Leaders of the Madison County Democratic Party asked county commissioners to sign a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
But the BOC did not discuss or vote on the matter Monday.
Citizens United was a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2010. The Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to ban free speech by corporations, associations and unions through independent communications, such as television advertisements.
In the Court’s majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”
In the Court’s dissenting opinion, Justice John Pau Stevens, who retired in 2010, wrote that the ruling “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution…A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”
BOC chairman Anthony Dove was the only person at the commissioners’ table to address the issue Monday. He said he didn’t feel it was appropriate for a county legislative body to address federal issues.
“If you start making decisions on what you’d want the federal government to do, you’d be here all night,” he said.
Leo Smith of the Madison County Democratic Party addressed the board near the close of the meeting. He said he was disappointed that the proposed resolution was put forward by an organized group in the county, the Democratic Party, and not even included as an agenda item.
“The request was not to overturn or change things in Washington — that’s impossible, but to support a movement to overturn the decision to give unfettered authority to corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money campaigning for or against people like yourself, the state legislature or the federal legislature,” said Smith. “…The Supreme Court has made some serious mistakes in the past, but they are not the final arbiter — we are…We need to do something. I realize you don’t want to support this, but I had to say something.”
was there not some past democrat that waived a petition during BOC meeting ? If wrong and another county sorry but if not get that person to waive what needs to be signed. Worked last time I am told and maybe work again.
06/17/13 at 09:30 PM
Why? Would you like for me to agree with you? If so, please explain why. I don't know what to think about Citizens United except that it seems really odd to treat a business comprised of individual people, each with one vote for any party or candidate, as an additional person with powers over our government and therefore, us.