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Pingree Cosponsors Constitutional Amendment to Rein in Unrestricted Campaign Spending

  • Citizens United stock

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced she has cosponsored the Democracy For All Amendment, introduced by U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) at the start of the 118th Congress, which would overturn legal precedents that have allowed unrestrained campaign spending and dark money to corrupt American democracy. The Democracy for All Amendment would overturn Citizens United v. FEC – ahead of the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s January 21, 2010 decision – which allowed corporations and special interest groups to spend nearly unlimited funds on election campaigns. It would also address the fundamental flaws underlying the Court’s reasoning in that and an entire line of cases dating back to the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision, which prevented meaningful regulation of campaign expenditures by corporations and special interest groups.

“Thirteen years ago, nearly to the day, the Supreme Court decided Citizens United and opened up our elections to dark money. In every election since, corporations have drowned out the voice of the American people, spending billions of dollars to elect people who would further line the pockets of big business,” said Pingree. “I’m a proud cosponsor of the Democracy for All Amendment because the power should be in the hands of people, not corporations.”

Specifically, the Democracy for All Amendment would:

  • Make clear the Constitution does not restrict the ability of Congress or the states to propose reasonable, viewpoint-neutral limitations on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections;
  • Distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities, including by prohibiting the latter from spending unlimited amounts of money to influence elections;
  • Allow states to enact public campaign financing systems, which can restrict the influence of corporate or private wealth; and
  • Take further steps to protect the freedom of the press in the case of future campaign finance-related legislation.

In addition to Pingree, the legislation is cosponsored by Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Henry C. ("Hank") Johnson (D-Ga.), John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.),  Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.),  Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-Calif.), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Don Beyer (D-Va.), Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Ted W. Lieu (D-Calif.), Norma Torres (D-Calif.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), Colin Allred (D-Texas), Sean Casten (D-Ill.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), Jesus G. "Chuy" Garcia (D-Ill.), Jared Golden (D-Maine), Andy Kim (D-N.J.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), David Trone (D-Md.), Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-N.M.), Nikema Williams (D-Ga.), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.), Becca Balint (D-Vt.), Greg Casar (D-Texas), Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.), Robert Garcia (D-Calif.), Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), Seth Magaziner (D-R.I.), Kevin Mullin (D-Calif.), and Jill Tokuda (D-Hawaii).

The legislation is also endorsed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, Free Speech for People, People for the American Way, and Public Citizen.

Click here to read the full bill text.


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