Rock County 'We The People' referendum passes

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Neil Johnson
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

JANESVILLE—More than 55,000 Rock County voters—an overwhelming majority—asked the county to support a referendum that challenges the 2010 Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The non-binding referendum, brought to Tuesday's election ballot by the Rock County Board, asked whether the county should adopt a resolution that pushes against expansion of corporations' political speech rights and “unregulated political contributions and spending” on political speech and campaign advertising.

The referendum states that, if approved in the election, the county would support a request for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that states:

“Only people are allowed constitutional rights—not corporations, unions, nonprofits or other artificial entities, and that money does not constitute speech, nor does regulation of political contributions constitute a limit to speech.”

About 86 percent of voters, nearly 56,000 in total, according to an unofficial count Tuesday night, answered “yes” to the question on the ballot. 

County board Chairman Russ Podzilni confirmed late Tuesday that he plans to forward an advisory letter of support from the county to the Legislature, pending a final vote count.        

The letter would add to a push by dozens of other counties and municipalities who want the state to ask federal lawmakers to consider the same Constitutional amendment.

Last updated: 8:38 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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