July 1, 2014
Activists Nationwide to Urge Senators to Back Constitutional Amendment to Curb Money in Politics
Marches, Street Theater, Giant Thank You Cards and More: Over 100 Events Planned This Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Activists nationwide are planning more than 100 rallies, marches, street theater, thank you card deliveries, protests and other events to urge their U.S. senators to back a constitutional amendment to curb the flow of money into politics.
The amendment pending in the U.S. Senate (S.J. 19) by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) would establish that Congress and the states have the power to regulate and limit election spending. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee has held a hearing and markup, and the full committee will mark up and vote on the amendment in July, likely July 10. Forty-five senators currently support the constitutional amendment.
Groups of grassroots activists will hold a variety of actions, including bringing a giant thank you card to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s (D-Md.) office; performing street theater featuring Mr. Moneybags and the Koch brothers trying to buy Uncle Sam at U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office; and a woman bringing her grandchildren, ages 4-6 years old, to U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) office to present a thank you note. In Montpelier, Vt., activists in patriotic attire will march in the July 3 parade, joined by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and then hold a rally at a nearby pavilion.
Events are being held in 38 states and are taking place in cities ranging from Los Angeles, Calif., to Baton Rouge, La., from Cleveland, Ohio, to Memphis, Tenn.
“Patriotic Americans across the country are demanding a constitutional amendment to restore our democracy,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “In advance of Independence Day, Americans are demanding our elections be independent of big money and corporate domination.”
The amendment is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and McCutcheon v. FEC. In Citizens United, the court gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence elections. As a result, spending by outside groups – those not affiliated with campaigns – skyrocketed. In McCutcheon, the court struck down the aggregate campaign spending limits, allowing the super-wealthy to contribute millions of dollars directly to candidates, political parties and joint fundraising committees.
These events are being organized by Money Out-Voters In, a coalition of groups that includes organizations ranging from Public Citizen to the Sierra Club, from the Communications Workers of America to USAction. Learn more about the collaborative and view the map of events.