United To Amend: Nine communities to vote to reclaim democracy from moneyed interests
By United To Amend
MADISON – On April 3, Wisconsin residents in nine communities will vote on whether to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only humans should have constitutional rights and that money is not the same as speech and political spending can be limited to allow all Americans to participate in the democratic process.
Voters will cast ballots in Green and St. Croix counties, the cities of La Crosse, Marshfield, Sun Prairie, Rice Lake, the villages of McFarland and Wittenberg, and the town of Sand Creek in Dunn County.
If all vote in favor, 129 Wisconsin communities will have called for the “We the People” amendment. Nationwide, 19 state legislatures have done likewise, as have more than 760 towns, villages, cities, and counties.
“We cannot solve any of the pressing issues in front of our country as long as our politicians do not represent us, and they won’t until we get the big money out of politics,” said New Richmond resident Jane Hansen.
Multiple polls show over 90 percent of Americans, regardless of party, think special interest money has too much influence in American political campaigns.
Sun Prairie City Council President Al Guyant said, “The avalanche of corporate money is burying average citizens under a wave of corruption that is the worst ever in our nation’s history. Government is being corrupted at every level. We must amend the Constitution to roll back the effects of Citizens United.”
Former State Senator Dale Schultz, summed it up well. “We’re talking about billionaires turning this country into a Russian-style oligarchy, where there are two dozen billionaires who buy the whole political process… we are awash in money because of Citizens United, and it puts good people in both parties in a difficult situation.”
One volunteer, Ben Dorshorst of Marshfield, expressed frustration: “Citizens in 120 Wisconsin communities have passed resolutions calling for an amendment. We need state legislators to put it on a statewide ballot, but they won’t even let the bills have a public hearing!”
The roots of the problem run deeper than Citizens United. Over a century ago, Robert M. La Follette spoke out against corruption wrought by the “concessions and privileges” given to corporations by legislators. “Why,” he asked, “in a government where the people are sovereign, why are these things tolerated?”
United To Amend is a non-partisan, grassroots movement. For more information, visit wiuta.org.