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Encouraging News: New Hampshire Moves Closer to Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Return Elections to the People

Feb. 28, 2013

Encouraging News: New Hampshire Moves Closer to Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Return Elections to the People

Statement of Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Senior Organizer, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign

Contact: Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7741; Jake Parent (202) 588-7779; for broadcast media, Barbara Holzer (202) 588-7716; for online journalists, Rachel Lewis (202) 588-7703

Note: Today, the House State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee approved by a 9-8 vote House Concurrent Resolution 2, which calls for a constitutional amendment establishing that human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights, and that money is not speech.

We are greatly encouraged that New Hampshire is one step closer to becoming the next state to call for a constitutional amendment to curb the outsized influence of corporations over elections.

When the full Legislature approves the resolution, New Hampshire will be the 12th state to echo a call being heard nationwide for a constitutional response to the flood of money from corporations and the ultra-wealthy that has inundated elections since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Americans throughout the country understand that the influence of elections by moneyed interests is antithetical to democracy. Poll after poll has shown that the call to overturn Citizens United is broadly popular among people of all political stripes.

To date, 11 states and the District of Columbia have shown support for a constitutional amendment. More than 350 local governments have called for an amendment, as have approximately 100 members of Congress. President Barack Obama has expressed support for an amendment as well.

Preliminary estimates show that outside groups outspent candidates in the New Hampshire gubernatorial race by $15 million (spending almost five times what the candidates spent).

We’re proud to have worked with the New Hampshire Coalition for Open Democracy, Free Speech for People, People For the American Way, and Reps. Mary Cooney and Robert Cushing, who sponsored the resolution and are pushing it to fruition, as well as the committee chair, Rep. Robert Theberge, and majority leader Rep. Stephen Shurtleff, who held the vote. We urge quick passage of the resolution.