November 2012 Ballot Measure Roundup

Click here for our press release and statement on these election results.

CALIFORNIA

  • Mendocino County volunteers collected petitions to place a Move to Amend's model resolution stating that corporations are not people and money is not speech on their ballot. Passed by 73%.
  • Arcata residents passed a measure called "Corps Ain't Peeps." Passed by 81.5%.
  • San Francisco residents passed a measure calling for an amendment to overturn Citizens United. Passed by 80%. Citizens United only measure put forward by Common Cause, see below.
  • Richmond residents passed a measure calling for an amendment to overturn Citizens United. Passed by 72%. Citizens United only measure put forward by Common Cause, see below.

COLORADO

  • In Pueblo County Move to Amend volunteers lobbied their County Commissioners to place a resolution on the ballot stating, "Do you want to instruct Pueblo's congressional representatives to propose and support, and Pueblo's state legislators to ratify, an Amendment to the United States Constitution to establish that: 1) The inherent rights of mankind recognized under the United States Constitution belong to natural human beings only, and not to legally created entities, such as corporations, and 2) Money is not speech and, therefore, limiting political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech. Passed by 65%.
  • Colorado state Amendment 65 instructs Colorado’s congressional delegation to propose and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that allows congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending. Passed by 74%. Citizens United only measure put forward by Common Cause, see below.

ILLINOIS

  • In DuPage County two townships voted on the following question: "Should the United States Constitution be amended to clearly state that only individual persons, and not corporations,
    associations, or any other organizational entities, are entitled to the rights enumerated in the Constitution?” Lisle Township: Passed by 63%. City of Warrenville: Passed by 65%.

  • In Kane County, voters passed the following question: "Should the United States Constitution be amended to limit the use of corporate, special interest, and private money in any political activity, including influencing the election of any candidate for public office?" Passed by 73%.

  • In Avon Township (Lake County) voters passed the following question: "Should the United States Constitution be amended to limit the use of corporate, special interests, and private money in any political activity, including influencing the election of any candidate for public office?" Passed by 75%.

  • In Northfield Township (Cook County) voters approved the following question: “Should the United States Constitution be amended to limit the use of corporate, special interest, and private money in any political activity, including influencing the election of any candidate for public office?” Passed by 75%.

  • In Chicago voters approved a measure that stated: “Shall the U.S. Congress pass a bill, to be duly ratified by three-fourths of the states, adopting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, empowering the federal government and the states to regulate and limit political contributions from corporations?” Passed by 74%.
  • Oak Park Township (Cook County) voters approved a measure stating: “Shall the people of Oak Park stand with communities across the country in requesting that our village, county, state and federal representatives enact resolutions and legislation, including consideration for amending the Constitution of the United States to establish that: a) Political money is not the same as speech, and therefore that money shall be regulated; and b) The rights guaranteed by the Constitution were and are primarily intended for human beings, not corporations?" Passed by 85%.

  • Champaign Township and Cunningham Township (Champaign County) voters approved measures stating: "The U.S. Supreme Court held, in “Citizens United v. FEC”, that corporations have the rights of real human citizens and are entitled to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of political campaigns. To undo that decision, the people of the City of Champaign Township support an Amendment to the United States Constitution to establish that: 1) A corporation does not have the same rights as an actual person, and 2) Money is not speech and, therefore, regulating political spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech. We further request that our city, state and federal representatives enact resolutions and legislation to advance the two positions proposed as part of the Amendment, with reference to the need for an Amendment. Passed by 72% in Champaign and 72% in Cunningham.
     
  • Carbondale Township (Jackson County) passed a resolution in support of the Move to Amend amendment language. Passed by 68%.

MASSACHUSETTS

Voters in 120 towns (about 1/3 the population of the state) voted on local measures that instruct their state senator or legislator to support a constitutional amendment affirming 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. Passed by a combine measure of 79%.

The Democracy Amendment Coalition includes Move to Amend, Common Cause Massachusetts, Occupy chapters, Mass VOTE, Free Speech for People, Public Citizen, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and many others.

MONTANA

Montana’s Initiative 166, Stand with Montanans, establishes an official Montana policy that corporations are not people with constitutional rights and charges Montana’s elected officials with supporting a constitutional amendment to create a level playing field in campaign spending. Passed by 74.71%.

I-166 is a partnership between Common Cause and Free Speech for People with support from Governor Brian Schwiezter (D), Lt Governor John Bohlinger (R), former Secretary of State Verner Bertleson (R), CREDO Action, MontPIRG, Avaaz, Montana Conservation Voters, the League of Rural Voters, American Independent Business Alliance, Missoula Move to Amend, unPAC, Public Citizen, MEA-MFT, AFL-CIO, Montana Votes, and the Montana Organizing Project.

OHIO

  • Brecksville became the first city in Ohio to pass a Move to Amend initiative placed on the ballot via citizen initiative. Despite active opposition by the power structure in this "conservative" community, the measure passed with 52% of the vote.
  • Newburgh Heights became the first city in Ohio to pass a Move to Amend initiative placed on the ballot by the Mayor and Council. The measure passed by 74%.

OREGON

  • Ashland voters approved a measure stating: "Shall Ashland voters instruct Congress to amend U.S. Constitution to grant only natural persons constitutional rights and limit campaign spending?" Passed by 79.5%.
  • Corvallis voters approved a measure stating: "Shall the City urge elected representatives to support Constitutional Amendment denying artificial entities’ personhood and rejecting money as speech?" Passed by 75%.
  • Eugene voters approved a measure stating: "Shall Congress send to the States constitutional amendment reversing the negative impacts of the Citizens United case and limit independent campaign spending?" Passed by 73%.
  • Lincoln County voters approved a measure stating: "Should citizens urge Congress/Oregon Legislature to amend Constitution to clarify corporation/union political speech rights, allowing campaign finance regulation and limits?" Passed by 77%.

WISCONSIN

  • Eau Claire residents approved a measure placed on the ballot by their City Council stating: "Should the US Constitution be amended to establish that regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting freedom of speech, by stating that only human beings, not corporations, unions, or PACs, are entitled to constitutional rights?" Passed by 71%.

 

Move to Amend's position is that the Constitutional amendment must go beyond simply overturning Citizens United, "There is no reason for us to shy away from a true and lasting solution, rather than just band-aids," stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a member of the Move to Amend National Leadership Team. "In every single community where Americans have had the opportunity to call for a Constitutional amendment to outlaw corporate personhood, they have seized it and voted yes overwhelmingly."

"Tuesday's results show that the Movement to Amend has nearly universal approval. Americans are fed up with large corporations wielding undue influence over our elections and our legal system. Citizens United is not the cause, it is a symptom and Americans want to see that case overturned not by simply going back to the politics of 2009 before the case, but rather by removing big money and special interests from the process entirely."

Click here for a full list and map of all resolutions passed to date.