Conway Is Applauded for Approving Ballot Initiative Calling for a Constitutional Amendment Opposing Corporate Money in Politics
With the passage of Warrant Article 33, Conway joins nearly than 500 local governments in calling for a constitutional amendment to end the corrosive influence of corporate money in politics and to restore constitutional rights to the people. The resolution specifically calls on the U.S. Congress to pass an amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee.
“Yesterday in Conway warrant article 33 passed 704 – 520. The article includes a requirement that the Conway Board of Selectmen write to our state and federal legislators informing them of the wishes of Conway voters. You can read the article at http://www.wethepeople-mwv.org/Resolutions/YourResolution.html. Citizens of Conway stood up for the Constitutional rights of real people, now it’s time for our state legislature to hear the voices of their constituent” said Joe Bagshaw, Conway voter.
Momentum is building nationwide for a constitutional response to the flood of money from corporations and the ultra-wealthy that has inundated elections since the court’s disastrous Citizens United decision. Since this ruling, 11 states and the District of Columbia have called for a constitutional amendment. More than 125 members of Congress and President Barack Obama have expressed support for an amendment.
A 2010 Peter Hart poll revealed that 68 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Independents and 87 percent of Democrats support an amendment. In 2012, an AP poll showed that 81 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Independents and 85 percent of Democrats want to limit corporate, union and other outside spending.
New Hampshire has seen the devastating effects of the 2010 Citizens United decision. For example, in the 2012 New Hampshire gubernatorial race, estimates show that outside groups spent $19 million (spending almost five times what the candidates spent). Meanwhile, outside spending in the 2012 federal elections was more than $1.25 billion.
On March 20, 2013 and with bipartisan support, New Hampshire’s House of Representatives passed a resolution by a 189-139 margin calling for a constitutional amendment. While passage in the House was a huge step in formalizing New Hampshire’s opposition to Citizens United, the Senate stands as the last obstacle preventing New Hampshire from joining the 11 states that have already called for an amendment to repeal Citizens United. This win in Conway sends a strong message to the Senate as well as Senate’s Majority Leader, Jeb Bradley, whose district includes Conway.
“Conway voters have reaffirmed what we have seen every time this issue has come to a vote, that people across party lines want a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling, take democracy off the auction block, and preserve constitutional rights for people – not corporations,” said Jonah Minkoff-Zern of Public Citizen. “We encourage the New Hampshire Senate to follow the lead of Conway residents and the bipartisan vote in the House and pass House Concurrent Resolution 2 calling for an amendment.”