Bartelme Votes to Amend the U.S. Constitution

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Contact: George Penn, 608-244-6436,

Bartelme Votes to Amend the U.S. Constitution

Madison, WI (November 9, 2022) – In the November election, Wisconsin residents in the town of Bartelme in Shawano County voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only human beings should have inalienable human rights and money is not the same thing as free speech.

The referendum passed with an overwhelming majority (88%).

That brings the total to 168 Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment. In total, almost 3.3 million people (58% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions.  Across the country, 22 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as over 830 towns, villages, cities and counties.

“Over half of Wisconsinites have already called for an end to “corporate personhood” and seeing money as a form of speech.”, explained Shawano resident Jan Koch.  “It’s time that our state legislators follow the will of “we the people” and put the referendum on the state ballot.  The millions of anonymous dollars spent during this election cycle continue to disenfranchise the average citizens’ voice in American governance.”

“Our politics has become a money game where only the rich and corporate special interests can ante up to play.” exclaimed Bartelme resident Steve Parks.  “And, in the meantime, the rest of us are all left wondering why the needs of everyday citizens aren’t being addressed.”

Resolutions calling for a statewide vote on Citizens United have been introduced into the state legislature (AJR 78 / SJR 61).  The referendum would ask voters if they support allowing individuals and corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.

Numerous polls show that government corruption and money in politics is a top issue in America.[1]   Over 90% of Americans, regardless of party, think special interest money has too much influence in American political campaigns.[2]

Jackie Cody, a resident in Rhinelander, explained that: “We need limits on how much money can be contributed and spent on political races.  Only people have a constitutional right to free speech.  Money is not ‘political speech’ under the First Amendment.”

Four in five Americans oppose the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, according to a Bloomberg poll. A New York Times/CBS poll 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.

Matt Rothschild, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, summed it up succinctly: “People across the ideological spectrum get it: All of our voices are being drowned out by those with big money.”

United To Amend is a nonpartisan, all volunteer, citizens group.

For more information visit

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

Photos: photo1, photo2, photo3, photo4, photo5, photo6 and photo7.

Link to this press release.