Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) today thanked the Marin and Sonoma County Boards of Supervisors, as well as the Fairfax Town Council and the Petaluma City Council, for approving resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
These resolutions are part of a coordinated nationwide effort to focus on this issue. Localities nationwide will spotlight these resolutions June 11-15 during Resolutions Week.
"Citizens United was a disastrous decision that overturned nearly one hundred years of campaign finance laws limiting corporate involvement in political campaigns," said Rep. Woolsey. "By ruling that corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals and allowing them to donate campaign money without the proper disclosure or transparency, Citizens United introduced a deadly virus into our political system.
"I'm proud that local governments in the North Bay are standing up against special interests. After all, this is supposed to be a government of, by and for the people. But that cherished principle is undermined as long as corporate cash undermines our elections and distorts our democracy."
The Supreme Court's 2010 ruling gave corporations and wealthy individuals the power to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaign advertisements. Since the Supreme Court's decision, Super PACs and corporations have spent record amounts of money in elections nationwide.
Rep. Woolsey welcomed the nationwide groundswell of support from hundreds of elected officials and organizations for reversing this ruling. She is a co-sponsor of H.J. Res. 90, a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban corporate money in elections.
Rep. Woolsey added: "We must pass a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, but we must take other intermediate steps to make the system more accountable to the people, to level the playing field and to take the money out of politics. The health of our democracy depends on it."
As of May 23, 2012, 555 groups organized as Super PACs have reported receiving more than $216 million in the 2012 election cycle. Overall spending in the 2012 election is predicted to reach up to $8 billion.