Money in politics will be on ballot Tuesday in the city of La Crosse.
After gathering 3,600 signatures in a grassroots campaign, La Crosse United to Amend succeeded in getting an advisory referendum on the ballot to allow voters to weigh in on whether to call for a constitutional amendment declaring that only human beings are endowed with constitutional rights, not corporations, unions, nonprofits or other artificial entities; and money is not speech, and regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.
La Crosse United to Amend is a local branch of a statewide nonpartisan organization dedicated to overturning the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission decision by U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that corporations can spend an unlimited amount of money to support a politician or party, provided that money isn’t given directly to the politician or party. The court argued that capping that spending would muzzle the free speech rights of corporations.
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The group hopes to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that corporations are not entitled to the same rights as people and to limit the amount they can spend on behalf of political candidates and parties.
A “yes” vote on the referendum indicates support for the amendment and “no” indicates disapproval.