The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to place a measure on this November's ballot that will give voters the chance to demand a federal constitutional amendment that would authorize limits on political campaign contributions and spending and establish that corporations do not have the same constitutional rights that people do.
The motion states:
The People of the City and County of San Francisco instruct our Representatives and Senators in Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending and end artificial corporate rights, reversing the decision of the Citizens United case. The People of the City and County of San Francisco call on other communities and jurisdictions to join this action by passing similar Resolutions.
. Supervisor Avalos brought this measure to the board and Supervisors Campos, Olague and Chiu co-sponsored it. Avalos said, "Citizens United opened the floodgates of special interest money into our political system making it near impossible for voters to know who is funding the candidates and the issues on their ballot. I co-authored this measure because I believe that voters should have a chance to tell Congress to reverse Citizens United."
This measure is part of Common Cause's Amend 2012 campaign, launched this January with an on-line video by the group's Chairman and U.C. Berkeley professor Robert Reich. The campaign's goal is to support federal, state and municipal efforts to use voter instructions ballot measures to call on Congress to reverse the Citizens United vs. the FEC ruling that struck down bans on corporate and labor union spending in elections.
A Senate subcommittee held hearing yesterday on the role of Super PACs in our elections as a result of the Citizens United v. FEC ruling by the Supreme Court. Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause submitted testimony saying,
The movement against big money and corporate influence in our election grows larger every day. People are finding ways to make their voice heard in such a way that it is no longer a question of if but when we will succeed in passing a constitutional amendment to correct the Supreme Court's errors.
Next steps: Build a campaign in San Francisco that will turn out voters in November who will tell Congress Corporations are not people and money is not speech! The city of Richmond will also have a similar measure on their November ballot. And the California Legislature recently passed Assembly Joint Resolution 22 requesting that Congress call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. We applaud the efforts all across our country to reverse Citizens United and restore government of, by and for the people.