Statewide vote sought in Wisconsin on Citizens United

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An Assembly Joint Resolution introduced in Wisconsin on July 24 calls for a referendum on Citizens United v. FEC, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said corporations are people for the purposes of political speech and they can invest unlimited amounts in political campaigns.

The resolution is supported Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and other progressive groups in a coalition petitioning for an advisory referendum on the ballot in November 2014 and opposed to the corporate influence in politics that Citizens United has allowed.

WDC director Mike McCabe, in a news release, said, "Spending in Wisconsin elections has more than tripled since the Citizens United decision. The ruling not only has put the campaign arms race on steroids, but also has rendered our disclosure laws obsolete and led to dramatic growth in the amount of dark money making its way into our elections. Only $1 out of every $81 raised by outside interest groups to influence the recall elections came from fully identified donors.”

WDC said 12 cities and counties in Wisconsin have stated support for a federal constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United.

Sixteen states also have endorsed a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens.