Eleven Communities Vote to Amend the U.S. Constitution

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Contact: George Penn, 608-244-6436, geo_penn@charter.net

Eleven Communities Vote to Amend the U.S. Constitution

Madison, WI (April 6, 2016) – On Tuesday, April 5th, Wisconsin residents in eleven communities voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to make clear that: a corporation is not a person, and money is not speech.

Eleven referenda passed with very solid majorities: Janesville (84%), Beloit (74%), Platteville (84%), Monroe (82%), New London (81%), Lancaster (85%), Brodhead (85%), Darlington (81%), Clarno (85%), York (86%) and Belmont (88%).

This brings the total number of Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment to 72. In total, 2.5 million people (44% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 16 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as almost 700 towns, villages, cities and counties.

After the votes were counted, Ray Spellman, the resolution campaign leader in Darlington said: “We are extremely pleased that these referenda passed by such high margins. This clearly demonstrates the will of the people. It is time for our state representatives to put this resolution to a statewide vote, and to move towards sending a resolution from Wisconsin to the U.S. Congress.”

Four in five Americans—including 80 percent of Republicans—oppose the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, according to a Bloomberg poll. A New York Times/CBS poll from June found that 85 percent of Americans—including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—believe we need fundamental changes to our campaign finance system or to completely rebuild it.

Polls consistently show widespread agreement among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans that our system is corrupt and needs fixing. Former State Senator Dale Schultz, summed it up well. “We’re talking about billionaires turning this country into a Russian-style oligarchy, where there are two dozen billionaires who buy the whole political process… we are awash in money because of Citizens United, and it puts good people in both parties in a difficult situation.” [1]

“It is now obvious that we are losing our democracy,” said Nettie McGee, a reformer in Outagamie County. “The huge money in our political system buys our elections and politicians.”

United To Amend is a non-partisan, grassroots movement. For more information: wiuta.org

Background material can be obtained here: pdf1, pdf2 and pdf3.

Photos: photo1, photo2 and photo3.

Contact George Penn, 608-244-6436, geo_penn@charter.net

[1] Senator Dale Schultz presentation, March 7, 2014 at the L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI.