Oak Park Response to "Citizens United" on Tuesday Ballot
Township advisory referendum asks officials to regulate money in politics.
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court removed virtually all restrictions on corporate money in politics, groups around the country have been attempting to overturn the results of "Citizens United."
Now communities such as Oak Park are giving residents a voice on whether that should happen.
Oak Park Township has placed an advisory referendum on Tuesday's ballot asking voters for governments on all levels to consider a constitutional amendment regulating political funding of campaigns.
The initiative also makes it clear that the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are intended for people, not coporations, what some proponents of the referendum have called "corporate personhood."
Here's the intiative:
"Oak Park Township, Amend Constitution"
"Shall the people of Oak Park stand with communities across the country in requesting that our village, county, state and federal representatives enact resolutions and legislation, including consideration for amending the Constitution of the United States to establish that: a) Political money is not the same as speech, and therefore that money shall be regulated; and b) The rights guaranteed by the Constitution were and are primarily intended for human beings, not corporations? "
The question is being promoted by an organization called Move to Amend, a coalition of progressive organizations, faith-based groups and individuals founded in 2009 to, among other things, get money out of politics. Founding groups include the Green Party; Code Pink, a woman's group that has worked to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and the Sierra Club.
In June 2010, five justices ruled in Citizens United that the government has no business regulating political speech; while four dissenters said that allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy, according to the New York Times.