Eighteen Communities to Vote to Reclaim Democracy from Special Interests

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

Eighteen Communities to Vote to Reclaim Democracy from Special Interests

Madison, WI (October 24, 2016) – On Tuesday, November 8th, Wisconsin residents in nineteen communities will vote on whether to amend the U.S. Constitution to make clear that: a corporation is not a person, and money is not speech.

Voters will cast ballots in Rock County, Reedsburg, Manitowoc, Delafield, Neshkoro, New Glarus, Spring Valley, Osceola, Mt. Horeb, Monticello, Clayton and the towns of New Glarus, Harris, Springdale, Decatur, Mount Pleasant, Cadiz and Lake Tomahawk.

If all vote in favor, this will bring to 96 the number of Wisconsin communities that have called for the We The People amendment. Nationwide, 17 state legislatures have done likewise, as have more than 700 towns, villages, cities, and counties.

“We cannot solve any of the pressing issues in front of our country as long as our politicians do not represent us and they won’t until we get the big money out of politics,” said Evan Wright, a reformer in Polk County. “I see reform as the most important effort for my generation and, while I am too young to vote, I can help build the grassroots movement needed to fix it.”

Multiple polls show over 90% of Americans, regardless of party, think special interest money has too much influence in American political campaigns. [1]

“The big money in politics mutes the voices of the citizens, and all our problems will continue until we change that,” said Kathy Bernhart, the United To Amend leader in Manitowoc.

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.” [2]

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!”

The roots of the problem run deeper than Citizens United. Over a century ago Robert M. La Follette spoke out against corruption wrought by the “concessions and privileges” given to corporations by legislators. “Why,” he asked, “in a government where the people are sovereign, why are these things tolerated?”

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



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