BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Should Massachusetts support a constitutional amendment that limits campaign spending? About a third of Massachusetts voters will be able to answer that question this fall. Advocates submitted about 20,000 signatures to the Secretary of the Commonwealth Tuesday to get a non-binding question on the November ballot that asks whether the state should support a constitutional amendment that limits money in politics and whether corporations should have the same constitutional rights as people.
“It’s gone too far, you know, we need people to have the voice in electing their representatives. It should be we the people, not we the donors,” said Common Cause executive director Pam Wilmot.
The signatures submitted will ensure about 35 percent of the state will get to answer the ballot question. Springfield will not be a part of the mix, but advocates say Hampshire, Franklin, Berkshire and parts of Hampden county will be.
“We’ve gathered 3,200 signatures in 76 towns in western Mass and will be on the ballot in those 76 towns, we’re very excited about that,” said Davio Danielson of Plainfield.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in July of 2008, outside groups spent about $72 million on the presidential election up to that point. This year, outside groups have spent double that -- $188 million – and there are still three months left to go.
Governor Deval Patrick, who has been campaigning for President Barack Obama, says that the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision that unleashed this unlimited corporate campaign spending was a bad decision.
“It just inflates the importance of money in politics and the fact that there’s so much of it that we don’t know where it comes from,” said Gov. Deval Patrick. “You know everybody is awash in attack ads.”
Last week Springfield joined 67 other municipalities in Massachusetts that have passed a resolution in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
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