Your Views: Let's rise up to oppose Citizens United decision

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

California and Vermont recently voted to participate in a constitutional convention of the states for an amendment regarding money, speech and campaign finance. Here in Wisconsin, things are happening. Appleton, Neenah and Menasha have decided to include referendums regarding this issue on their November ballots. If the people vote in favor, the cities intend to take up the issue with state government.

With a little luck, I'm missing quite a few more examples of people standing up against the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. If not, I hope that my hometown, Janesville, joins the ranks.

While a democracy must be careful how and when it regulates money, there may come a time when the only viable tactic to combat an oppressive government will be cash. When it comes to campaign donations and the months preceding elections, cash is currently the problem, not the solution.

Judges call their courtrooms to order so all relevant parties are provided with fair and equal opportunities to speak. Congress itself has such rules. One might argue that those are government proceedings. Are elections not our most important government proceedings? Are we not all relevant parties? Should we not all have fair and equal opportunities to speak?

Money talks, so maybe it does constitute speech after all. But in that case, let's call our elections to order. Let's pound that gavel. Let's cap and regulate donations. Let's win back our democracy.



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