BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Massachusetts lawmakers want Congress to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United vs. the FEC, a decision made two years ago this January that permits corporations to spend unlimited money in our elections.
“Corporations [are] now using their general treasury funds to undermine ordinary voices,” said Free Speech for People co-founder and director John Bonifaz.
“You talk about you know the richest 1 percent, this is going to be the richest 0.01 percent …making decisions about how our country is going to be run,” said Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield).
Ultimately lawmakers at the state level want legislative resolutions approved across the country that support the creation of a 28
th constitutional amendment, saying that corporations are not people and can’t spend unlimited money on campaign financing.
“Corporations aren’t in fact people,” said Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston). “Corporations don’t have a physical body t hat you can put in jail or a soul to burn if they damage our democracy.”
While lawmakers wait for a national movement to mobilize, they’re also proposing better disclosure laws in Massachusetts. For example, one bill requires CEO’s to appear in their company’s ads so voters know who’s funding them.
“There are a number of people trying to figure out ways to have more transparency and disclosure so we at least know who is trying to use their special resources to influence democratic outcomes,” said Gov. Deval Patrick.
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