Eighteen Communities Voted to Amend the U.S. Constitution

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

Eighteen Communities Voted to Amend the U.S. Constitution

Madison, WI (November 9, 2016) – On Tuesday, November 8th, Wisconsin residents in eighteen communities 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.

All referenda passed with overwhelming majorities: Rock County (86%), Reedsburg (86%), Manitowoc (81%), Delafield (79%), Neshkoro (88%), New Glarus (88%), Spring Valley (91%), Osceola (86%), Mt. Horeb (84%), Monticello (86%), Clayton (86%) and the towns of New Glarus (83%), Harris (65%), Springdale (86%), Decatur (89%), Mount Pleasant (84%), Cadiz (87%) and Lake Tomahawk (91%).

That brings the total to 95 Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment. In total, 2.7 million people (46% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 18 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as over 700 towns, villages, cities and counties.

Jeanette Kelty, a leader in Green County, 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 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.

Delafield resident Gerry Flakas explained the problem this way: “Big money has absolutely corrupted our system of government of, by, and for the people. The only solution is to amend the Constitution to clarify that money is not speech and a corporation is not a person.”

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 non-partisan, grassroots movement. For more information visit wiuta.org

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

Photos: photo1, photo2 and photo3.

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

https://mayday.us/data/20150925_dem_polling_results.pdf

https://www.texansunitedtoamend.org/uploads/5/0/8/1/5081028/representus_analysis.pdf

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

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

https://mayday.us/data/20150925_dem_polling_results.pdf

https://www.texansunitedtoamend.org/uploads/5/0/8/1/5081028/representus_analysis.pdf

Mt. Pleasant Town Board Votes to Return the Constitution Back to “We The People”

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Mt. Pleasant Town Board Votes to Return the Constitution Back to “We The People”

Town of Mt. Pleasant, Green County, Wisconsin becomes seventh community in county to pass a resolution declaring that money is not speech and corporations are not people.

At the May 16th town meeting, last Monday night, after several presentations by United To Amend at the monthly meetings, the board, in a unanimous vote, passed a resolution asking the U.S. Congress, State legislature, Governor and President to support an amendment which would reverse the Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission. The decision granted artificial entities such as corporations and unions the same constitutional rights as natural persons, and equated free speech to money. The resulting flood of campaign cash has corrupted our political process, making our representatives beholden to a small group of moneyed special interests.

The action in Mt. Pleasant comes just 5 weeks after 11 Wisconsin communities overwhelmingly passed similar resolutions by huge margins. By passing a “We the People” style resolution, Town of Mt. Pleasant joins the Green County communities of Exeter, Belleville, York, Clarno, Brodhead and Monroe, for a total of 75 Wisconsin municipalities. Nationwide 16 states and almost 700 communities have done the same.

Local United to Amend volunteers in the Green County area (GCUTA.org) and our allies at Wisconsin United To Amend, (WIUTA.org) would appreciate the opportunity to present to your organization or group of citizens, a slide presentation and discussion on our movement and Citizens United effects on our Democracy.

United To Amend is a non-partisan, grassroots movement.
Background material can be obtained here: pdf1, pdf2 and pdf3.
Photos: photo1, photo2 and photo3.

Contacts:
Green County United to Amend (GCUTA.org)
Voicemail (608) 620-1799
DoDemocracy@gmail.com
Co-chairs, Harry Pulliam and Jeanette Kelty
Mt. Pleasant advisor, Tim Sager (608) 335-4051

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Eleven Communities Vote to Amend the U.S. Constitution

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

Eleven Communities to Vote to Reclaim Democracy from Special Interests

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Eleven Communities to Vote to Reclaim Democracy from Special Interests

Madison, WI (March 31, 2016) – On Tuesday, April 5th, Wisconsin residents in eleven 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 Beloit, Janesville, Brodhead, Monroe, Town of Clarno, Town of York, Darlington, Belmont, Platteville, Lancaster, and New London. If all vote in favor, this will bring to 72 the number of Wisconsin communities that have called for the We The People amendment. Nationwide, 16 state legislatures have done likewise, as have more than 680 towns, villages, cities, and counties.

The language of the proposed amendment would allow us to return representation to the people. “Most of our legislators are part of Pay-To-Play politics – they must serve their big-money Funders, not the people. I want my democracy to work for my grandchildren again” says Jeanette Kelty, the United to Amend leader in the Monroe area.

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.”

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

Please come and help save our democracy!

Please join us Tuesday, January 12th, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm for a meeting of South Central Wisconsin United to Amend. The meeting will be held at the Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd, Madison (map). This is THE core issue of our time. Please come meet the group and find your niche in this growing democracy movement!

Also, there will be an informal public hearing at the Capitol on January 21st (North Hearing Room on the 2nd floor of the State Capitol, 10 to noon), which is the 6th anniversary of the horrendous Citizens United decision. This hearing will give Wisconsinites a chance to voice their concerns and express support for real solutions that will get money out of politics and our elections. The first speakers will be Rep. Subeck and Sen. Dave Hansen, who have introduced bills (AJR8/SJR12) calling for a statewide referendum on overturning the 2010 Citizens United ruling. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support to reduce the influence of Big Money in politics, this resolution continues to be denied a public hearing; worse yet, the state legislature recently doubled campaign contribution limits and opened the floodgates for unprecedented amounts of secret, special interest spending in Wisconsin’s elections. The public deserves to be heard. This hearing will give Wisconsinites a chance to voice their concerns and express support for real solutions that will get money out of politics and our elections.

And then, that evening, you’re invited to an Unhappy Birthday Party for Citizens United, 6:30 to 9:30 PM, at the Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W. Main St. on Capitol Square in Madison. Sponsored by South Central Wisconsin United To Amend, it’ll feature Mike Crute of The Devil’s Advocates as MC, Mike McCabe of Blue Jean Nation and John Nichols of The Nation magazine as featured speakers, a couple of other notable speakers (still being confirmed), (soft) classic rock by The Sundogs, a cake, a raffle, networking with fellow advocates of democracy, and the kind of wake that the Irish are famous for. We’re hoping that democracy will sit up in its coffin and loudly proclaim “Hey! I’m not dead yet!”

If you have any questions or comments, just reply to this email. Thanks for all you do!

Al Sulzer & Richard Russell Co-Chairs, South Central Wisconsin United To Amend

Meet at the Capitol and Help Get the Big Money Out of Politics!

Assemble for Redress of Grievances
Thursday January 21, 10 to noon
North Hearing Room on the 2nd floor of the State Capitol

Citizens across the State of Wisconsin want to get big money (especially big dark money) out of politics, but the state Legislature continues to ignore widespread and overwhelming calls for a Constitutional amendment to fix the problem. This is an opportunity to show them how serious we are about reclaiming our democracy.

MOVI Rally 2Rep. Lisa Subeck has introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 8, calling for a statewide referendum to determine citizen opinion on whether Wisconsin should support the “We the People” Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision. The Assembly leadership hasn’t scheduled an official hearing on it, so Rep. Subeck has arranged an informal one for 10 AM to noon on Thursday, January 21 (significantly the 6th anniversary of Citizens United). It’ll be in the North Hearing Room on the 2nd floor of the State Capitol.

The first speakers would be Rep. Subeck and Sen. Dave Hansen, who has introduced the companion Senate Joint Resolution 12. Then there’d be some notable public figures. Then comes the citizen portion.

We really want a good turnout from outside the Madison area, which will otherwise be well represented. Nobody would be expected to speak for very long — a minute or so at most — but we’d like a lot of them. Ideally, after the hearing is over, each of them would visit the offices of their own representatives and senators and deliver the same message in person — to the elected official in person if possible, to a staff member if not.

And then, that evening, you’re invited to an Unhappy Birthday Party for Citizens United, 6:30 to 9:30 PM, at the Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W. Main St. on Capitol Square in Madison. Sponsored by South Central Wisconsin United To Amend, it’ll feature Mike Crute of The Devil’s Advocates as MC, Mike McCabe of Blue Jean Nation and John Nichols of The Nation magazine as featured speakers, a couple of other notable speakers (still being confirmed), (soft) classic rock by The Sundogs, a cake, a raffle, networking with fellow advocates of democracy, and the kind of wake that the Irish are famous for. We’re hoping that democracy will sit up in its coffin and loudly proclaim “Hey! I’m not dead yet!”

Meet the group and help stand up for what’s right!

Please join us Tuesday, December 8th, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm for a meeting of South Central Wisconsin United to Amend. The meeting will be held at the Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd, Madison (map). This is THE core issue of our time. Please come meet the group and find your niche in this growing democracy movement!

As you may know, three bad government bills are awaiting the Governor’s signature. Despite the fact that 97% of Americans are very concerned about the corruption in our government and want something done about it, the majority of Wisconsin’s politicians continue to ignore their constituents, while attempting to institutionalize their own corrupt behavior. In this onslaught, they have:

  • doubled contribution limits
  • okayed coordination with issue-advocacy groups
  • eliminated disclosure of contributor’s employers
  • eliminated the Government Accountability Board (GAB)
  • eliminated John Doe criminal investigations into political malfeasance

Had enough yet? It’s time to stand up for what’s right!

If you have any questions or comments, just reply to this email. Thanks for all you do!

Al Sulzer & Richard Russell Co-Chairs, South Central Wisconsin Move To Amend

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