Boston, MA - Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich) today joined with his Senate colleagues in voting for a resolution, A Resolution Restoring Free Speech,that will ask Congress to take up an amendment to the United States Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court decision giving corporations many of the rights of individuals – including the right to spend unlimited money on political campaigns.
That decision, “Citizens United versus the Federal Election Commission,” has opened the door for unprecedented corporate spending in recent political campaigns through the use of so-called Super PACs, which are funded by corporate treasuries independent of, but closely linked to, particular candidates.
“Today the Senate acknowledged that while corporations play an important role in our economy – the Citizen’s United decision crossed an important line and gave corporations far too much power in our public policy arena. Corporations are not people, and as such should not have the same rights as people,” said Wolf. “As a successful businessperson, I understand that unlike people, a corporation’s driving motive is clear: create profit and enhance value for shareholders. Their voice should be focused there and should not overly influence or control public policy or the government process.”
The resolution, mirrors language from Senate bill 772, Restoring Free Speech, urges Congress to work toward a remedy of the Supreme Court’s January, 2010 decision via a Constitutional amendment, which would require a 2/3 majority vote of Congress and then have to come back to the States where ¾ or 38 states would have to ratify the amendment.
To date, 66 cities in towns across Massachusetts have passed local resolutions mirroring what was passed today by the Senate, including all 6 towns from Martha’s Vineyard and many of the towns on the Cape. Rhode Island, Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii have also passed similar resolutions.
“There are still a number of steps to correct the Citizen’s United decision, but overwhelmingly, the Senate’s actions today reflected those of the wishes of thousands of Massachusetts citizens. I’m proud of the action of so many of the towns I represent and I hope we can move this important resolution all the way through Congress,” said Wolf.
The resolution will now go to the House of Representatives for action.