Help Amendment to gain ground in US Congress and in Montana!

July 12, 2019

Montanans Move to Amend
July Newsletter

Help Amendment to gain ground in US Congress and in Montana!

Who we are…

We are Montana supporters of the nationwide movement, Move to Amend.  Towns and states across the country are calling for the US Constitutional amendment that will overturn the US Supreme Court’s "Citizens United" decision so we can have fair elections.
In Montana, we are bringing together the 75% of Montana voters, with a majority in every county, who showed, in Initiative 166, that they want a level playing field and support the amendment that says...

“Money is property, not speech”
and
“Corporations are not human beings
with constitutional rights"

 

Actions Needed This Month!
Thanks for reading our newsletter…
Here’s the short list of what we hope you’ll do  this month toward helping the amendment succeed:
1.  reach out to any and all candidates and office holders:  ask them to put the amendment at the top of their “to do” list because efforts to get big money and corporations out of politics have “no teeth” without the amendment that stops the Supreme Court.  Ask them to sign the Pledge to Amend.
2.  Join the statewide call and let us know what candidates you’re engaging.
1st Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm: 
dial 712-451-1178 then 486899#
3.  Send $5 so we can send Montanans to the Move to Amend Leadership Summit in Washington DC next June.

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National stage
Our amendment’s dynamic sponsor in the US House and why we need to talk to our candidates! 

Pramila Jayapal is the new main sponsor of HJR 48, the “We the People Amendment.”  She represents Washington state in the US House and is a great example of why it’s so important to reach out to candidates and office holders about the amendment to end big money and corporations’ role in our elections.
In 2016, while she was running for the US House, she took the Pledge to Amend to pass the US Constitutional amendment.  At the same time, Washington Move to Amend fought for and passed their statewide ballot initiative, calling for the amendment. 
Now, Pramila is also co-chair of the Progressive Caucus in the US House.
Listen to Pramila’s announcement! (click or copy + paste the URL in your browser)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTfkPDFdwvQ

To date, we have won 60 co-sponsors in the US House, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

We have yet to find a main sponsor in the US Senate, so our work continues!
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Montana
HR 2:  planning ahead for our 2021 Legislature
HR 2 came very close to passing, 51 to 49, in the Montana House.  The Resolution called on the US Congress to pass the amendment out to the states  for ratification. 
We’re looking forward to broadening our base so we can pass in 2021 with a big majority. 

What’s our strategy?
We’re reaching out to all areas of the state for people to take part in our 1/month statewide calls: the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm: Dial 712-451-1178 Then 486899#
We’re seeking out people from all political views and all walks of life in business, farming, ranching, labor, and churches, to learn whether they think their concerns for our country can be heard above the din caused by corporations and big money. 
We’re lobbying our candidates and office holders to increase their awareness that being against money in politics has “no teeth” without the amendment!

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Leadership Summit in Washington DC-
Please help Montana supporters go next year!
In June 2018, Linda Gillison and Diane Magone had a terrific experience when they attended the Move to Amend Leadership Summit in Washington DC and lobbied our Congressional delegation to co-sponsor the amendment. 
But this year, supporters who were interested in going, could not go because of the expense, up to $1600 (registration, lodging, meals, and airfare). 
We’d like to change that!
The first stage of our fundraising drive is to ask supporters to mail $5 to our treasurer.  There are over 1700 supporters in Montana so if everyone sends $5, we can send 5 people!
Please make checks out to “MMTA".
Mail to: MMTA; 216 West Sussex, Missoula 59801.
Please include a return address so we can send receipts.

The second stage will take more work! 
If you’d like to help, please join the statewide call and give us your ideas.
The next call is Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30: 
Dial:  712-451-1178
Then:  486899#

Ideas so far include: 
developing and selling a button or T-shirt;
having events such as spaghetti dinners, benefits with musicians and artists, or brewery-sponsored evenings

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Update:
Day of Action was May 28 for HJR 48
Move to Amend sponsored a National Day of Action for affiliates to ask their US House Representatives to co-sponsor HJR 48, the amendment to end corporate personhood and Citizens United.
In Montana…
We had petition drives to gather signatures for the national amendment
We wrote an editorial about the need to rein in corporations since their priority for profit can be shortsighted and dangerous.  We used the example of the pesticide, Roundup, and the huge liability cases that are facing Monsanto. 
Supporters arranged for the editorial or a similar letter to the editor to appear in newspapers across the state including in Kalispell, Superior, Helena, Miles City, Butte, Billings, and Missoula! 
https://mtstandard.com/opinion/columnists/guest-view-roundup-case-shows-...
Frank, Kathryn, Will, Sue and Linda met with Rep Gianforte’s Helena staff.  Later, the staff learned that Rep. Gianforte would not respond to us unless he decided to co-sponsor HJR 48. 

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Petition signatures and Pledges to Amend
This summer, we are having petition drives and Pledge to Amend drives at Farmers Markets, Art Walks, and fairs.
Petition signatures:
Petition signatures help us reach more Montanans. They also strengthen our lobbying when candidates and office holders see that more and more local and state people are supporting the amendment.

Get petitions and tips on answering questions at: 
movetoamend.org/petition  (copy and paste in your browser)
Send signed petitions to:
Sue at 216 West Sussex, Missoula 59801
She’ll enter them in the database.   Please make sure they’re readable, especially the email addresses.  Or submit them to the national MTA and send a copy to Sue. 

If you have questions, please contact us:
montana [at] movetoamend.org

Pledge to Amend:
There are only a few questions for candidates or office holders who want to sign the Pledge to Amend.  As with petitions, send them to Sue or to the national MTA with a copy to Sue please. 
Here are the questions:

Pledge to Amend

Please Choose One:
     I am an elected official (not up for election right now)
     I am an elected official running for re-election to the same office (incumbent)
     I am a candidate running for an office I don’t currently hold

First Name  _______________________________________

Last Name  _______________________________________

State _______________________-

Office
     President of the United States
     US Senate
     US House of Representatives
     State Senate
     State House
     City Council
     School Board
     Other Office (please indicate below)
   
     ________________________________________________

     District

     ________________________________________________

Party
     Decline to State/Independent/No Party
     Democratic Party
     Republican Party
     Green Party
     Libertarian Party
     Other party  (please indicate below)

     _______________________________________________

I support amending the U.S. Constitution to make clear that corporations and other artificial entities do not have Constitutional rights and that money is not speech and campaign spending should be limited through regulation. *
     Yes
     No

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House Joint Resolution 48 introduced February 22, 2019

Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

Section 3.

Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to abridge freedom of the press.

Click or copy and paste into your browser for the  most up to date list of co-sponsors:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-joint-resolution/48/c...

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The wrecking ball…

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Montanans Move to Amend
Contact:
montana [at] movetoamend.org

sign the petition at
https://movetoamend.org/motion

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