November 7, 2018 •

Massachusetts Passes Ballot Measure to Limit the Influence of Money in Politics

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters passed Question 2, paving the way for campaign finance reform. The ballot measure establishes a citizen commission tasked with producing a report on the state of political spending in the Massachusetts and promoting an amendment […]

On Election Day, Massachusetts voters passed Question 2, paving the way for campaign finance reform.

The ballot measure establishes a citizen commission tasked with producing a report on the state of political spending in the Massachusetts and promoting an amendment to the United States Constitution. The commission would also report on whether the state can legally limit corporate contributions.

Proponents of the ballot question hope it will help in overturning the 2010 decision in Citizens United, while those against it argued the measure was a protest vote and created a new governmental body solely for symbolic gesture.

The measure passed 71.3 percent to 28.69 percent, with 81.8 percent of precincts reporting.

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October 25, 2018 •

Massachusetts Ballot Measure Seeks to Regulate Corporate Influence in Elections

Next month, Massachusetts voters will decide on a ballot measure seeking to cap corporate spending in elections. Ballot Question 2, if passed, will create a commission made up of citizens tasked with producing a report on the state of political […]

Next month, Massachusetts voters will decide on a ballot measure seeking to cap corporate spending in elections.

Ballot Question 2, if passed, will create a commission made up of citizens tasked with producing a report on the state of political spending in Massachusetts and promoting an amendment to the United States Constitution. The commission would also report on whether the state can legally limit corporate contributions.

The ballot measure has been characterized as a way for the state to show their opposition to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.

The group advocating for Ballot Question 2 envisions a 28th Amendment removing the ability of corporations, labor unions, super PACs and other wealthy interests from financially influencing political campaigns.

To pass, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution would require approval by two-thirds of the U.S. House and Senate and must also be ratified by 38 states.

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September 20, 2017 •

Michigan Governor Signs Campaign Finance Bills into Law

Gov. Rick Snyder signed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United into law on September 20, 2017. Senate Bill 335 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent […]

Gov. Rick Snyder signed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United into law on September 20, 2017.

Senate Bill 335 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees.

Senate Bill 336 incorporate violations established in Senate Bill 335 into the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The bills are effective immediately.

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September 20, 2017 •

Two Campaign Finance Bills Pass Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature passed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United from 2010. Senate Bill 355 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees. Senate Bill […]

The Michigan Legislature passed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United from 2010.

Senate Bill 355 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees.

Senate Bill 336 incorporates violations established in Senate Bill 335 into the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Opponents of the bills argue it would allow candidates to raise unlimited contributions for independent expenditure committees, often referred to as super PACs.

Gov. Rick Snyder has 14 days upon receipt of the enrolled bills to sign or veto them.

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November 9, 2016 •

California Proposition 59 to Overturn Citizens United Passes

On November 8, California voters approved a proposition directing state elected officials overturn Citizens United. Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question (Proposition 59) asked voters to affirm state elected officials should use all constitutional authority, including, but not limited […]

Citizens UnitedOn November 8, California voters approved a proposition directing state elected officials overturn Citizens United.

Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question (Proposition 59) asked voters to affirm state elected officials should use all constitutional authority, including, but not limited to, proposing and ratifying one or more amendments to the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United and other applicable judicial precedents to allow the full regulation or limitation of campaign spending. The proposition also directs the officials to act to make clear corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.

As of 5:00 a.m., with over 90 percent of the precincts reporting, the proposition passed 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent, according to the California Secretary of State’s office.

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July 22, 2016 •

St. Petersburg, FL Councilwoman Looking to Ban Super PACs

St. Petersburg Councilwoman Darden Rice will introduce a proposed ordinance to abolish super PACs and ensure foreign money stays out of city elections. The ordinance would establish limits for independent expenditure committees and would require corporations contributing money to local […]

Flag_of_St._Petersburg,_FloridaSt. Petersburg Councilwoman Darden Rice will introduce a proposed ordinance to abolish super PACs and ensure foreign money stays out of city elections.

The ordinance would establish limits for independent expenditure committees and would require corporations contributing money to local elections to certify they are not influenced by foreign entities.

Rice hopes the ordinance will act as a model for similar laws around the country, potentially leading to a legal challenge. This could give the U.S. Supreme Court an opportunity to reconsider Citizens United.

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July 22, 2016 •

NYCU Video Digest – July 22, 2016

Here is our latest edition of the News You Can Use Video Digest. Have a great weekend!   NYCU Video Digest was produced by 2016 interns Brittany Anderson and Clémence Besnard for State and Federal Communications.

Here is our latest edition of the News You Can Use Video Digest. Have a great weekend!

 

NYCU Video Digest was produced by 2016 interns Brittany Anderson and Clémence Besnard for State and Federal Communications.

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July 18, 2016 •

If Elected, Clinton to Propose Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United in First 30 Days

On July 16, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she will “propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United” in her first 30 days in office if elected president. The announcement, in a video created by Clinton, was played at Netroots […]

Citizens UnitedOn July 16, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she will “propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United” in her first 30 days in office if elected president.

The announcement, in a video created by Clinton, was played at Netroots Nation, a politically progressive conference held this past weekend in St. Louis, Missouri. In the video, Clinton says she will “appoint Supreme Court justices who understand that this decision was a disaster.”

Clinton has previously championed the establishment of a small-donor matching system for presidential and congressional elections.

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June 17, 2016 •

New York Lawmakers Call for Overturn of Citizens United

A bipartisan majority of lawmakers is calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In the Citizens United decision, the Court ruled corporations and unions should be […]

New York mapA bipartisan majority of lawmakers is calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

In the Citizens United decision, the Court ruled corporations and unions should be considered individuals for purposes of political contributions; therefore, restricting their donations to candidates is a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.

New York is now one of 16 states—and the first with a Republican-controlled chamber—supporting an amendment in response to the decision.

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June 14, 2016 •

CA Voters to Weigh In on ‘Citizens United’ Ballot Question

California’s Senate Bill 254 became law without the governor’s signature on June 9, 2016. The measure will place a ballot question on the November 8, 2016 ballot asking voters whether California’s elected officials should use all of their constitutional authority, […]

CaliforniaCalifornia’s Senate Bill 254 became law without the governor’s signature on June 9, 2016.

The measure will place a ballot question on the November 8, 2016 ballot asking voters whether California’s elected officials should use all of their constitutional authority, including proposing and ratifying one or more amendments to the United States Constitution, to overturn the Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

A previous version of this bill was approved by lawmakers in 2014, but was blocked by legal challenges until January 2016 when the Supreme Court of California upheld the Legislature’s power to use advisory ballot measures.

 

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January 5, 2016 •

New Hampshire Legislature to Consider Bill Concerning Citizens United

The New Hampshire Legislature begins the New Year addressing campaign finance issues stemming from the U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision. On Wednesday, January 6, the House will review Senate Bill 136, a bill first introduced in the 2015 legislative […]

New Hampshire State HouseThe New Hampshire Legislature begins the New Year addressing campaign finance issues stemming from the U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United decision. On Wednesday, January 6, the House will review Senate Bill 136, a bill first introduced in the 2015 legislative session. The bill, which passed the Senate last year, establishes a committee to review constitutional amendments pending in Congress regarding the Citizens United decision and related cases having been introduced in the United States Supreme Court.

Photo of the New Hampshire State House by AlexiusHoratius on Wikipedia.

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January 4, 2016 •

California Supreme Court Allows Advisory Measure on November 2016 Ballot

Following a ruling by the California Supreme Court, the California Legislature is permitted to place an advisory measure related to campaign finance on the November 2016 ballot. The advisory measure asks voters their opinions on campaign finance and whether there […]

California Supreme Court sealFollowing a ruling by the California Supreme Court, the California Legislature is permitted to place an advisory measure related to campaign finance on the November 2016 ballot. The advisory measure asks voters their opinions on campaign finance and whether there should be a federal constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

A conservative group challenged the constitutionality of the advisory measure, insisting the Legislature was prohibited from putting such measures before voters. The California Supreme Court ruled the advisory measure is permissible because state legislatures have a role in passing federal constitutional amendments, and therefore it met the required nexus between an advisory measure and a potential legislative action.

Proposition 49, the “Citizens United” measure, will appear on the general election ballot in November 2016.

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May 27, 2015 •

Montana Contribution Limits to Be Tested Again

On May 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court’s ruling in Lair v. Bullock. The lower court concluded Montana’s political contribution limits were unconstitutionally low. The appellate court found the lower district court […]

US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svgOn May 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court’s ruling in Lair v. Bullock. The lower court concluded Montana’s political contribution limits were unconstitutionally low. The appellate court found the lower district court applied the wrong legal standard prior to permanently enjoining the enforcement of Montana’s restrictions on campaign contributions by individuals, political action committees, and political parties.

The case was remanded back to the district court to allow Montana’s political contribution limits to be tested under the new and more restrictive standard of Citizens United v. FEC. This new standard, the court stated, means, “The prevention of quid pro quo corruption, or its appearance, is the only sufficiently important state interest to justify limits on campaign contributions. Before Citizens United, it was enough to show the state’s interest was simply to prevent the influence contributors of large sums have on politicians, or the appearance of such influence. No longer so.”

Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathon Motl said he was confident the limits will be sustained, according to the Missoulian.

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October 15, 2014 •

Federal Appeals Court Rules for Citizens United

On Tuesday, October 14, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Citizens United may air a documentary slamming Colorado liberals without disclosing its backers. The conservative group argued Colorado campaign finance laws burden some speakers while protecting others, in violation […]

Citizens UnitedOn Tuesday, October 14, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Citizens United may air a documentary slamming Colorado liberals without disclosing its backers. The conservative group argued Colorado campaign finance laws burden some speakers while protecting others, in violation of the First Amendment.

The court issued an emergency injunction allowing Citizens United to get the film out before the Nov. 4 election. While the movie will be exempt from disclosure, the court will allow the secretary of state to require disclosure for advertisements about it, if the ads are in support or in defeat of a named candidate.

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