Hold Sen Dean Heller Accountable for Opposing Overturning Citizens United

As the Koch brothers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in this election to try and complete their takeover of Congress, the price we are paying for the disastrous Citizens United decision is painfully clear.

Before Congress went on recess for the election, Tea Party extremists killed a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. A majority in the Senate voted in support of the amendment, but it failed to win the needed 67 votes to pass because not one Republican voted to support it.

We need to hold the Republicans who helped kill the amendment accountable and who sold out to the 1%.

Tell Republican Senator Dean Heller: Shame on you for opposing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

It’s incredibly difficult to pass a constitutional amendment, and it usually takes decades of grassroots organizing and pressure on elected officials to amend the constitution. The fight to get money out of politics will be no exception.

So while the Republicans blocking a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United is an enormous disappointment, that a vote happened at all is major step in the right direction. More important, we now know who in the Senate is with us and who is against us, and Senator Heller clearly showed us he’s against the majority of Nevadans.

That means we have to dig in, thank the senators who support getting money out of politics, increase our pressure on the ‘no’ votes, and show that we will hold our elected officials accountable for voting with corporations and the ultra-rich.

We have enormous momentum in this fight. Sixteen states and roughly 600 communities have formally demanded that Congress vote to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

Amending the Constitution is not easy, nor is it a decision that should be made lightly. But it’s clear that if we don’t organize to amend the Constitution, the Supreme Court will go even further in allowing unlimited spending by corporations and rich donors.

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on elections by corporations. And in McCutcheon v. FEC, the court struck down limits on how much money individual mega-donors can give to candidates during a single election cycle. Worse, the court’s conservatives aren’t likely to stop there, but will continue tearing down campaign finance protections that prevent corporations from drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans.

We have a tough fight against us to stop our democracy from becoming a plutocracy ruled by corporations and the ultra-rich. And it starts with shaming senators who voted with their corporate donors instead of with the American people.

Tell Senate Republicans: Shame on you for opposing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

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HJRes107 Introduced to Resolve Damage Created by Citizens United Ruling

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. J. RES. 107

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 16, 2014

Mr. Yarmuth D-KY (for himself, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Sarbanes, and Mr. Cohen) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures with respect to Federal elections.

That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

  1. Financial expenditures, or in-kind equivalents, with respect to a candidate for Federal office, without regard to whether or not a communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of a specified candidate in the election, shall not constitute protected speech, as guaranteed by this Constitution or any amendment to this Constitution.
  2. Congress shall have the power to enact a mandatory public financing system to provide funds to qualified candidates in elections for Federal office, which shall be the sole source of funds raised or spent with respect to Federal elections.
  3. Congress shall have power to enforce the provisions of this article by appropriate legislation.

Just Like Me? NOT! Amodei Is Deaf, Dumb and Can’t Read!

DiscriminationSome time ago, I wrote to Rep. Mark Amodei regarding DOMA and various bills proposed by GOP members of Congress seeking to  restrict the marriage franchise.  I specifically stated that I believe that marriage is a contract of law and as such it should be available to all human beings, be they male + male, female + female or male+female couples.  I conveyed in that letter that I consider marriage a civil right.  I also told him in my letter that if he was of the belief that marriage should NOT be available to ALL couples, but instead allowed only between ONE man and ONE woman, then he should find the intestinal fortitude to introduce a bill into Congress to remove all discriminatory marriage-related tax incentives and benefits from our US Tax Code.  It is inappropriate for Congress to impose discriminatory tax codes on certain members of our society.  I also stated that if it’s only to be between ONE man and ONE woman, then they should outlaw divorce and not allow widows or widowers to marry as they’d already used up their “ONE.”

A number of bills have been proposed.  HJRes51 proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to enshrine discrimination of against an entire class of U.S. Citizens:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein),

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Marriage Protection Amendment’.

SEC. 2. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

The following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

`Article–

`Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.’.

Yet another bill, HR2834, proposed which marriages would be eligible for benefits:

Declares that, in determining the meaning of any Act of Congress: (1) “marriage” includes a marriage, domestic partnership, civil union, or any other similar legal union between two individuals that is recognized by a state, the District of Columbia, a territory or possession of the United States, or a federally recognized Indian tribe; and (2) “spouse” refers to either member of such a legal union. (Currently, “marriage” is defined only as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, while “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.)

Under the definitions outlined in HR2834, my late husband and I would not have been considered husband and wife, as we were not married in a “State,” the District of Columbia,  a U.S. Territory, or on Tribal grounds.  We were married in the Bahamas. That was another point I raised in my letter to Rep. Amodei.

Well, I finally got my response from Rep. Amodei’s office.  Clearly, he, and the member of his staff (sp) who drafted the response below, are incapable of comprehending that someone in his district would be “FOR” the principle of marriage equality and thought I must have erred in my assertion that marriage should NOT be restricted to just ONE man and ONE woman.  Here’s the copy of his letter (the only modification to this letter is the removal of my address from the letter before posting it here):

Amodei-DOMA

Congressional Republi-Nazis Propose Marriage Unequality

RepubliNaziCurrently, there are twenty-nine Republi-Nazis in the US House who have proposed that only certain individuals, one man and one woman, are worthy of the pursuit of happiness using a contract of marriage:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Marriage Protection Amendment’.

SEC. 2. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

The following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

`Article–

`Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.’.

  • Rep Tim Huelskamp [R-KS]
  • Rep Barton, Joe [TX-6]
  • Rep Bridenstine, Jim [OK-1]
  • Rep Brooks, Mo [AL-5]
  • Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10]
  • Rep Duncan, Jeff [SC-3]
  • Rep Fleming, John [LA-4]
  • Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-8]
  • Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1]
  • Rep Hall, Ralph M. [TX-4]
  • Rep Harris, Andy [MD-1]
  • Rep Hultgren, Randy [IL-14]
  • Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3]
  • Rep Jones Jr., Walter B. [NC-3]
  • Rep Jordan, Jim [OH-4]
  • Rep Lankford, James [OK-5]
  • Rep Meadows, Mark [NC-11]
  • Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19]
  • Rep Palazzo, Steven M. [MS-4]
  • Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2]
  • Rep Pittenger, Robert [NC-9]
  • Rep Pitts, Joseph R. [PA-16]
  • Rep Schweikert, David [AZ-6]
  • Rep Shuster, Bill [PA-9]
  • Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4]
  • Rep Stockman, Steve [TX-36]
  • Rep Walberg, Tim [MI-7]
  • Rep Westmoreland, Lynn  [GA-3]
  • Rep Wolf, Frank R. [VA-10]

Now, you may think I’m being a bit harsh by calling these 29, angry white men, “Republi-Nazis,” but their variant of the original Nazism is real and totally in opposition to the principles our founding fathers espoused.  Nazism is an ideology that claimed the “Aryan Master Race” was superior to all other races.  The Republi-Nazis believe that we do not live in a Democracy, but instead live in some fantasy Theocracy—that our founding fathers, in their infinite wisdom, created our constitution based on the “Christian” bible  (whatever that is, because their interpretations of what they call the “bible” tend to differ vastly from mine).  Further, they believe that only heterosexual men and women are the chosen few who deserve a “pursuit of happiness” and who deserve abundant tax breaks at the expense of all others with which to pursue their every whim.  They believe that all “Christian(?)” heterosexual members of our society should cooperate for national unity against the heinous hoards who would be the demise of our society.  Somehow, I do not believe Jesus would make or endorse  such an argument.  And frankly, since GOD created all of mankind, not just the heterosexual members of mankind, I do not believe GOD would be making or endorsing that argument either.  And please note, that I’m not even scratching the surface yet—and that I’m not going to stray into the area of their feelings of superiority over women and their needs to regulate the uses of various women’s body parts in this piece.

It is time to take a stand and call this errant behavior what it is.  Whether you call it a variation of Nazism or Fascism, it’s NOT Americanism and it needs to stop!  Take the time to write your Congressmen and let them know what you think and where you stand on this issue.  If you’re in Nevada, you can go to the LINKS page (above in the header) to find links to email or to tweet your opposition to Nevada’s members of Congress.  You can also find this bill on POPVOX where you can OPPOSE and send an email to your designated members of Congress (based on your address).

Here’s a copy of my email to Rep. Mark Amodei using POPVOX:

I oppose H.J.Res. 51 which proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States declaring that marriage can be only between one man and one woman. Really, one man can only be married to one woman? If marriage is between only one man and one woman, does that outlaw divorce?

We don’t live in a “theocracy” as too many of the currently elected members of the REPUBLIBAN believe. It is NEVER acceptable to treat some members of our society in a preferential manner, while essentially levying a penalty tax on others. If you believe “marriage” is only a religious thing for the preferential few, then why does a state have to issue a license? Why does the couple have to go to court to obtain a dissolutionment of that marriage? Because, it’s NOT just a religious thing.

— It’s a LEGAL thing. That’s why they call it a CONTRACT of marriage.

— It’s a TAX thing. Married people benefit from TAX DEDUCTIONS.

It is NOT appropriate for members of our U.S. government to act like Hitler’s Nazis, branding certain individuals as acceptable and therefore, endowed with certain rights, and declare others as unacceptable and not entitled to the same pursuits as the chosen few.

Tell Congress: Only people are people!

Tell Congress: Only people are people.

We deserve a country where our elected officials are not bought and paid for by big corporations.

But the Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court decision overturned over a century of precedent and opened the floodgates for unlimited amounts of corporate money to flow into our political system.

Shockingly, the court came to this decision based on the notion that a corporation is legally a “person” entitled to First Amendment rights, and by equating a corporation’s right to spend unlimited amounts of money influencing an election with our right to free speech.

Even before the Citizens United decision, we too often saw the interests of Main Street subverted in favor of the interests of Wall Street.

But with the Citizens United decision now the law of the land, large corporations have the power to spend unlimited amounts of money from their general treasuries to buy elections.

What’s more, Citizen United opened loopholes that allow corporations to hide their campaign expenditures by laundering the money through non-profit advocacy organizations.

It’s very unlikely that the Supreme Court will fix the issue any time soon.

And because Congress cannot pass a law that supersedes a Supreme Court ruling, it may take a constitutional amendment to undo the worst aspects of the Citizens United decision and end corporate personhood.

Clearly, the bar to successfully amending the Constitution is very high. But with 85% of the public opposed to the Citizens United decision, there is a potential for a broad coalition of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who all want to restore our democracy.

And let’s remember, the stakes are too high to allow inaction on this issue. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Citizens United decision fundamentally threatens the integrity of our democracy.

We need a government of, for and by the people. And sadly, we might need to work really hard to re-establish the common sense and democratic view that only people are people, not corporations.

Your senators and member of Congress need to hear from you, regardless of where they stand on this issue. We need to show them that their constituents are part of a broad movement demanding action — not only to convince them that overturning Citizens United is the right thing to do, but also that it’s possible.

Today, take a step to be part of that movement.

Tell your senators and member of Congress to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and end corporate personhood.

Take-Action