Rep. Susan Davis announced Thursday that she has joined fellow Democratic Congress members in introducing a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigns.
“We need to restore accountability in our political process,” said Davis, who represents La Mesa, Spring Valley and Lemon Grove in the 53rd District.
“We are supposed to have a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The integrity of our democracy is at stake when corporations can drown out the voices of the people in our elections.”
She said the Citizens United case “opened the floodgates to unrestricted special interest campaign spending in American elections—permitting corporations to spend unlimited funds, directly or through third parties and political action committees organized for those purposes, to influence federal elections and opened the door for the emergence of super PACs.”
According to opensecrets.org, more than $1.2 billion was spent in the 2012 election cycle by outside sources, she noted.
The proposed constitutional amendment stipulates that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit Congress and the states from imposing regulations and restrictions on the spending for political activity by any corporation or other corporate entity.
In January, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts introduced two constitutional amendments to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case.
As reported by Patch:
The second amendment, HJ Res 21, would overturn Citizens United and put a stop to the growing trend of corporations claiming first amendment rights. This “People’s Rights Amendment” not only addresses corporate rights as they pertain to campaign finance, but is broader in scope to clarify that corporations are not people with Constitutional rights. Importantly, the amendment clearly protects the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association, and all other such rights of the people.
“The American people are deeply troubled by the growing influence of corporations in our political discourse,” McGovern said. “They are also demanding action on campaign finance reform – because they are repulsed by the large amount of money in our campaigns.
“And, quite frankly, they want elected officials to spend more time on policy, on debating and deliberating on issues—and less time dialing for dollars.
“We need to have a serious, thoughtful debate in this country about this important issue. I hope that my amendments will begin to spur that debate.”