Democracy Team Update
Until we amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens v. FEC decision that opened the floodgates to massive political fundraising and spending, fossil fuel companies will continue to ply members of Congress with large campaign contributions, and Congress will continue to provide fossil fuel companies with billions in subsidies and tax breaks instead of passing a carbon tax to incentivize a rapid transition to a clean energy economy.
The We the People Act (H.3208 and S.2163) would have Massachusetts join the other five states (VT, CA, IL, NJ and RI) that have applied for an amendment-proposing convention to propose a 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens United.
There’s good news! First, the first report of the Citizens Commission, released in early January, concluded that 1) only real people (not artificial entities such as corporations) should have constitutional rights, 2) political spending should not be considered a form of speech, and should be regulated, and 3) Massachusetts should join the other states in applying for an amendment-proposing convention. Second, the We the People Act (H.3208 and S.2163), which would enact the three main findings of the Citizens Commission, received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, so there is a real chance that it might come to a vote in the Massachusetts House and Senate this session, which ends on July 31.
Please contact State Representative Lou Kafka and State Senators Walter Timilty and Paul Feeney, thank them for co-sponsoring the We the People Act, and ask them to do whatever they can to help bring the bill to a vote in the House and Senate this session.
Here’s an example of what you can say:
[Your city, state ZIP code]
State House, 24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
Dear [Representative/Senator _________],
Please write to Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo/Senate President Karen Spilka expressing your support for the We the People Act (H.3208/S,2163) and ask him/her to bring this important bill to a vote this session.
The We the People Act has received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs. I have enclosed an overview of this important bill, with the bill itself printed on the reverse.
Note that the first report of the Citizens Commission released in January supports the three main provisions of the We the People Act, namely 1) corporations are tools, not people, and should not be allowed to use our constitutional rights against us; 2) political spending is a megaphone, not speech, and should be regulated to ensure political equality; and 3) Massachusetts should apply for an amendment proposing convention to pressure Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to fix our broken democracy.
PS – If you want a good laugh, listen to “Real People Have Heart” at: https://www.musicalscalpel.com/2013/06/real-people-have-heart/