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A Congressional Summit to Overturn Citizens United

A Congressional Summit to Overturn Citizens United

Advocates for an open and transparent government are on Capitol Hill today for a Congressional summit  on the growing momentum for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.

All in all eight members of Congress are scheduled to appear and explain their support for the movement. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) convened the summit, joined by colleagues on the Senate and House side, including Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

“Today’s summit shows that a movement for a constitutional amendment to take back our democracy has gone from being considered a ‘pipe dream’ to the mainstream,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said. “The momentum generated at the local and state level country is building fast. We hope the commitments made here today spur even greater action from other members of Congress.”

Activists from Maine, Maryland, New Mexico and Vermont will on be on hand and sharing how their communities have taken steps to push back against the unmitigated corporate influence in our elections.

“The stories shared by these local leaders show that in town after town, state after state, there is widespread concern about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on our democracy – and are doing something about it,” said Mark Hays, coordinator of Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign. “As more local and state efforts get under way, we expect to see even more victories for democracy this spring.”

It’s clear the American public wants action on this issue. But so far neither the Supreme Court nor Congress has given any indication it plans to really remedy the damage from the decision. Which leaves the task to the rest of us.

Related Stories:

Finally! Supreme Court Will Reconsider Citizens United

Vermont Introduces Resolution To Ban Corporate Personhood

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Photo from DonkeyHotey via flickr.

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33 comments

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8:41PM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

T0: Don
You are not missing a hell of a lot there, Don. That is why my item is so strident. it is a shame to see the potential of this great and beautiful nation come to have such noble values eroded by so much misplaced money and aided by of all branches, the 'fair, impartial" (?)Judicial. Herb

3:26AM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

Charles said something to the effect: "some Dems plan on changing the Constitution to actually define WHO can have a form of free speech that passes THEIR muster"

You have it completely wrong, Charles. Democrats want everyone to have free speech.

Anyone can see the overwhelming advantage wealthy corporations have when they see these horribly misleading political advertisements on TV.

When corporations speak, they speak with a megaphone. When "we the people" speak it is in a whisper.

Obviously our founders did not intend corporations to have this unfair advantage. This unfair advantage is the reason:

We do not have single payer universal health care.

The nation is bogged down in expensive, unnecessary Asian conflicts with more on the horizon.

Corporations have moved manufacturing overseas to take advantage of cheap labor and lax environmental standards.

We allow mining and manufacturing that damages the environment and health of the American people.

We lag behind in the development and use of renewable energy.

We have not reined in the abuses of the financial services industry.

We no longer lead the world in effective and affordable education.

These examples are only a few of the many. Uncontrolled money in our elections is the very reason we can not move forward as a nation. We can't move forward because corporations are using their resources to prevent forward thinking legislation. It is really as simple as that.

Money is not free s

3:38PM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

Charles T., please tell us what part of the Constitution says Corporations are people. They always had the same rights as any other citizen so how are they being cheated? Money is NOT speech well unless you are the one doing the bribing.

3:32PM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

ahh yes, some Dems plan on changing the Constitution to actually define WHO can have a form of free speech that passes THEIR muster...how far do you think that will get?

C'mon, actually changing the Constitution so members of Congress who flagrantly already ignore it (budgets anyone? war making powers etc? defining what is a religious institution etc etc) think they can come up with something that will get any support outside of Massachusetts and some liberal areas of the nation?

Fat chance. None of the "leaders" who are pushing this even follow their oath to uphold the Constitution to begin with, why do they think Americans will back their push to amend the Constitution?

7:25AM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

We have the best S/C justices that money can buy (at least a majority), and the best elected officials money can buy (at least a majority), and we still have too many S Palin types who want to rewrite and mis-interpret our constitution to fit their political agendas. Elected officials swear an oath to defend our constitution, but some sign an oath to never raise taxes by some politically motivated partisian. Elected officials can only serve one government and one constitution; those pretenders and ;money whores should be disallowed from being "Public Servants".This was the intent of the founders of our nation, not to take money from the highest bidder. We need "Patriots" representing us not "Prostitutes".

12:33PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

It will never pass in this Congress; the Republicans would not allow it.

Why isn't there a law against Congressment taking gifts from lobbyists or anyone. Large companies have a policy against this.
That should also include donations to theie campaigns above a nominal amount.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will see what damage is being done by Citizens United and reverse their original ruling. While each state
requires a driver's license, we are all required to have one. Healthcare is at least as important if not more so. Insurance companies are out of contol intruding between doctors and patients, raising premiums to suit their bottom lines and wanting to overturn the Healthcare Act because it requires them to pay 80% of the collected premiums in benefits. We still need the government option but will not get it with the obstructionist
Congress.

The deficit will not be reduced until we have many more people working in well paying jobs and the top tax bracket returns to what they were paying prior to the last 30 plus years. That cannot happen as long as the Republicans are in control both in Congress and state governments.

11:42PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!!

11:04PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

As a senior citizen and having served 3 years as a US Army Officer in my youth, I felt betrayed by the passage of the Citizen United law by SCOTUS. You have stolen the common mans vote. The court members that voted for this have no shame and deserve no respect. This court is no longer a place of high esteem to arbitrate for justice and sanity. It became utterly politicized and any effort to cover this up is a sign of continued corruptness. Supreme Court, my butt. This is a group of verbage enabled, well dressed and costumed prostitutes, with palms up, using the gown of justice to entice the highest bidder. I tender my apologies to the ladies in the business...you work much harder and are paid much less than this group of pretenders. Those anonymous contributing companies should be paying more taxes and serving their customers rather than having the largess to buy propaganda and favorable self serving laws. SCOTUS, YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO YOUR TRADITION. Herb

5:51PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Good news and leadership from Congress!

2:28PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Anybody remember the ill-fated ERA in the 1970s? And that was in relatively liberal times. It seems that all too often the constitutional "checks and balances" just cancel each other out.

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