35 Groups Rally To Put ‘R’ Back in ‘Free Speech’
Posted: October 8, 2013
Updated: October 10, 2013
WDC Executive Director Mike McCabe
at the Money Out, Voters In Rally.
Madison - With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments today in a case, McCutcheon v. FEC, that could result in the invalidation of a key federal law limiting campaign contributions, the Money Out, Voters In coalition called for actions to rein in big money in political campaigns at a noon rally at the State Capitol.
Representatives of the coalition of 35 citizen groups, including the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, called on the Legislature to approve Assembly Joint Resolution 50 authorizing a statewide referendum in November 2014 on whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to effectively overturn the notorious Citizens United ruling and related decisions that intensified the influence of money in politics and diminished the voices of ordinary citizens.
Citizens United allowed special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections. The McCutcheon case focuses on the constitutionality of the federal aggregate limit of $123,200 on contributions from individuals to candidates, parties and political action committees in a two-year election cycle. The case is being called the “next Citizens United” because of its potential to give a wealthy few even greater ability to influence elections.
“What’s at stake is whether we have free speech or fee speech, and whether we have a system of elected representation dependent on and responsive to the people or a system where money dominates,” WDC director Mike McCabe said.
The Money Out, Voters In coalition delivered a letter to Assembly Government Relations and State Licensing Committee chair Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, calling for a hearing on AJR 50.
Following the rally, participants lobbied Wisconsin legislators to support AJR 50 and campaign finance transparency measures in both chambers.
The Money Out, Voters In Coalition is a joint effort of WISPIRG, People For the American Way, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, United Wisconsin, Center for Media and Democracy, South Central Wisconsin Move To Amend, Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, Wisconsin Farmers Union, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Network, Citizen Action Wisconsin, AFT- Wisconsin, National Association of Social Workers – Wisconsin Chapter, United Council of UW Students, Midwest Environmental Advocates, 9 to 5, Madison Teachers Inc., Move to Amend of Southeast Wisconsin, Chippewa Valley Move to Amend, Move to Amend Rock River, Lake Mills Move to Amend, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Reedsburg Area Concerned Citizens, Wisconsin Grassroots Network, Madison Area Urban Ministry, Madison MoveOn, Peace Action Wisconsin, Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter, Door County Environmental Council, SouthWest Wisconsin Area Progressives, One Wisconsin Now, Progressive Dane, South Central Federation of Labor, Teaching Assistants’ Association, and Wisconsin Wave.