Op-Ed: Texas Should Help Overturn Citizens United

Free Speech For People staff member and Austin resident, Aspen Webster authored an op-ed published today in the Austin-American Statesman on why “Texas Should Help Overturn Citizens United.”

Texas lawmakers will decide today on whether to approve Texas Bill H.C.R. 34 for the full legislature to vote on. The bill, Texas House Concurrent Resolution 34, calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling, and would be an important step in protecting equal access to participating in elections.  Aspen writes,

“A healthy nation values all citizens, their votes and their ability to participate in civic life. If the Texas Legislature passes H.C.R. 34, Texas will join 18 other states and 725 cities in the United States in calling for an amendment to overturn Citizens United. We must support this bill and push toward a healthier, more representative nation”

On Citizens United, Aspen explains how the ruling gave first amendment protections to corporations and businesses, classifying political donations as free speech. She continues, “The Supreme Court decision reversed the bipartisan McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 and made it legal for corporations to donate to political campaigns and candidates through political action committees (PACs). This opened the door for the Speechnow.org v. Federal Election Commission case, resulting in the creation of Super PACs, which remove any legal limits on donation size.”

So, what does that mean for Texans?

“For those of us who aren’t millionaires or billionaires, we have less say in what happens in our legislature and in Washington because big money equals access, influence and voice. And that’s wrong.”

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