Baucus Makes Bold Move to Protect Voice of Montanans
Senator Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Regulate Corporate Political Contributions
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010
Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010
(Washington D.C.) Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today introduced a Constitutional amendment to ensure the voices of Montanans are heard during campaign season.
Baucus’ measure would amend the Constitution of the United States to restore Congress’ authority to regulate political contributions. The move is in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission.
The Citizens United ruling means corporations and foreign governments are now free to spend unlimited dollars from their general funds to make independent expenditures at any time during an election cycle – including directly calling for the election or defeat of a candidate.
“We have got to make sure elections remain in the hands of the people, it’s a simple as that,” Baucus said. “We Montanans learned our lesson almost a century ago when the copper kings leveraged their corporate power to effectively buy elections. As a result, we have some of the toughest campaign finance laws in the land -- and they work. This is about standing up for the rights of regular folks, and I’m going to fight like the dickens to protect those rights.”
Baucus’ amendment would put the ability to regulate corporate and labor union political contributions to federal candidates and political expenditures back in the hands of elected members of Congress. It also allows Montana and other states to regulate political contributions and expenditures in a way that works best for that state.
Baucus’ amendment does not modify the First Amendment, and the language specifies that this does not affect freedom of the press in any way.
To amend the Constitution, the measure must pass both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives with 2/3 of the vote, and then must be ratified by 3/4 of the states.
“Section 1. Congress shall have the power to regulate the contribution of funds by corporations and labor organizations to a candidate for election to, or for nomination for election to, a Federal office, and the power to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations and labor organizations made in support of, or opposition to, such candidates.
“Section 2. A State shall have the power to regulate the contribution of funds by corporations and labor organizations to a candidate for election to, or for nomination for election to, public office in the State, and the power to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations and labor organizations made in support of, or opposition to, such candidates.
“Section 3. Nothing contained in this Amendment shall be construed to allow Congress or a State to make any law abridging the freedom of the press.”
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