Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter announced his support for two proposed Constitutional amendments effectively overturning the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and increasing transparency and accountability in how we finance campaigns. In doing so, Perlmutter is continuing his support for responsible election reform measures and honoring the will of Colorado voters who overwhelmingly passed our state's Amendment 65.
Amendment 65 instructs the Colorado Congressional delegation to propose and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing Congress and the states to regulate campaign contributions and spending.
Perlmutter said, "The people of Colorado spoke. I listened to them. I agree we need more transparency and accountability in our elections. That is why I am taking action and signing on as a cosponsor to these responsible proposed amendments."
Perlmutter is cosponsoring HJRes 90 by Rep. Ted Deutch (FL). It is an amendment to the US Constitution that says Congress and the States have the authority to regulate campaign spending. The Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United in part indicated Congressional or state efforts to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures may violate free speech. This amendment ensures Congress and states have the authority to enact reasonable parameters to ensure more transparency and accountability in our elections without infringing on individuals' free speech rights.
Perlmutter also is cosponsoring HJRes 88 by Rep. James McGovern (MA). This proposed Constitutional Amendment establishes that corporations are not considered "people" under the Constitution, and as such are subject to reasonable regulation through their elected State and Federal representatives consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under the Constitution. The amendment also addresses the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United indicating corporations may be considered people.
The Citizens United decision is widely credited with the prolific rise in Super PACs and unprecedented money spent by corporations and outside interest groups to influence the 2012 elections. In Colorado alone, more than$80 million was spent solely on television advertising in the Presidential race. By and large, this spending is from unknown groups who don't have to disclose their donors or their interests.
"The 2010 and 2012 elections demonstrated how outside groups will spend millions of dollars without disclosing their donors or their interests. That's wrong, and it's time to take action," said Perlmutter.