November 24, 2014

Coalition calling for referendum on Citizens United

A coalition of groups wants Wisconsin voters to chime in on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the door to massive campaign spending. The 2010 Citizens United decision changed laws regarding corporate contributions and gave rise to well-funded outside groups trying to sway elections.

Activist groups opposing the decision have gathered more than 18,000 signatures calling for a statewide referendum on the high court ruling.

An individual state’s opposition would not change federal guidelines but a group involved in the petition effort says it would send a message. “What we are calling for ultimately is a constitutional amendment such that Citizens United decision would no longer be valid,” says Lisa Subeck, executive director of United Wisconsin. 

Subeck says the ruling has led to shadowy groups with deep pockets running extensive campaign ads while “drowning out the voice of the everyday citizen.”

Backers of the Supreme Court’s decision say it upholds political free speech. Four years ago today the high court began hearing the case.