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Ahead of Obama-Romney Debate, Over 40,000 Americans Urge Moderator To Raise Issue of Money in Politics

Our joint news release today, with Avaaz and unPAC:

41,161 signatures hand-delivered to Jim Lehrer on Thursday

Moderator urged to ask candidates, “if elected would you call on Congress to study and propose a Constitutional Amendment designed to reduce the influence of money in our political system”

Movement To Overturn Citizens United Targets 2012 Ballot Measures

Derek Cressman

Alternet

September 20, 2012

From America's earliest days, states have sent instructions to Congress on constitutional reforms.

As we head into the home stretch of the 2012 campaigns, from coast to coast voter frustration with negative campaign ads -- and the big money behind them -- is more than palpable.

Romney agrees: "We’ve got to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns."

It's being widely reported that Mitt Romney yesterday called for limits on campaign spending by teachers' unions. A blog post at The Nation puts this succinctly in perspective.

The constitutional amendments we support would even-handedly enable the elimination of politcal contributions from for-profit corporations, incorporated non-profits, and incorporated labor unions alike. (For more on this, see our analysis of various bills here.)

Report: Citizens United ruling accounts for 78 percent of 2012 election spending

By Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian
Monday, September 24, 2012

(Excerpt:)

Almost $465m of outside money has been spent on the US presidential election campaign so far, including $365m that can be attributed to the supreme court’s landmark Citizens United ruling, according to a report released on Monday.

Super Pacs, which came into effect following the 2010 Citizens United verdict, accounted for $272m of the expenditure in the study, conducted by the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit organisation devoted to increasing transparency in government.

Trevor Potter, former FEC Commissioner (R), on Citizens United, why corporations shouldn't participate in our elections, and wha

Bill Moyers' latest video is an interview with Trevor Potter, a Republican former Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, best known as Stephen Colbert's attorney and also Senator John McCain's former General Counsel.

Mr. Potter makes several important points in the 45-minute interview. Here are some of the choicest excerpts, below (not in chronological order):

Local protest targets business, elections

News & Record - Greensboro, North Carolina

Amanda Lehmert

September 24, 2012

Local advocates have joined a national protest against corporate influence over elections.

Latest poll: 83% want limits on campaign spending by corporations, unions, and other organizations.

Poll: Americans largely in favor of campaign spending limitations
by Morgan Little
The Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2012

Excerpt:

8 down, 30 to go: Connecticut becomes 8th state to call for a constitutional amendment.

A majority of Connecticut's state legislators in both chambers -- 88 state representatives and 22 state senators -- have signed a letter calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

This makes Connecticut the 8th state to call for an amendment, joining California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont, which have all passed legislative resolutions, and Maryland, where a majority of legislators have signed a letter similar to this one in Connecticut.

Justice Scalia encourages amending the Constitution in response to Citizens United.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a noted conservative who was among the signers of the Court's 5-4 majority opinion in Citizens United, last week called on those of us -- 80% of Americans, according to polls -- who disagree with that decision to respond by amending the Constitution.

According to the Las Vegas Sun-Journal, the following exchange took place Wednesday, Sept. 5th between Scalia and Kathy Kama, a law student at the University at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas:

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Minn. Disclosure Law, Aiding Corporate America’s Political Power

Jeremy Leaming

American Constitution Society Blog

September 6, 2012

"A  federal appeals court has provided another victory for corporate America’s efforts to influence politicians, political parties and the nation’s elections. Big business hardly needed such a victory, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC scrapped some significant campaign finance regulation laws thereby making it far easier for corporations to spend boatloads of money on local, state and federal elections of all kinds.