutions and amendments that could contribute to our pre Citizens United political balance, but the Udall Amendment is the cow prod needed to overrule the 5-4 Supreme Court.
Around 1:55pm the Senator's Deputy State Director & Legislative Assistant, Keren Charles Dongo showed us into Rm 388, explaining Senator Kaine was called to a vote, but would arrive thereafter.
On twenty-three faces I saw concern that this was another bait and switch, for though no one expected a Second Continental Congress, these were professional people, true patriots who came to The Hill to be about their Founding Fathers' business.
Shortly after Fairfax County Democratic Committee member Stephen Spitz began speaking, Senator Kaine entered all smiles, apologies and caveats. The Senator, with all due respect to his "favorite", the 14th, was unequivocal - He didn't favor amending the Constitution.
So he faced twenty-four thousand voters, for the math on The Hill is every voter that comes face to face with a member of Congress represents one thousand Election Day votes.
Immediately the Senator defined the issues for him. He's more concerned about large money secretly donated, as a prelude to moving America rapidly to an electoral secret money system. The fact that Udall SJ Res 19 would amend both secret and non-secret billions didn't convince the senator he wasn't in Kansas anymore.
Kaine's reticence to amend is steeped in fear of, this xenophobic climate of a not so subtle Right Wing whipping up a Conservative tornado to repel children fleeing life threatening dangers, away from freedom's shores, with a GOP constitutional amendment for Birth Right Citizenship. Even a reminder that like the ERA, any Constitutional amendment needs approval of thirty-five states for ratification, didn't sway Kaine.
So, should we permit Congress to drift into a supremely induced laissez faire state: If you don't show me yours, I won't show you mine?
As a radio news producer in Charlottesville, Va, I'm proud that it was the first city to pass a resolution against Citizens United, so I asked Senator Kaine if maybe his reticence to amend the constitution might come from the fact that, unlike other candidates, he survived the onslaught of Corporatism's millions. To his credit, he agreed, "that's a fair comment."
Defense Analysis and Researcher Sean Barnett, reminded the Senator that at the 2012 State Convention, the Virginia Democratic Party voted unanimously for a resolution to regulate the ability of only a small number of people spending huge sums of money to alter the outcome of an election and the 5-4 direction of the Supreme Court -- the senator listened.
Lenny Mell went to the guts of it: Growing American cynicism -- Citizens United is so central to the public's perception of what's going on, and that should trump any Democrat's reticence to amend the constitution"..we need a national dialogue about money, and the way it's used to measure citizenship and equality of opportunity.
Senator Kaine demurred, "Legislation can open up a dialogue too," yet he admitted that post-civil war amendments have a progressive election focus.
As for TRV: to the degree Constitutional amendments adjust the law of the land to embrace the future, by moving the country forward more consistently with current reality, then amendments, like our Founding Fathers' Declaration of Independence, have precedence.