- Freeport murder suspect Damon Dixson taken into custody in Rockford
- Local gas station employee arrested for selling liquor to minor
- Renewable Fuel Standard delay ‘a mixed blessing,’ Bustos says
- Rockford delegation presents inaugural ‘Rockford Award’ to Norwegian Air
- Education in Illinois making slow progress, according to report
- Illinois GOP Congressional delegation: Obama’s immigration plan undermines rule of law
- Suspect, 17, charged in Halloween hit-and-run in Roscoe
- Saint Anthony College of Nursing president to retire
- Man found guilty in deadly August 2013 crash at Mulford and Garrett Lane
- ‘The Price is Right Live!’ at Coronado March 1; tickets on sale Nov. 21
Illinois 14th state to call for overturning of ‘Citizens United’ ruling
Online Staff Report
Illinois became the 14th state to call for a constitutional amendment to rid elections of corporate money and unlimited spending May 31. The bipartisan action by the Illinois General Assembly demonstrates continuing national momentum to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
Illinois is the third state in the past month-and-a-half to call for an amendment; West Virginia and Maine passed similar resolutions last month.
The effort in Illinois was bipartisan, underscoring what poll data have shown: People of all political stripes are deeply concerned about corporations having too much influence over our democratic process. A measure calling for a constitutional amendment was on ballots across Illinois in November, and was supported by three-quarters of voters.
Illinois ranks fifth among U.S. states in population and has been called the state that most closely mirrors the demographics of the country.
Other states that have called for an amendment to overturn Citizens United are Maine, West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii; so has Washington, D.C. Nearly 500 local municipalities have called for a constitutional amendment. (You can read more about them here: http://www.united4thepeople.org/local.html#Passed.)
People nationwide have seen the effects of the Citizens United ruling during and since the 2012 election season, and they don’t like it. On issue after issue, Congress appears unable to pass legislation favored by overwhelming majorities of Americans. Elected officials are forced to spend enormous amounts of time fund-raising; even if corruption was not evident, the dependence of elected officials on wealthy donors prevents officials from focusing their time and energy on constituents.
The court’s decision gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums on elections. Subsequently, a record amount of money was spent, much of it by the super rich or by “dark money” groups whose funders are hidden. Voters are disgusted by the hijacking of elections by elites and corporate interests.
With some state legislatures still in session, expect to see more states backing an amendment in the coming weeks. Oregon, Delaware and New Hampshire are considering actions calling for an amendment.
Posted May 31, 2013