Janesville71°

Politics, big money likely to intersect in speech

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Frank Schultz
March 2, 2013

— A political gadfly who frequently bites the large, well-funded bottom of politics will speak at UW-Whitewater on Monday night.

Mike McCabe of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign will talk about campaign finance reform and the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United ruling.

The groups hosting the event are pushing for a “yes” vote on an advisory referendum April 2 in Whitewater and Fort Atkinson.

The groups are UW-Whitewater Student PEACE Group and Rock River Move to Amend, a local affiliate of a nationwide movement, said Jane Roberts, a rural Delavan resident and member of Move to Amend.

“Our initiative is to get the big money out of politics,” Roberts said. “Our democracy is in danger because when politics are owned by the corporate world or the unions or whoever is giving them money, then the rest of us lose out. We’re not represented anymore.”

The referendum calls for state and local leaders to work for a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United. The decision opened the door to unlimited political donations from businesses and other organizations.

The ruling said the First Amendment does not allow government to place restrictions on political contributions from corporations and unions.

The referendum states in part that “Only human beings … are endowed with constitutional rights, and money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.”

McCabe’s speech is titled “The System Isn’t Broken—It’s Fixed.”

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says it is a nonpartisan organization “fighting government corruption and working for fair elections, judicial integrity, media democracy, and open and transparent government.”



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