March 10, 2014
More Than 50 New Hampshire Towns to Vote on a Resolution to Overturn Citizens United
Statement of Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Senior Organizer, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign
The opportunity to build momentum to free elections from corporate influence and mega-donors is upon New Hampshire. This coming week – due to the work of Public Citizen activists and our allies – more than 50 town meetings in New Hampshire will include a vote on whether to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
These town votes are crucial for New Hampshire residents if they want to push the state Legislature to take a giant step forward to become the 17th state to call for an amendment to overturn Citizens United, which gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, thereby drowning out the voices of everyday Americans. The influence of corporations and the wealthy was starkly apparent during New Hampshire’s 2012 gubernatorial race, when outside groups spent $19 million – almost five times what the candidates spent themselves.
Polls show the call to overturn Citizens United is popular among a wide swath of New Hampshire residents, no matter their political party. Seventy-two percent of residents have said they oppose the Citizens United ruling, and 69 percent would support a constitutional amendment that limits corporate campaign contributions and spending, according to a University of New Hampshire Survey Center Granite State Poll. Additionally, more than 100 New Hampshire residents recently marched across the state in the dead of winter to show their support for campaign finance reform.
Three New Hampshire towns – most recently Newmarket – already have passed resolutions in support of a constitutional amendment, and the votes this week will set New Hampshire on course to join the nationwide movement to stop the flood of money from corporations and the ultra-wealthy into our elections.
For more information about this effort, and to find out which towns are voting this week, visit www.nh4democracy.org.