Vermont Voters Tackle Citizens United

Voters across the country head to the polls today in the Republican primary Super Tuesday. But with all the focus on the presidential nomination it’s easy to overlook that voters in states like Vermont will be choosing more than just a challenger to President Obama.

That’s because all across the state Vermont voters will be voting on local resolutions challenging corporate personhood. Nearly 50 towns will vote on initiatives calling on Vermont legislators and the state’s congressional delegation to overturn the Citizens United decision with a constitutional amendment.

The initiatives call on the Vermont Legislature and congressional delegation to support a constitutional amendment that clarifies that money is not speech and corporations are not people. If passed such an amendment would make it possible for Congress to limit election-related expenditures by for-profit corporations, nonprofits, unions and individuals.

“Vermonters are taking a lead in the growing movement for a constitutional amendment to limit the influence of big money and corporations in our democracy,” said Aquene Freechild, senior organizer with Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign. Public Citizen – along with Move to Amend/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Vermont Peace and Justice Center, VPIRG, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Rural Vermont, Common Cause Vermont, Occupy Burlington, Vermonters Say Corporations Are Not People, Vermont Action for Peace, Vermont Workers Center, and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream) – has worked with Vermont activists to collect signatures and get the resolutions on town meeting agendas.

The towns with ballot measures challenging corporate personhood include Albany, Barnet, Brattleboro, Bristol, Burlington, Calais, Charlotte, Chester, Chittenden, Craftsbury, East Montpelier, Fayston, Fletcher, Greensboro, Hardwick, Hinesburg, Jericho, Lincoln, Marlboro, Marshfield, Monkton, Montgomery, Montpelier, Moretown, Mount Holly, Norwich, Plainfield, Putney, Richmond, Ripton, Roxbury, Rutland City, Rutland Town, Sharon, Shrewsbury, South Burlington, Starksboro, Sudbury, Thetford, Tunbridge, Waitsfield, Walden, Warren, Waltham, Williamstown, Williston, Winooski, Windsor, Woodbury, Woodstock and Worcester. The list is also available at

A state resolution – introduced by state Sen. Virginia “Ginny” Lyons and currently in the Senate Government Operations Committee – calls on the Vermont delegation to support an amendment clarifying that corporations are not people under the U.S. Constitution. Lyons was also a leader in starting the town meeting effort, working with diverse groups to put forth sample language.

It’s a movement that is gaining momentum and shows the power and faith that remains in our democracy. Citizens United has wrecked a heavy toll on our electoral process, but we can fight back, and the citizens of Vermont are showing us how.


Related Stories:

Who Is Leading Which State Going Into Super Tuesday?

Vermont Introduces Resolution To Ban Corporate Personhood


Photo from Theresa Thompson via flickr.


Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

So happy to hear this. Go Vermont!

John R.
John R5 years ago

If I lived in the U.S., I'd move to Vermont

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

There should be a dating site for sadists and masochists. The sadists(GOP) and the masochists(women who support the GOP). They could get married and raise little ignoramuses, that would help America.....haha

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley5 years ago

Good luck Vermont--I hope you're successful!

Emmalou Brandenberg
Emma Blydenburgh5 years ago

I know that 55 towns in Vermont is just a start, but what fine start it is. Thank all of you citizens (who are not corporations).

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

If you read

then please sign

thank you

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

They should be O J Simpson...

Cathryn C.
Cathryn C5 years ago

@Steve R. sometimes I wonder if the reason you say the things you do is to try and get people to defind their positions as in playing "The Devil's Advocate". But I am not sure anyone can be that consistently disingenious with out some slip up.

That said. Citizens United will help those who they see as putting the Corporate and Wealthy Agenda for profit before the needs of the citizens of the country then that is who they are going to support. Democrat or Republican...that is who they are going to support. Most often it is in this current election run, the Republicans..why? Because Obama has been fighting for US..the guys who they want to hire at Minimum wage to do jobs that require a college degree. Because he wants to raise taxes on them, to remove subsidies that do little more than place the tax burden on the citizens while allowing Comapnies to pay little and post record profits. Latesly the GoP seems to have forgotten the US in USA, in favor of the U$ and Them other folks.

Amie K.
Amie K5 years ago

Well said, Christopher F and another green star in spirit to you!

Christopher Fowler

Steve R. I am so glad that you are consistently ignorant and disingenuous. It makes it easier to tear apart your statements.

We ALL know that while citizens United helps the GOP puppeteers, it also helps take public responsibility away from all corporations.

Contrary to what your heroes in the GOP claim, Corporations are not people. Yes, they are made up of people, but that does not make them people.
It is like saying that a person is an atom; we are made up of atoms, but that doesn't make us atoms.

So your support for CU is as misguided and fatally flawed as your logic (logic. yeah right) behind your support for such corruption.