May 29, 2014
Shameful: 12 New Hampshire Senators Stand Against New Hampshire Residents, Kill Bill Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Curb the Influence of Money in Politics
Statement of Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Campaign Director, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign
It’s shameful. Today, because of roadblocks put up by 12 Republican New Hampshire senators, the Committee of Conference killed a measure (SB 307) calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and to curb the influence of money in politics. This violates the will of New Hampshire residents.
On two previous occasions, the same 12 Republican senators defeated proposed language calling for an amendment. Instead, they repeatedly tried to move forward a hollow version of SB 307 that would merely create a committee to examine the impact of the Citizens United ruling and make recommendations to the New Hampshire congressional delegation. Last year, they refused to even take a vote on a similar resolution that had passed the House.
In contrast, the New Hampshire House of Representatives on May 15 voted by a 2-to-1 margin – 183 to 87, with a strong bipartisan vote – to move forward a version of SB 307 that would have made the Granite State the seventeenth state to call for a constitutional amendment.
Fifty-four New Hampshire towns have passed resolutions (52 this year) directing the state Legislature to call for a constitutional amendment, and a poll in support of a constitutional amendment was overwhelmingly supported by a 3-to-1 margin across party lines.
Today’s vote was only a temporary setback for those of us who do not want to pay the price when our government is bought and sold by wealthy interests. The fight continues across the state, and the issue will come up again in the next session.