Naperville won’t amend constitution to fight Supreme Court ruling

June 6, 2012
Justin Kmitch

Don’t expect to see Naperville City Council members lobbying Washington, D.C. for a constitutional amendment any time soon.

The local Move to Amend chapter appeared before the council Tuesday for the second time. And for the second time, their pleas were either rebuffed or fell on deaf ears.

The group is hoping the city will adopt a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment to abolish “corporate personhood” and the doctrine of “money as speech.”

Chapter member Keith Klingeman and approximately three dozen local members said such a resolution would call on Congress to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission. The ruling, he said, encourages members of Congress to spend more time fundraising from corporations than working in session to solve problems.

“Money is not speech and corporations are not people and we would like to call for a resolution from the city of Naperville saying such,” Klingeman said. “Those rights are reserved for the people.”

Councilman Robert Fieseler questioned what Naperville problems would have been solved in recent months if the nation had the campaign finance reform sought by Klingeman and his group.

Klingeman said the policies affect the country on a larger level but stressed the importance of having grass-roots support from Naperville.

Councilman Joe McElroy also couldn’t see the Naperville connection.

“While I agree with what you’re saying, I just don’t see that going through local government is the way to do it,” McElroy said. “It reminds me of the nuclear freeze stuff in the 80s. That just doesn’t have the sway in Washington. Frankly I don’t think its appropriate for us as local government to be taking a stand on such partisan issues.”

No council members supported the proposed resolution and they are unlikely to in the future.


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