Contact: George Penn, 608-244- 6436, [email protected]
Madison, WI (April 5, 2017) – On Tuesday, April 4th, Wisconsin residents in eight communities voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only human beings should have inalienable human rights and money is not the same thing as free speech.
All referenda passed with overwhelming majorities: Racine (81%), Monona (91%), Fox Crossing (81%), Blue Mounds (88%) and the towns of Crystal Lake (79%), Caledonia in Waupaca County (70%), Blue Mounds (84%) and Jordan (71%). It was not on the ballot in the town of Neshkoro, as previously reported.
That brings the total to 105 Wisconsin communities that have called for an amendment. In total, 2.8 million people (48% of Wisconsinites) live in these jurisdictions. Across the country, 18 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as over 730 towns, villages, cities and counties.
Nancy Schanke, a leader in Waupaca County, said: “These referenda consistently pass with amazingly high margins. This clearly demonstrates the will of the people. It is time for our state representatives to put this resolution to a statewide vote, and to move towards sending a resolution from Wisconsin to the U.S. Congress.”
On Wednesday, April 19th , Rep. Lisa Subeck and Sen. Dave Hansen will introduce resolutions that would create a statewide Citizens United advisory referendum asking voters if they support allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. For more information, see press release.
Jeff Zdrale, a resident of Fox Crossing, explained that: “We need limits on how much money can be contributed and spent on political races. Only people have a constitutional right to free speech. Money is not ‘political speech’ under the First Amendment.”
Four in five Americans oppose the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, according to a Bloomberg poll. A New York Times/CBS poll from June found that 85 percent of Americans—including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—believe we need fundamental changes to our campaign finance system or to completely rebuild it.
Matt Rothschild, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, summed it up succinctly:
“People across the ideological spectrum get it: All of our voices are being drowned out by those with big money.”
United To Amend is a non-partisan, grassroots movement. For more information visit wiuta.org