Report from Wisconsin Shows Cross-Partisan Demand for 28th Amendment

Move to Amend reports:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2012

CONTACT:
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Field Organizing Director, 707-269-0984info@movetoamend.org
Mary Laan, Move to Amend Southeast Wisconsin Coordinator, 414-265-5801sewmta@movetoamend.org

Voters in West Allis, Wisconsin Move to Amend

WEST ALLIS – Last night West Allis, Wisconsin, a conservative Milwaukee suburb, voted overwhelmingly to reject the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC ruling. Republican Party primary voters approved a resolution calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to establish that corporations are not people and money is not speech by 70%, becoming the most recent community to vote to support the Move to Amend campaign.

“Last night’s vote clearly shows that corporate personhood is an issue that cuts across party lines,” said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a member of the Move to Amend coalition’s national Executive Committee. “Our volunteers in West Allis received as much support as our campaigns in Madison or Boulder last year. Americans from all sides of the political spectrum are ready to get corporations out of the Constitution and out of our political process.”

The Move to Amend coalition has already seen a great deal of success using the municipal resolutions strategy. Los Angeles is the largest city to date to pass a Move to Amend resolution through their city council, and resolutions have passed in dozens of other cities including Duluth, MN, Albany, NY, Asheville, NC, and Key West, FL. Last month residents of Vermont approved resolutions in over 60 towns through their town meeting process.

Move to Amend volunteers have also taken the campaign directly to the voters of others towns. In Madison, WI, Boulder, CO, and Missoula, MT local Move to Amend groups were able to pass resolutions through voter initiatives last November. In all communities the resolutions passed with 75% of the vote or more.

Communities with initiatives underway this year include Salt Lake City, UT, and Mendocino and Lake Counties in California. Several additional communities are expected to ask their city councils to refer initiatives to the ballot as part of Move to Amend’s “Resolutions Week” campaign this June. Resolutions Week is a joint effort of many organizations to pass another round of resolutions across the country in June.

Currently, polling indicates that almost 80% of Americans are in favor of overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, with a majority supporting an amendment to establish that corporations are not entitled to Constitutional rights.

Move to Amend, which has experienced exponential growth in recent months, is a national grassroots coalition seeking to pass a constitutional amendment that states that Constitutional rights belong to human beings only, not to artificial legal entities such as corporations or labor unions; and that money is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

For a list of cities that have passed resolutions or that have campaigns in progress see: http://movetoamend.org/resolutions-map.

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About Jeff Clements

Jeff Clements, an attorney and author, is the president and co-founder of Free Speech for People, a national, non-partisan campaign to challenge the creation of Constitutional rights for corporations, overturn Citizens United v. FEC, and strengthen American democracy and republican self-government. He is the author of the Corporations Are Not People (Berrett-Koehler, 2012). Mr. Clements, an attorney, has represented and advocated for people, businesses and the public interest since 1988. Mr. Clements served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office from early 2007 to 2009. As Bureau Chief, he led more than 100 attorneys and staff in law enforcement and litigation in the areas of civil rights, environmental protection, healthcare, insurance and financial services, antitrust and consumer protection. Mr. Clements also served as an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts from 1996 to 2000, where he worked on litigation against the tobacco industry and handled a wide range of other investigations and litigation to enforce unfair trade practice, consumer protection and antitrust laws. In private practice, Mr. Clements has been a partner in the Boston law firms of Clements & Clements, LLP and Mintz Levin. He also has practiced in Maine, where he has represented clients in a variety of appeals and litigation, and in investigations and prosecutions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Maine Attorney General’s Office. In the 1990s, Mr. Clements was elected as a Trustee and President of the Board of Trustees of the Portland Water District, a public agency responsible for protecting and delivering safe drinking water and ensuring proper treatment of wastewater for 160,000 people in Portland and South Portland, Maine and several surrounding communities. He was a co-founder, officer, and director of Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental advocacy organization focused on protection and stewardship of Maine’s Casco Bay. He also has served as a Trustee and President of the Board of The Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts. Mr. Clements graduated with distinction in History and Government from Colby College in 1984, and magna cum laude with a concentration in Public Law from the Cornell Law School in 1988. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.
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