On the heels of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introducing an amendment to overturn Citizens United, Sen. Richard Woodbury (I-Yarmouth) of Maine will introduce a similar state resolution Tuesday. If it passes, Maine will be the thirteenth state to adopt a resolution to support the overturning of Citizens United.
The Bangor Daily News reported:
Woodbury, a 2012 Clean Election candidate whose opponent’s privately funded campaign raised more than six times as much as his did, told a crowd of about 40 people — many of whom held signs or wore buttons reading “End Corporate Personhood” — that “Citizens United” has damaged democracy.
“The ‘Citizens United’ decision has been enormously destructive, to electoral politics specifically, and even more broadly to the effective practice of democracy in America by allowing essentially unlimited spending on elections by corporations and interest groups,” Woodbury said. “It has trivialized the voice and influence of regular voters.”
Twelve states have passed resolutions to support the overturning of Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that granted the rights of people to corportations in order to equate campaign spending with free speech. The state resolutions direct the state’s congressional delegation to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, such as the amendment Sen. Sanders introduced.
Sanders’ constitutional amendment contains three sections. Section I overturns Citizens United by barring any entity that doesn’t have the right to vote from donating to campaigns. It reads, “Section I. Whereas the right to vote in public elections belongs only to natural persons as citizens of the United States, so shall the ability to make contributions and expenditures to influence the outcomes of public elections belong only to natural persons in accordance with this Article.”
Section II gives Congress and states the power set up a publicly funded electoral system, and Section III ensures that nothing in the amendment infringes on the freedom of the press.