New Mexico Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United

By Jeff Clements

Reposted from Corporations Are Not People

February 12, 2012

The New Mexico Senate has voted 20-9 to condemn Citizens United v. FEC and demand that Congress send a Constitutional amendment to the states for ratification that will reverse the Supreme Court’s decision. The Senate vote follows a similarly lopsided vote in the New Mexico House in favor of overturning Citizens United‘s fabrication of corporate rights to spend unlimited money in elections. Free Speech for People joined Common Cause New Mexico, the Green Chamber of Commerce, and many other organizations and people to win this important step. Here’s Common Cause New Mexico’s press release:

For Immediate Release:

February 11, 2012

Contact: VIki Harrison, Common Cause New Mexico (505)205-3750,[email protected]

New Mexico a Leader in Nation Calling for Amendment to U.S. Constitution to reverse Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision

Santa Fe, NM – Senate Memorial 3, sponsored by State Senator Steve Fischmann of Las Cruces, was just approved by a vote of 20-9 in the New Mexico State Senate. Along with its companion bill, Rep. Mimi Stewart’s House Memorial 4 (approved 38-29 on January 31, 2012), the bill’s passage makes New Mexico the second state in the nation to call for the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission (Hawaii was the first, in April, 2010).

The Citizens United ruling resulted in an explosion of unlimited, and often undisclosed, Super PAC spending, as we have seen in the current Republican presidential nominating process. The memorial is an important statement by the New Mexico State Legislature because the constitutional amendment process requires ratification by a minimum of 38 states.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Fischmann, emphasized the legislation’s role in defending our nation’s democracy. ”Voters need to know their opinions count as much as any corporate entity, trade, or labor association. I’m proud that New Mexico’s State Senate is willing to stand for this principle,” said Fischmann. Lead advocate Viki Harrison of Common Cause New Mexico praised the legislation’s passage as “a frank statement of the State of New Mexico’s intent to correct the egregiously wrong Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to spend millions on electing politicians who will do their bidding.”

The impact of HM4/SM3 was also touted by national partners who joined in advocating for the legislation. ”Today’s vote by the New Mexico State Senate marks a great victory for American democracy,” said Maram Abdelhamid, national field director for Free Speech For People, a national campaign pressing for a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to overturn the Citizens United ruling. “The State of New Mexico is helping to lead the way for the nation in this movement to ensure that people, not corporations, govern in America.  We look forward to working with other state legislatures which will follow New Mexico’s example and defend our democracy.”

Addressing the flood of campaign contributions from corporations and wealthy individuals is supported by a vast and diverse majority of Americans, including two-thirds of small business owners. In a press release from the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, the organizations’s President, Lawrence Rael, emphasized that “the Citizens United decision is deeply unpopular with our businesses and the vast majority of small businesses leaders believe the decision hurts small companies.”

As memorials, the two bills need no further approval or signatures in New Mexico.

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