A grassroots movement is coordinating an effort to pass resolutions through city and town councils and state legislatures that declare public support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United during the week of June 11, 2012. The awareness generated about campaign financing and the need for reform that this initiative can achieve is fundamental in focusing citizens’ desires for “Hope and Change” on the political system, instead of on a political party.
Pushing back against mountains of money is a daunting task. Money controls traditional media, and has invested heavily in politicians, lobbyists, and special interest groups to oppose these efforts. We can’t expect Congress to act, nor can we depend on the courts to solve a problem of their own making. Many public officials have already endorsed the need for constitutional remedies for overturning Citizens United and over 147 cities nationwide have passed resolutions. So far there have been 12 constitutional amendments introduced in the 112th Congress alone.
Before Citizens United in 2010, plenty of money influenced elections. Quite frankly, whether we have a pre-2010 campaign finance playing field or a post-2010 one makes very little difference. The system is corrupt and moving the needle on the corruption scale is woefully insufficient. I do however recognize the value of this initiative in its ability to increase awareness and create consensus. To get a resolution passed through a city council could require building the necessary base of supporters in a local community to overhaul the way business is done in politics. This support base is then used to continue growing with the goal of doing the same at the county level, and so on through the state and federal levels. I am optimistic about the power of positive momentum and with that, am enthusiastic to be one citizen contributing to this anti-political-corruption grassroots movement.