SJ Res. 19 sign-on letter

June 3, 2014

Dear Senator,

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, now bolstered by the recent McCutcheon decision, has unleashed a flood of spending on our elections that threatens the very foundation of our democracy.

Because we know that America will never deliver on its promise if our election system is dominated by big money interests, we are writing today to urge you to support S.J.Res. 19: a constitutional amendment to establish that Congress and the states have the power to regulate and limit election spending.

This amendment would overturn Citizens United v. FEC , as well as McCutcheon v. FEC, the decision issued earlier this year eliminating the cap on the total amount an individual can contribution to candidates, political parties and political committees. The amendment also would overturn the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo ruling, which established the doctrine colloquially known as “money equals speech.”

The Supreme Court held in McCutcheon that the only legitimate rationale for limiting campaign spending is to prevent quid pro quo corruption – essentially, the crime of bribery. But the American people understand quite well that corruption can take many forms and the problem with big money dominating our elections is far more profound than the narrowly defined crime of bribery. These activist judicial changes to the meaning of our Constitution tilt the entire government to favor big money donors. They deny regular people an equal say in determining the future of our country.

America faces great and serious challenges – putting people back to work, addressing deepening inequality, averting catastrophic climate change, fixing our schools, ensuring quality and affordable health care for all, and much more. Our country has the wealth and wherewithal, and the creativity and conscience, to meet these challenges. But we will fall short unless we repair our democracy.

We do not lightly call for amending our great Constitution. But we know that there can be no greater constitutional purpose than ensuring the functioning of our democracy. We urge you in the strongest terms to support S.J.Res.19, so that it quickly becomes the 28th amendment to our Constitution.

 


Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)

American Family Voices

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc

Beyond Toxics

California Council of Churches

Caney Fork Headwaters Association

Center for Effective Government

Center for Food Safety (CFS)

Center for Media and Democracy/Progressive Inc.

Common Cause

Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Concerned Citizens Coalition of Long Branch

Cornucopia Network/NJ/TN Chapter

Corporate Accountability International 

Cumberland Countians for Ecojustice

Democracy Matters

Demos

Empire State Consumer Project

Environmental Health Strategy Center

Food & Water Watch

Food Empowerment Project

Franciscan Action Network

Free Speech For People

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Green America

Greenpeace

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)

Money Out Voters In

National Action Network

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

National Education Association (NEA)

National Employment Law Project

Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ

NETWORK

New Jersey Work Environment Council

OurTime.org

People For The American Way

Pesticide Action Network

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Public Campaign

Public Citizen

Represent.Us

Sciencecorps

Sierra Club

The Stamp Stampede

The Story of Stuff Project

The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)

United for a Fair Economy (UFE)

USAction

U.S. PIRG