CONTACT: Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Move to Amend, (707) 269-0984, info [at] movetoamend.org;
Sarah Manski, Liberty Tree Foundation, (608) 395-9748
Rep. Mark Pocan, 608-266-8570
Rep. Chris Taylor, 608-266-5342
MADISON – Two legislators began the process of overturning the United States Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case shortly after the two-year anniversary of the decision that expanded corporate personhood for the purpose of political speech and open the floodgates to corporate money in elections.
State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) and State Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) today introduced a resolution that calls for an amendment the United States Constitution to overturn the court ruling and establish that a corporation is not a person and money is not speech. If Congress fails to act, the resolution further calls for a National Constitutional Convention under Article V of the United States Constitution.
“Corporations aren’t people and they shouldn’t be given the constitutional right to buy elections,” said Pocan. “This is the people’s government, not the corporation’s government. Corporations shouldn’t have the right to usurp individual rights to free speech.”
Additionally, the legislators argued the court ruling should be overturned because corporations are not mentioned in the US Constitution and the people have never bestowed constitutional rights upon corporations.
“Corporations don’t enjoy other individual rights such as the right to bear arms or the right to vote, so they shouldn’t also enjoy the right to free speech,” said Taylor. “I am proud to join this national effort right here in Wisconsin.”
The resolution is part of a national movement associated with Move to Amend. The organization has worked with several municipalities to pass advisory referenda and is now taking the fight to state legislatures. Voters in Madison and Dane County have each passed advisory referenda supporting the overturn of the Citizens United decision with 84 percent and 78 percent respectively.
"Citizens across the country are putting Congress and the Supreme Court on notice that an amendment is coming. Legislatures can either join the Movement to Amend or get out of the way," stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap of Move to Amend. "Americans of all political persuasions are on board with an amendment to put We the People in charge of our government, not corporations. It is great to have two champions of the people like Pocan and Taylor step up to join the cause."
Move to Amend has a goal to get 50 towns and cities get resolutions on the ballot this November. Residents in West Allis, WI and Corvallis, OR have already qualified. Signature drives have begun in several Illinois towns, Mendocino County, CA and Salt Lake City, UT.