Lopsided Results in Candidate Survey on Citizens United

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Contact: Jim Crist, 608-274-6201, wisconsin@unitedtoamend.org

Lopsided Results in Candidate Survey on Money in Politics

Madison, WI (October 13, 2016) – One of the top issues this election cycle is money in politics. Americans’ job approval rating for Congress hovers near single digits. Over 90% of Americans think special interest money has too much influence in American political campaigns.[1]

The non-partisan citizen-action group, Wisconsin United To Amend, contacted all 185 state Assembly and Senate candidates (most of them multiple times) to determine their level of support for a U.S. Constitutional amendment declaring that free spending is not free speech and only actual human beings have human rights. Of the 185, 68 responded but 117 did not.

The results of the survey were lopsided in terms of respondents — 56 Democrats, nine Independents and three Republicans. Fifteen of the respondents were incumbent Democrats, but there were no incumbent Republicans. The candidates that did respond reported strong support, in the 90% range, for a Constitutional amendment.

Aaron Taylor, an independent assembly candidate from River Falls stated, “Amending the Constitution is a permanent way to reform how campaign finance is currently being conducted, where corporations, lobbyists, and wealthy donors have the ability to buy our State and Federal leaders. We have traveled down the path of money taking away the voice of citizens for too long.”

David Pelikan, another independent candidate from Cedarburg explains, “Our elections are chances for the public to have its voice heard. We shouldn’t be giving corporations a financial megaphone to drown out that democratic voice.”

Wisconsin United To Amend is a non-partisan, all volunteer organization. One volunteer, Bill Waser of Reedsburg, expressed frustration: “Citizens in 78 Wisconsin communities have passed resolutions calling for an amendment. We need state legislators to put it on a statewide ballot, but they won’t even let the bills have a public hearing!”

Due to the efforts by hundreds of volunteers across the state, referenda and resolutions have passed in 78 communities with voter approvals as high as 88%. Nineteen more will be on the November ballot. For more information, visit wiuta.org.

For survey details, including candidate responses, please visit wiuta.org/survey

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

Photos: photo1, photo2 and photo3.

[1] https://mayday.us/data/20150925_gop_polling_results.pdf