Voters in just under half of Massachusetts towns considered the Democracy Amendment ballot question supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn federal court decisions that give rights of persons to Corporations. The most recent is the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,the 2010 decision that said corporations and the wealthy can spend unlimited amounts to influence elections, and earlier court decisions that have given corporations constitutional rights.
In Tuesday’s election, voters in 30 state representative districts and 6 senatorial districts in MA approved the measure by 79%. In 8th Essex, the overall number was 75% positive, with Lynn, 75%, Swampscott, 79%, and Marblehead, 77%. In Salem, 76% of voters supported a call for the Democracy Amendment.
The question called on Congress to send an amendment to the states stated that:
“(1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and (2) both Congress and the States may place limits on political contributions and political spending”
“It is common sense to most people that corporations are powerful artificial entities that are not entitled to the constitutional protections granted to individual citizens in the Bill of Rights,” said Lee Ketelsen, spokesperson for Move to Amend. “We have spoken: The free speech rights of citizens must not be drowned out by a flood of political spending by just a few wealthy individuals or corporations.”
“With today’s vote, the people of Massachusetts have sent a strong message to our elected leaders to get to work on a constitutional amendment that restores a government of, by and for the people, not of, by, and for the corporations. We plan to build on this success by getting even more jurisdictions on record in support and continuing to press Congress to act,” concluded Pam Wilmot of Common Cause.
Voters in Colorado, Montana, Chicago, San Francisco, and smaller cities including Eugene, Oregon, Ashland, Oregon, and Richmond, California, also overwhelmingly approved ballot measures calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United.
“It is our hope that this will provide energy for us to proceed and obtain an amendment that will return control of our democracy to the people,” said Kathy Lique of North Shore Move to Amend.
From North Shore Move to Amend