Legislature to weigh resolution calling for end to unlimited corporate political spending
March 17, 2012 (Sacramento) – On March 20, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing and vote on Assembly Joint Resolution 22. The resolution calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that allowed corporations to spend unlimited sums to influence elections.
If the Legislature approves the measure, as expected, California would be among the first states to formally call for an amendment. The effort is part of a national movement taking place in more than 1,000 cities and towns across America.
The Citizens United decision led to an upsurge in spending by outside groups. In the 2010 election cycle, the first since the decision, a single Super PAC organization, American Crossroads, spent more than $3.2 million in attack ads against Sen. Barbara Boxer alone, for example.
Efforts to rein in corporate political spending are in motion nationwide. City councils have passed resolutions calling for an amendment throughout California – including Los Angeles, Oakland, Davis, Fort Bragg, Richmond, Marina, Petaluma and Fairfax – and across the country, ranging from New York City to Duluth, Minn., and South Miami, Fla. Last week, Vermont passed 65 local resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment. More than 4,000 people have signed up nationwide to lead local efforts throughout the spring to pass resolutions in more than 1,000 cities and towns. To learn more, visit: www.DemocracyIsForPeople.org.
This information was provided by Public Citizen, a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.