Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sen. Bennet backs plan to overturn Citizens United

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 5:29 PM

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Last week, we were able to sit down with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet for a half-hour discussion that covered a number of issues, including the implications of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United.

This is what the senator had to say:

Every poll shows you that over 80 percent of the people, and it may even be over 90 percent of the people, support disclosure of campaign contributions in these races.

And in the Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, if you look at the nine justices — I forget how many opinions were written, [but] there was only one justice who said disclosure was unconstitutional. And that was Justice [Clarence] Thomas. Every other justice either wrote or joined in an opinion that said that disclosure was permissible under the Constitution.

Well, that would be a big step forward from what we just endured in the Senate race here, for example, where we still don't know who spent the money.

What he didn't say in that visit was that less than a week later, he would sign on to a proposed amendment to overturn the high court's controversial decision. From Raw Story:

Democratic Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Michael Bennet of Colorado introduced a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

The decision gave corporations and unions the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, so long as their actions are not coordinated with a candidate’s campaign.

...

The proposed amendment would grant Congress and the states the authority to regulate the campaign finance system, but would not dictate any specific policies or regulations.

“The Supreme Court’s reversal of its own direction in the Citizens United decision and other recent cases has had a major effect on our election system,” Bennet added.

“State legislatures and Congress now may not be allowed to approve even small regulations to our campaign finance system. This proposal would bring some badly needed stability to an area of law that has been thrown off course by the new direction the Court has taken.”

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