Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767
dowens@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742
drosen@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Arkansas Community Organizations * Arkansas Democracy Coalition* Common Cause * Free Speech for People * People For the American Way * Public Citizen * Regnat Populus

June 11, 2015 

Pro-Democracy Groups Celebrate Attorney General's Approval of Ballot Initiative to Clean Up Elections

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge Approves Language for Ballot Measure; Groups to Begin Gathering Signatures

LITTLE ROCK – A coalition of public interest groups today celebrated State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s approval of language for a ballot measure that would allow Arkansas voters to limit the influence of money in state elections.

The groups began laying plans to gather signatures to ensure the measure is put to voters.

Arkansas Community Organizations, Arkansas Democracy Coalition, Common Cause, Free Speech for People, People For the American Way, Public Citizen and Regnat Populus – local and national groups spearheading the effort for the ballot measure – can now start collecting the 67,887 signatures required to put the measure on the ballot in 2016. The threshold number represents eight percent of the people who voted in the gubernatorial election last year.

The ballot initiative calls for two key actions to diminish the influence of special interest groups and the wealthy, and reassert the public’s voice in state elections.

First, it would increase transparency by requiring outside groups that pay for political advertisements of $2,000 or more to disclose the sources of their campaign contributions electronically within 48 hours of promise of payment.

Second, it would call upon the Arkansas congressional delegation to propose and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to establish reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money to influence elections. This constitutional amendment would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, making it the eighth time the Constitution has been amended to overturn a controversial court decision. That 2010 decision gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence elections.

In 2014, nearly $68.3 million was spent on the race for Arkansas’ U.S. Senate seat. Of that, $39.8 million was spent by outside groups – those not affiliated with the candidates. The race was among the top five most expensive U.S. Senate races in outside spending.

Momentum for change is strong. On May 19, a slew of citizens marched to the state Capitol to show support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Previous attempts to place an initiative on the ballot have been rejected by the state attorney general, but organizers are pleased the initiative has overcome a key hurdle that allows the public a chance to take back their elections.

###
 

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.