Doug Mastriano signals support for overturning Citizens United after getting blown out by Dem rival in fundraising
Doug Mastriano. (US Army photo)

The Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania is voicing support to amend the U.S. Constitution to regulate money in politics.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano introduced Pennsylvania Senate Resolution 343 with five other GOP lawmakers, "supporting an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to establish that election spending may be regulated to ensure that every resident may exercise the rights to free speech, political participation and meaningful representation, and to protect republican self-government and federalism."

Blake Hounshell reported for The New York Times on an effort by the group American Promise, which is also pushing a 28th Amendment to regulate money in politics.

The group's three-section amendment would allow "reasonably regulating and limiting contributions and spending in campaigns, elections, or ballot measures."

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That would effectively overturn the 2010 Citizens United vs. FEC decision.

The proposed amendment also says, "Congress and the States shall have the power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation and may distinguish between natural persons and artificial entities, including by prohibiting artificial entities from raising and spending money in campaigns, elections, or ballot measures."

That section would overturn the 1976 Buckley vs. Valeo decision.

The effort to challenge the two decisions is now targeting Republicans.

"American Promise recently hired a new executive director, Bill Cortese, who came up through the ranks of the Republican operative class," The Times reported. "Cortese is helping the group hone its pitch to Republicans — talking up shared concerns about the role of Silicon Valley billionaires in elections, for instance, and finding allies in the business community who can relate to conservative lawmakers wary of anything that smacks of liberal do-gooderism. One surprising proponent of the group’s proposed amendment is Doug Mastriano, the hard-right Pennsylvania Republican state senator who is now running for governor."

The newspaper noted Mastriano is being "vastly outspent" by his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

The last amendment added to the Constitution, which dealt with congressional pay, was ratified on May 7, 1992.

"If there’s any hope for the long-shot 28th Amendment project, it’s this: Polls show widespread public dissatisfaction with the role of money in American politics," the newspaper reported. "A 2018 poll by the Center for Public Integrity, for example, found that 66 percent of Republicans backed a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United. In a CBS News poll in August, 86 percent of all voters listed 'influence of money in politics' as one of the top threats to democracy — higher than 'potential for political violence' or 'attempts to overturn elections.'"

Read the full report.