Jan. 23, 2017

Reform Groups Applaud Reintroduction of the Democracy for All Constitutional Amendment

Diverse Coalition Urges Congress to Reverse Citizens United Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A diverse coalition of citizens groups and academics today sent Congress a letter (PDF) praising the expected reintroduction of the “Democracy for All Amendment” that would overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have allowed unregulated and undisclosed money to swamp our elections.

The Democracy for All Amendment, championed by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) in the Senate and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) in the House of Representatives, would return to Congress and the states the authority to set reasonable campaign contribution and spending limits, mandate full disclosure of the sources of campaign funds, and prohibit corporations and other artificial entities from spending money in elections. The constitutional amendment would directly overturn such Supreme Court decisions as the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision, which allows unlimited corporate spending in elections, and the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision, which prohibits reasonable limits on campaign spending.

The letter reads, “These Supreme Court decisions together have created a system in which outside interests can spend unlimited amounts of money on political elections with little transparency or accountability. This has allowed wealthy and powerful corporations and individuals to purchase outsized influence in our political process and has allowed many of the major funders of our elections to hide in the shadows.”

The groups recognize that amending the Constitution is a “weighty matter” that should be done only cautiously and judiciously, but now is the time for such action. The court decisions have opened the floodgates of unlimited special interest money into federal, state and judicial elections, dwarfing the ability of average citizens to participate in a meaningful way.

The letter concludes: “The time to put our democracy back in the hands of ‘We, the People’ is now.”

The letter endorsing the constitutional amendment and calling for House and Senate members to co-sponsor the measure was signed by: American Family Voices, Center for Media and Democracy, Church Women United in New York State, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Clean Elections Texas, Coffee Party Savannah, Common Cause, Daily Kos, Democracy Matters, Faith Voices Arkansas, Free Speech for People, James A. Thurber, Money Out People In (MOPI), Money Out Voters In (MOVI), Norman L. Eisen, Norman J. Ornstein, OpenTheGovernment.org, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, Rural Coalition, Vermont Political Revolution, and Veterans for Peace Albuquerque. View the letter (PDF).

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