The California Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a resolution to call upon the United States Congress send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
The ruling struck down key provisions of the federal McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law and gave rise to super PACS, officially known as independent-expenditure only committees, which can raise an unlimited amount of money to influence federal elections as long as they do not directly coordinate with a candidate’s campaign.
The symbolic piece of legislation was introduced to the California Assembly by Democratic Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski and Michael Allen.
"Already, we have seen the damaging effects of Citizens United," Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Senior Organizer, Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign. "The 2010 midterm congressional elections were swamped with corporate cash. To date, more than $90 million of outside spending has been recorded thus far for the 2012 elections. A record amount of money – some say as much as $8 billion – is likely to be spent on this year’s federal election cycle, with a large amount of that coming from corporations."
Public Citizen has urged lawmakers to introduce similar resolutions in Massachusetts, Vermont and Maryland.
A number of Democratic senators have backed a constitutional amendment that would grant Congress and the states the authority to regulate the campaign finance system, effectively overturning the Citizens United ruling. But the proposed amendment has little chance of passing without support from Republicans.
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