Legislators are being asked to support a resolution this year in West Virginia that, if approved, would call for the 2010 Citizens United decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to be overturned.
In that decision, the Court ruled that independent donations to political campaigns from corporations and unions cannot be restricted. To limit such monetary contributions, the Court said, limits speech which is a violation of the First Amendment.
Jonah Mimkoff-Zern, a Senior Organizer with Public Citizen, says the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong.
“Money is not a form of speech. Speech is if I write something and want to publish it, if I speak on your radio show, that’s speech. Money, giving money to a candidate is not speech,” Mimkoff-Zern said on Tuesday’s MetroNews Talkline.
“What Citizens United did, by unleashing this tremendous amount of money, corporate money and individual money into our political process, it undermined our democracy in a really deep way. It put us in a state of crisis where my voice doesn’t matter.”
He was at the State Capitol on Tuesday to be part of a rally for the proposed resolution and against corporate “personhood.” Similar resolutions and referendums have already been approved in eleven other states.
“It sends a message to Washington that this is a problem that needs to be fixed,” West Virginia Citizen Action Group Executive Director Gary Zuckett said.
The 2013 Regular Legislative Session continues into April.