Page 6 - Public Citizen News November-December 2013

Basic HTML Version

6
November/December 2013
Public Citizen News
By Sam Jewler
Public Citizen’s Democracy Is
For People campaign is celebrat-
ing some major milestones on its
road to a constitutional amend-
ment overturning the U.S. Su-
preme Court’s
Citizens United v.
Federal Election Commission
deci-
sion, which has unleashed record
amounts of money into elections
since 2010.
Due in large part to the work of
Public Citizen, its allies and activ-
ists around the country, support
for such an amendment — which
requires a supermajority of each
chamber of Congress, followed
by ratification by three-quarters
of the states — now stands at
around 40 percent of each of the
three thresholds needed.
Currently, 31 senators are
sponsoring or co-sponsoring an
amendment to overturn
Citizens
United
, which is 46 percent of the
67 senatorial votes needed. Of
290 representatives needed, 107,
or 37 percent, have co-sponsored
an amendment.
And 16 of the 38 states that are
needed to ratify an amendment
have passed official resolutions
or ballot measures, or have had
letters signed by a majority of
state legislators — 42 percent of
the number needed.
“Our members are working
tirelessly to meet with their rep-
resentatives and make sure their
voices are heard,” said Aquene
Freechild, senior organizer with
Public Citizen’s Democracy Is
For People campaign. “They
are
heard in many instances, and as
a result this has become an issue
on the radar for many represen-
tatives who hadn’t really consid-
ered it before.”
Carol Bullard is one of many
Public Citizen members who
took the initiative to talk with her
representative and win his sup-
port for a constitutional amend-
ment to overturn
Citizens United
.
She was one of a wave of almost
23,000 people taking action dur-
ing the summer months to reach
out to their elected representa-
tives by phone, email, petition
or in-person meeting, spurred by
Public Citizen’s campaign, to ex-
pand support for an amendment
in Congress.
“I had never actually had a
meeting with any congressman
or senator with a specific issue
in mind, so this was really quite
new to me,” said Bullard, who is
retired and lives in the Albany,
N.Y., area, where her congress-
man is Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.).
After she gathered a group of like-
minded friends and met with the
congressman, he co-sponsored
the Democracy Is For People
amendment (H.J.R. 34).
“Sometimes when you’re do-
ing something new, you think it’s
going to be painful, and you find
that actually it’s a very pleasant
experience,” Bullard said. “You
learn something from it, about it
being something that helps you
grow and at the same time makes
a contribution.”
Since meeting with Tonko, Bul-
lard has written a letter to the
editor of her local newspaper on
the issue of money in politics,
and she says she’s thinking about
joining Public Citizen’s efforts by
meeting with other U.S. Congress
members to ask for their sup-
port as well as working to make
New York the next state to pass
a resolution supporting a consti-
tutional amendment to overturn
Citizens United
.
Along with congressional advo-
cacy, the Democracy Is For Peo-
ple campaign continues to focus
on state and local advocacy. Pub-
lic Citizen is now focusing on se-
curing the passage of bipartisan
resolutions in Iowa, New Hamp-
shire and New York legislatures,
and on winning a ballot initiative
in Arkansas. These efforts contin-
ue the important work of bring-
ing new state voices to the fore
and demonstrating the need for
an amendment.
If you want to learn more
about the campaign, check out
DemocracyIsForPeople.org. To
get involved with the campaign,
email senior organizers Free-
child and Jonah Minkoff-Zern at
amendment@citizen.org.
“Our members are working tirelessly to meet with their
representatives and make sure their voices are heard. They
are
heard in many instances, and as a result this has become an issue
on the radar for many representatives who hadn’t really considered
it before.”
Aquene Freechild, senior organizer
Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign
Public Citizen Celebrates Milestones in Effort to Overturn
Citizens United
Public Citizen Salutes . . .
the extraordinary generosity and commitment of our donors, who make our mission and goals their own. This list includes recent leadership donations, and our Public
Citizen Trustees and foundations, whom we are proud to recognize throughout the year.
TRUSTEES ($25,000+)
Jason B. Adkins
Catherine D. Bertram
Mark A. Chavez
Caragh Glenn Fay
Joseph W. Fay
Thomas Fortune Fay
Glenn Garland
Jonathan E. Gertler
David and Sherry Gold
Frederick Henninger
Annie P. Kaplan
Shannon Liss-Riordan
Victor E. Long
Patrick Regan
Michael P. Rooney
Steve Skrovan and Shelley Powsner
Salvatore Zambri
TORCHBEARERS
President’s Circle
($10,000-$24,999)
Randy and Polly Cherner
Jonathan Cuneo
Michael D. Donovan
Emmons and Elizabeth Ellis
James Finberg
Pam Gilbert
Jeffrey M. Goldberg
Keith A. Hebeisen
Molly Hoffman
Dr. Neil Holtzman
Scott Hunter
George Krumme
Bob Jennings and Barbara Bott
Charles LaDuca
Michael and Louise Malakoff
Cyrus Mehri
Maria Ragucci
Steven Skalet
Natalie Sticesen
Rosine and Robert Turner
Molly Weeks
TORCHBEARERS
Director’s Circle
($5,000-$9,999)
Anne Andrews
Attorneys Information Exchange Group
F. Gregory Barnhart
Nancy Barron and Bryan Kemnitzer
Steven Berger and Paula Hughmanick
Elizabeth Cabraser
Earl Denney
Dale Drake
Charles Eldridge
George Farah
Donald and Martha Farley
William H. Harrell
Bob and Stephanie Harris
Ruth Harvey
David Haynes
Shannon Haynes
Steve Hopkins
Elise Jerard
Anne Hale Johnson
Barry Kramer
Maurice Landry
Ann Evans Larimore
Patrick Malone
Charles Meltmar
Lisa M. Mezzetti
Thomas J. Murray
Barry Nace
Chris Nace
Jon Nace
Matt Nace
Victoria Nugent
Jack H. Olender
Mike Papantonio
Charlotte Perret
Kit A. Pierson
Elizabeth Ross
Jack Scarola
Judith Screaton
Chris Searcy
Joseph Sellers
John Shipley
Marsha Soffer
Christine Spagnoli
John Thornton
R.J. Walser
George Zelcs