Town council supports Citizens Ignited mission
September 26, 2012 · Updated 11:10 AM
The group Citizens Ignited against Citizens United has scored another victory.
The Coupeville Town Council approved a resolution unanimously supporting a Constitutional amendment to regulate corporate political spending and campaign financing at its meeting Tuesday night – a move that Citizens Ignited championed.
Langley passed a similar resolution in June, as did the Island County commissioners in July.
“We’re making history,” said Marshall Goldberg of Citizens Ignited. “We’re part of a historic movement and it’s getting bigger every day.”
The push for the Constitutional amendment is to in effect reverse the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote determined that corporations and unions have the same First Amendment right to free speech as a living person. With that right upheld, the government cannot restrict political expenditures by these large entities before elections.
“I was more than convinced that this is a local issue as well as national issue,” council member Larry Cort said.
The town’s resolution calls upon the Washington State Legislature and the U.S. Congress to take the necessary steps to initiate amending the Constitution.
It also outlines provisions that should be included in the amendment, including specifying that personhood only extends to a living, breathing person.
Another provision stipulates that contributions and expenditures for political purposes are not Constitutionally protected-speech. Regulating these would, therefore, not be equivalent to limiting political speech.
The final provision says that Congress and the States have the power to regulate contributions and expenditures for campaigns and ballot measures, and can require public disclosure of the sources.
“I am so proud of Coupeville,” Goldberg said. “This is a credit to them.”