Money out of Politics: Amend the Constitution

A coalition is demanding that the US Constitution be amended—a reform sufficient to prevent the High Court from transforming American democracy into a dollarocracy.

“I’ll grant that it’s not easy. Amending the Constitution should not be easy,” says Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, which has been a key player in the movement. “But in just four years, we’ve brought what many deemed a pipe dream into the mainstream.”

People for the American Way president Michael Keegan agrees.

While there is no question that “the deeply misguided Citizens United ruling four years ago brought immeasurable harm to our democracy,” Keegan says, “it also inspired a re-energized national movement to get big money out of politics.”

That movement has accomplished more than all but the most optimistic reformers could have imagined on January 21, 2010.

Sixteen American states have formally demanded that Congress recognize that the Constitution must be amended in order to re-establish the basic American premise that “money is property and not speech, and [that] the Congress of the United States, state legislatures and local legislative bodies should have the authority to regulate political contributions and expenditures…”

Common Dreams

16 state demanding is a long way way from 34 states signing (2/3rds necessary) to amend the constitution.  It will take a tidal wave of popular sentiment — enough to unseat not only Tea Partiers but some of their lobbyist replacements– before any such think can happen.  But Trusts and Corporations were broken up and new legislation put in place in the early 1900s with the help of muckraking Ida Tarbell, William Allen White, Frank Norris and others.  It can be done again.

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