Target: The Massachusetts House of Representatives
Goal: Do not allow corporations to have the same rights as individuals in supporting political campaigns.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives has so far been silent on its intent to pass a resolution overturning the controversial Citizens United ruling, which allows major corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns. Pressure is being put on legislators after the Massachusetts Senate recently passed such a resolution in a true show of bipartisanship, with 35 supporting votes and only one dissenting. With the Massachusetts legislative sessions coming to a close shortly, there is limited time left in this cycle to see such a vote.
When the Citizens United ruling was issued in 2010, it overturned decades of laws stating that corporations could not donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns as it was a violation of the First Amendment and silenced the voices of individual citizens. The ruling resulted in an additional $300 million being spent in the 2010 election cycle alone, and has essentially worked to make politicians pander exclusively to the desires of major donors in order to win elections. In order to overturn the ruling, an amendment would need to be added to the Constitution. This is a long and difficult process that will only happen with a great deal of bipartisanship at all levels of government.
Slowly, local governments are beginning to realize that the Citizens United ruling is hampering effective democracy in the United States. If politicians have to cater to the needs of big businesses, their human constituents will suffer as a result. Urge the Massachusetts House of Representatives to follow the lead of their Senate counterpart in resolving to overturn the Citizens United ruling.
Dear Massachusetts House of Representatives,
The Massachusetts Senate recently came together in a bold show of bipartisanship and resolved to overturn the 2010 Citizens United ruling. With limited time until the close of this legislative session, the people of Massachusetts and other states look to you to do the same. Unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns ruin the democratic system in this country, and silence the voices of American individuals who do not have unlimited funds to contribute. The disastrous ruling in this case means that politicians are obligated to cater to the needs of corporations if they want to be elected, and in turn are forced to ignore the needs of the actual citizens that they represent.
While amending the Constitution to end corporate personhood will be a long and laborious process, it is necessary for democracy in America to continue. The Massachusetts Senate has already sworn to protect the First Amendment and the people of this country, and we urge that you do the same. End unlimited corporate campaign donations in politics and put democracy back in the hands of the people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr