Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Citizen's United" - by Hakim Bellamy

HakimHappy Birthday Occupy. You’ve changed me. Now, let’s change our country.

Citizen’s United – by hakim bellamy

If we kidnapped
THEIR children They would find us

If we put guns
In the hands of those young
They would tag them
“Child soldiers”

But here
We prefer to leave them
Clinically depressed
And decorate them in marine

There is a name
For people who will take
The very bread
Off of our dinner table
And put it in their pocket

They are toast
Like champagne flutes
Are the new silvers spoon

Like what they will be
When the revolutions
And the riots
Catch up with them

Tomorrow morning
When humanity
Has the munchies
And eats presidential candidates
For breakfast

When their war chest
Can fill the holes
In our country’s
Debt, deficit & addiction

But.
They’d rather
Raise money
To argue about it
Than raise sleeves
To fix it

Politicians are NOT people too,
Mitt LOOK AT YOU!

And they’re not Jesus either, Barrack
If you remember
He ran the moneychangers out of the temple
Not into his cabinet

If you remember
He was Guantanamo’s blueprint

He was no popularity contestant
He had no friend in the Pharaoh, Pharisees or FED
He told them
Where they could shove
Their opinion poll
And they hung him from it

Back in the day
When Romans used to lynch Jews
With perpendicular sticks

And you remember
They make sure you do

Cause from the dome of the United States Capitol
To the Pantheon bars of the White House
Boy,
They gon’ make sure that you know
Where Black people are supposed to live

Corinthian columns
At the halls of Congress
With no reparations
Or apologies

Depicting corn cobs
To symbolize
Our stolen bounty

Tobacco leaves
To symbolize
Our stolen “Help”

Our stolen wealth

If you remember
He did not run for office
He ran for his life

What ever happened?
To public servants
Instead of self-serving

When did it stop
Being about “We the People”

And start
Being about winning

When did the Catholic’s
Social doctrine
And the athiest’s
Social justice
Both translate to
“Go to Hell”?

Why do we wait for them?
For education
And elections

And then wonder
Why we won’t teach us
To elect ourselves

What if
Every lawn’s
Campaign sign
Read “Peace”

What if
On November 6th
We’d agree

To agree

What if
I were to say
I’ll only believe
In a government
That believes
In me

What if the citizens
Were really united
And each one of us
Decided

That I’d vote for me.

© Hakim Bellamy September 17th, 2012
For Rasheed and for Occupy
Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, New Mexico (2012-2014) http://hakimbe.com/

September 26, 2012 at 09:55 AM in Arts, Citizens United, Occupy Wall Street, Poetry/Spoken Word | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NM Senator Udall Advocates for Constitutional Amendment at Hearing

From Senator Tom Udalls office:

Tom udall at hearingPhoto above: Senator Udall testifying at hearing

At a committee hearing on Capitol Hill today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) built support for the constitutional amendment he is sponsoring to give Congress the authority to undo dangerous Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and rein in the unprecedented flood of secret money in the campaign finance system.

"Money has poisoned our political system," Udall said. "We, as Americans, believe in government 'of the people, by the people, for the people' – and so we must work to put in place a constitutional amendment that will restore integrity to our elections and the legislative process."

 
Click above to see video of Udall at today's hearing.

In November 2011, Udall introduced S.J. Res. 29, a proposed amendment to allow Congress to regulate the raising and spending of money, including restricting independent expenditures by so-called “Super PACs”. It would give the states the same authority to regulate campaign finance at their level. Udall’s amendment currently has 23 cosponsors.

Legislatures in six states, including New Mexico, have called on Congress to send an amendment to the states for ratification. "Over the past few months, the unfair influence exerted by Super PACs has become abundantly clear to voters in New Mexico – and they are calling for campaign finance reform. Our Founders did not intend for elections to be bought and paid for by secret donors and special interests. My amendment simply puts our elections back in the hands of ‘we the people’,” Udall said.

At the hearing, Udall noted the long and bipartisan history of support for constitutional amendments dealing with campaign finance. Since 1983, bipartisan proposals similar to Udall’s have been introduced in almost every Congress.

“James Madison argued that the U.S. Constitution should be amended only on ‘great and extraordinary occasions’,” Udall said. “I believe we have reached one of those occasions. I know amending the Constitution is difficult. And it should be. But I believe the growing momentum demonstrates that this is the right time for Congress to act," said Udall. "Our elections no longer focus on the needs and interests of individual voters, but are instead shaped by multi-million dollar ad campaigns funded by special interest groups with unlimited resources. Americans’ right to free speech should not be determined by their net worth.”

The hearing included testimony from other members of Congress and outside witnesses before the Senate Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, was titled “Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs”.

Click here to view the legislative text of Senator Udall’s amendment.

July 24, 2012 at 04:23 PM in Citizens United, Corporatism, Sen. Tom Udall, U.S. Constitution, video | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Resolution to Amend the U.S. Constitution and Reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision debated at the Albuquerque City Council

ConstitutionTonight the Albuquerque City Council will debate City Councilor Rey Garduno’s resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission.

A sharply divided Supreme Court decided that the American people are powerless to stop corporations from using corporate funds to influence state and federal elections. The 5-4 decision ruled that the restrictions on corporate expenditures in elections contained in the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (known as “McCain-Feingold”) violated the First Amendment protections of free speech.

The ruling dramatically expands the new “corporate rights” doctrine that has transformed the First Amendment in recent years, reduces transparency and exposes our elections to a new flow of billions of dollars of corporate money. The Citizens United ruling has already resulted in an explosion of unlimited, and often undisclosed, Super PAC spending, as we have seen in the current New Mexico state legislative races, as well as in the Republican presidential nominating process.

The Court’s action seriously threatens to overwhelm the voice and vote of individual American citizens. The decision unleashes a torrent of corporate money in our elections and reduces transparency in political advertising. It has invalidated state laws and even state Constitutional provisions separating corporate money from elections; And, along with the Supreme Court’s ruling that money equals speech, it grants excessive power to corporate interests.

Advocate Viki Harrison of Common Cause New Mexico praised the resolution as “a definitive statement of the City of Albuquerque’s intent to correct the egregiously wrong Citizens United decision that allowed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend millions on electing politicians in hopes they will do their bidding.” And LeMoyne Castle of Albuquerque Move to Amend says the “City Council resolution makes it clear that money is just an amplifier of speech and that granting human rights to corporations inevitably violates the principle of equal protection.”

79% of Americans support passage of an amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling, showing that this issue truly transcends political ideology. According to the 2010 Hart Research survey, 82% of Independent voters, 68% of Republican voters and 87% of Democratic voters support a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling. Additionally, John McCain has called this the “worst decision in this Supreme Court’s history.”

June 18, 2012 at 02:17 PM in Citizens United, City of Albuquerque, Corporatism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Luján Recognizes Local Efforts to Call for an End to Corporate Influence in the Electoral Process

Ben ray lujanCongressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District recognized efforts of local governments to call for the end to corporate influence in the electoral process. With localities nationwide this week highlighting resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, Luján applauded the efforts of the cities of Santa Fe and Taos.

Earlier this year, the City of Santa Fe and the Town of Taos passed resolutions expressing strong opposition to the Citizen United decision and urging Congress to take action to reduce the influence of corporate money in the democratic process. The City of Albuquerque is expected to have a similar resolution on the agenda on Monday, June 18.

“Citizens United has opened the floodgates for special-interest corporate money that seeks to influence elections and drown out the voices of the American people. Third party groups can spend unlimited amounts of money and hide their donors to prevent the American people from finding the truth behind where their money comes from,” Congressman Luján said. “I welcome the efforts of local communities around the country, especially those in New Mexico, that are standing up this week to call for action that removes corporate influence in our elections and reaffirms the bedrock principles of our democracy by giving voice back to the people. It is time to restore accountability and transparency, which are so vital to the electoral process, and take steps to get corporate money out of politics.”

Luján is cosponsoring legislation to amend the Constitution to overturn the decision in Citizens United. He has signed onto the House version of legislation introduced by Senator Tom Udall in the Senate. Luján has also cosponsored the DISCLOSE Act, which increases transparency by: enhancing public reporting of campaign-related activity by corporations and other outside groups; requiring corporations and other outside groups to stand by their ads; requiring corporations and other outside groups to disclose campaign-related spending to shareholders; and requiring lobbyists to disclose campaign-related expenditures in conjunction with their lobbying activities.

June 16, 2012 at 01:00 PM in Citizens United, Corporatism, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), U.S. Constitution | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Decision to Skip a Visit to New Mexico

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney decided to skip a visit to New Mexico for our primary. Romney’s decision to ignore New Mexico and skip a visit to our state is unprecedented in the history of GOP presidential candidates and shows how out of touch he is with New Mexico’s middle class. Instead, Romney will spend the day in Texas at a high-dollar fundraiser with big donors.

One would presume Romney and gang feels the state is getting sufficiently screwed up and corrupted by our own homegrown Republicans.

With the latest events of fat cat oil donors providing fat cash for the Reform NM Now PAC, and then the so called "Reform PAC" sending out mailers favoring a democrat of their choice in hotly contested democratic primary races, the captain of the republican ship here in NM is doing a fine job without Mitt needing to parachute in. Maybe when Romney flies out of Texas he can fly low over NM and throw some bails of money out to the Susana PAC's.  

The democratic primary races which Susana PAC's are meddling in are all in NM district's that do not have a republican running. "Reform New Mexico Now" targeted David Coss and therefore sent out mailers supporting Carl Trujillo, they targeted Jack Sullivan and supported Sen. Phil Griego in mailers within that district.

Lastly, that we know about, Reform NM targeted Eleanor Chavez with direct mailers to try to influence that race for the benefit of the republican of their choosing - James Taylor. Representative Chavez has filed a complaint to Secretary Duran's office, you can see the Reform New Mexico Now Complaint Press Release here. Sounds like Senator James Taylor is the beneficiary of that mailer, no wonder, Taylor still has a bone to pick for loosing 4 years ago to Eric Griego. X dem Senator Taylor would for sure cozy up to the Republican Martinez anti reform PAC to win back his office. Remember Shannon Robinson, he at least had the courage and fortitude to change parties from dem to republican, so he could run against Senator Tim Keller who won X dem Senator Robinson's seat 4 years ago as well.

The whole thing makes me throw up a little bit into my mouth.

Reading the blogs and news today was disappointing. The fact that republicans are influencing our democratic primaries through the obscene money allowed into campaigns through the Citizens United decision, is appalling.

And that reminds me, I really admired the civility of the Dem Senatorial debate on Sunday evening. Two very smart democrats talking about the issues. Some blogs called it a love fest, I saw it as mature senatorial performances. Good going Hector and Martin, Thank you for making me proud to be a Democrat. People are hurting out here. We need solutions and people to help us get jobs not more payoffs with no results for the people.

June 4, 2012 at 11:49 PM in 2012 Primary Election, Candidates & Races, Citizens United, Susana Martinez | Permalink | Comments (1)

Resolution to Amend the U.S. Constitution and Reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision Introduced at the Albuquerque City Council

Tonight at the Albuquerque City Council meeting City Councilor Rey Garduno will introduce a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission.

The Citizens United ruling resulted in an explosion of unlimited, and often undisclosed, Super PAC spending, as we have seen in the current New Mexico state legislative races, as well as in the Republican presidential nominating process. The resolution is an important statement by the Albuquerque City Council because the constitutional amendment process requires ratification by a minimum of 38 states and passage would strongly affirm the support of New Mexico’s largest city.

Earlier this year, Representative Mimi Stewart (Albuquerque) and Senator Steve Fischmann (Las Cruces) passed both House Memorial 4 and Senate Memorial 3, making New Mexico the second state in United States to call on Congress to pass an amendment and reverse the Citizens United decision (Hawaii was the first, in April 2010). Since that time Rhode Island and California have followed suit, joining the rising tide of hundreds of cities and towns across the country.

Advocate Viki Harrison of Common Cause New Mexico praised the resolution’s introduction as “a frank statement of the State of New Mexico’s intent to correct the egregiously wrong Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to spend millions on electing politicians who will do their bidding.” And LeMoyne Castle of Albuquerque Move to Amend says the “City Council resolution supported by Move To Amend and the Education Outreach Group makes it clear that money is just an amplifier of speech and that granting human rights to corporations inevitably violates the principle of equal protection.”

The dramatic increase in election-related funding by artificial entities threatens to drown out all other forms of speech, public debate, and election discourse. Addressing the flood of campaign contributions from corporations and wealthy individuals is supported by a vast and diverse majority of Americans, including two-thirds of small business owners.

79% of Americans support passage of an amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling, showing that this issue truly transcends political ideology. According to the 2010 Hart Research survey, 82% of Independent voters, 68% of Republican voters and 87% of Democratic voters support a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling. Additionally, John McCain has called this the “worst decision in this Supreme Court’s history.”

After its introduction tonight, the resolution is expected to be heard at the June 18, 2012 City Council meeting.

June 4, 2012 at 05:41 PM in Action Alerts, Citizens United, City of Albuquerque, Corporatism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Common Cause New Mexico Releases Research -- Role of Campaign Contributions in NM Health Policy

On May 7th,  Common Cause New Mexico (CCNM) released their latest report, Connecting the Dots – The Role of Campaign Contributions in New Mexico Health Policy, focusing on campaign contributions and how legislators vote when receiving donations from industries affected by their voting. Between 2000 and 2010, various healthcare industries contributed a combined total of $4,863,088 to candidates running for political office in New Mexico. Furthermore, contributions from these industries have increased substantially over time, from $268,096 in 2000 to $1.3 million in 2010.

Focusing on six pieces of health-related legislation between 2007 and 2010, our findings suggest that money does play an influential role in the voting behavior of New Mexico legislators. In almost all instances, decision-makers who receive larger amounts of money from the healthcare, tobacco, business, eating and drinking establishments, gambling and lodging, and pharmacies are more likely to vote in a manner that is favorable to that industry.

New Mexicans want to be assured that our legislators are voting for the public good, not to pacify or cater to industry in New Mexico,” says CCNM’s Executive Director Viki Harrison. She continues by saying that “public confidence in the legislative process is critical if we are to trust our legislators and have confidence in the legislative process.”

In nearly each case, decision makers who receive larger amounts of money from the healthcare, tobacco, and liquor industries are more likely to vote in a manner that is more favorable to that industry. However, we want to clarify that the correlations found here between campaign contributions and voting behavior do not imply that legislators are trading votes for campaign donations. Identifying individual motivations for voting one way or another, or to vote at all for that matter, are impossible to determine at any level of certainty. That said, the correlation between contributions and voting behavior alone can erode trust in government and interest in politics among the population. If the public believes that powerful interest groups can use their financial resources to steer policy in the direction of their interests, this is not good for the status of democratic governance in our state

May 12, 2012 at 03:38 PM in Candidates & Races, Citizens United, Corporatism, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Healthcare | Permalink | Comments (3)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chavez Discusses Opposition to Citizens United, 'Elizabeth Warren Challenge' & Ethics Reforms

Following is from the elect Marty Chavez to Congress Campaign.

In an article posted on NMPolitics.net yesterday, Congressional Candidate and former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez discussed his opposition to the Citizens United decision, the unanswered challenge he has issued to his opponents and strong ethics reforms he will push for in Congress.

“I have proposed an agreement to my opponents similar to what Elizabeth Warren and Senator Brown in Massachusetts have signed, in order to put our money where our mouths are in this primary, and keep third-parties and corporate money out of our election.

“After reviewing my ‘Elizabeth Warren Challenge’ to clean up our elections, both Eric Griego and Michelle Lujan Grisham refused to even have a conversation about ending the absurd influence of anonymous, unaccountable third-party money in this campaign.

“I know that New Mexican voters can tell when candidates are just giving lip service to reform. I firmly believe that we should run on our records and ideas without the interference of anonymous and unaccountable third-party expenditures. The New Mexican values that we all strive to represent in Congress call for nothing less.

“This being said, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision severely impacted the ability of individual citizens to have an equal say in our political process. I believe that one of the most effective ways in which to turn this around is to ensure the re-election of President Obama so that he will be nominating any openings that might occur on the Court.

“Very simply, money does not equal speech and I am vehemently opposed to this ruling. I support Senator Udall’s efforts, and in Congress I will do everything in my power to overturn the decision, including being a co-sponsor of his legislation, the DISCLOSE Act and the Fair Elections Now Act.

“I will also push to strengthen our ethics laws by calling for legislation that requires members and senior congressional staff to wait at least five years before lobbying. The revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street contributes greatly to corporate influence in elections. If we’re going to be serious about reigning in the out-of-control spending, we need to start by putting more teeth behind our ethics laws.”

March 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM in Candidates & Races, Citizens United, Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Heinrich Calls for Greater Transparency in Political Advertising

220px-Martin_HeinrichToday, U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to swiftly implement greater transparency measures in disclosing to voters who paid for political advertisements.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Rep. Heinrich, along with 12 other House members, said, “With campaign season in full swing and new Super PACs springing up weekly, the public must have access to information about who is funding these ads.”

Rep. Heinrich supports the agency’s proposal to require TV stations to place their political files online. Currently, broadcast stations are required to make the public inspection file, including the political file regarding campaign ads, available to the public in paper form only. The information in these files should be available in an online, searchable database, and disclosures should include information about the people and organizations that purchase political advertisements.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United opened the floodgates to unrestricted, special-interest campaign donations in American elections–even from entities controlled by foreign governments. Since then, Rep. Heinrich has worked to pass numerous bills to increase transparency and disclosure of political spending. And just last year, he introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would regulate the raising and spending of funds in elections—regulating Super PACs, which we’ve all seen concentrate money and political power in the hands of the elite and away from working Americans.

Joining Rep. Heinrich on the letter to the FCC were Representatives Gary Ackerman (NY-5), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Russ Carnahan (MO-3), David Cicilline (RI-1), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Susan Davis (CA-53), Ted Deutch (FL-19), Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), Jim Moran (VA-8), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), John Olver (MA-01), and Jared Polis (CO-02).

The full text of the letter is below:

March 5, 2012
Julius Genachowski; Chairman Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW Washington, DC 20554

Dear Chairman Genachowski,
We want to express our full support of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed rule to have broadcast stations make political files publicly available online and we urge you to implement these proposed rule changes as soon as possible. With campaign season in full swing and new Super PACs springing up weekly, the public must have access to information about who is funding these ads.

Currently, broadcast stations are required to make the public inspection file, including the political file regarding campaign ads, available to the public in paper form only. Taking the additional step of having these documents available online would create transparency in a time of increasing campaign-finance secrecy. The information in these files should be available in an online, searchable database, and disclosures should include information about the people and organizations that purchase political advertisements.

With the 2012 election season already underway, citizens have a right to know who is purchasing public airtime to support or oppose candidates. More people rely on TV stations for information than any other medium, making transparency in advertising critically important. However, the creators of campaign ads often hide behind confusing organizational names that do not provide adequate information about who is actually paying for the ads, or worse, can actually mislead the public about the identity or purpose of the advertisement. This problem is compounded by the Citizens United decision and the proliferation of Super PACs. The online posting of information in broadcast stations’ political file cannot wait until months after the election; citizens deserve to know who is responsible for funding these advertisements today.

When formulating the final rule, we urge you to take into consideration the comments of broadcasters and do everything possible to find a cost-effective and efficient method for publishing this information online, especially for small- and medium-sized stations.

We urge the FCC to act swiftly and decisively to make the entire public inspection file readily available to the public, by posting the information in an online, searchable database. The contents of the political file must be included, since that information is necessary for the public to know the truth behind who is funding campaign ads. While acting quickly to establish the new rules, we ask that the FCC make every effort to limit the administrative burden to broadcasters. The public files need to be taken out of the file cabinet and moved onto the Internet to ensure that the public has easy access to this information.

Sincerely,

March 5, 2012 at 06:28 PM in Citizens United, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Transparency | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Senators Encourage FCC Effort to Make Campaign Advertisements More Transparent

Tom udallSen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and seven other senators issued a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski yesterday encouraging swift implementation of a proposed rule to make political advertisements more transparent.

“With the 2012 election season already underway, citizens have a right to know who is purchasing public airtime to support or oppose candidates,” the senators wrote. “More people rely on TV stations for information than any other medium, making transparency in advertising critically important.  However, the creators of campaign ads often hide behind confusing organizational names that do not provide adequate information about who is actually paying for the ads, or worse, can actually mislead the public about the identity or purpose of the advertisement.

“The online posting of information in broadcast stations’ political file cannot wait until months after the election; citizens deserve to know who is responsible for funding these advertisements today.”

This problem has become widespread in this election cycle with the Citizens United decision creating a proliferation of ads backed by opaque outside groups. A recent analysis by OpenSecrets.org found that, as of January, more than 95% of spending on the 2012 elections had been backed by outside groups as opposed to candidates and political parties. At the same point in 2008, the ratio was roughly 50-50.

The proposed rule would require broadcast stations to make files related to political advertisements available publicly online. The stations are currently required to make the files available to the public, but only in paper form. Additionally, the Senators requested that the information be posted in a searchable database to make it easier for voters to find information about the ads they are viewing.

In addition to Udall, the letter was joined by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mark Begich (D-AK), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Jon Tester (D-MT).

The full text of the letter follows below and is available online here.

February 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM in Citizens United, Sen. Tom Udall, Transparency | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 13, 2012

History Being Made In NM; Citizens United US Constitutional Amendment Approved

P2112261
Sen. Fischmann addressing press, w/Sen. Griego at right

After a rather short 45 minute debate on the Senate Floor SM3 passed the Senate. The press room was empty but for a few bloggers. DFNM was there and feels we witnessed a great peice of history being made.

The first steps in the long process ahead of overturning the Supreme Court Decision now called "Citizens United". Like other poorly (or cleverly) named efforts that are the exact opposite of what they say; like "Clean Skys" only to be polluters, the Citizens United should really be called; "Corporations United" or "Foriegn Corporations United", or how bout "Filthy Rich PAC's United", or the real name should be "Anyone but Citizens United".

Of course the Republicans held forth in the debate on the floor: the supreme court ruling is fair and right, Corporations are made up of people, what about the unions and their money and influence on campaigns, and how about Obama and that he is going to be the ultimate user of the Citizens United ruling, with the money that is being projected for his Presidential reelection campaign. Even with the Obama card drawn by themselves all R's present chose to not support this Memorial. Why cause they know it is their ace.

Below is a press conference video conducted shortly after the historic vote on Saturday.

Below is from ProgressNow New Mexico.

On Saturday, New Mexico Senate Memorial 3, co-sponsored by State Senators Steve Fischmann of Las Cruces and Eric Griego of Albuquerque , was approved by a vote of 20-9 in the New Mexico State Senate. Along with its companion bill, Rep. Mimi Stewart’s House Memorial 3 (approved 38-29 on January 31, 2012), the bill’s passage makes New Mexico the second state in the nation to call for the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission!

This big step is just the first of many towards overturning Citizens United.  
Stay alert to the latest in this important effort on this new webgroup.

Your voice was heard through the petition you signed!

See what just a few of your state senators wrote in response:
Your signing this petition sends a very clear signal to us here in the legislature: corporations aren't people and treating them as if they were is just another way of reducing real people's influence in elections and in the governmental process.  Now we have to send that same message to the Congress. Overturn the unimaginably bad Supreme Court decision in "Citizens United"!  Jerry Ortiz y Pino, NM State Senate District 12

I introduced the overturn Citizen's United memorial in the State Senate.  It has cleared committees and awaits a vote on the Senate floor.  .  Overturning Citizens United is central to preserving the integrity of our elections, our democracy, and your political speech.
Thanks for your support of this measureSenator Steve Fischmann 

We've set up a special new webgroup for SM3's Citizen Sponsors to follow the latest on work to overturn Citizens United and maintain the integrity of our democratic process.

Join this webgroup by clicking here. 

We won't rest until Citizens United is overturned and the people take back our elections!

Congratulations on achieving this big milestone for New Mexico and our country!

February 13, 2012 at 09:43 AM in Citizens United, Corporatism, Eric Griego, NM Legislature 2012, U.S. Constitution | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Mexico a Leader in Nation Calling for Amendment to U.S. Constitution to reverse Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision

Senate Memorial 3, sponsored by State Senator Steve Fischmann of Las Cruces, was just approved by a vote of 20-9 in the New Mexico State Senate. Along with its companion bill, Rep. Mimi Stewart’s House Memorial 3 (approved 38-29 on January 31, 2012), the bill’s passage makes New Mexico the second state in the nation to call for the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission (Hawaii was the first, in April, 2010).

The Citizens United ruling resulted in an explosion of unlimited, and often undisclosed, Super PAC spending, as we have seen in the current Republican presidential nominating process. The memorial is an important statement by the New Mexico State Legislature because the constitutional amendment process requires ratification by a minimum of 38 states.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Fischmann, emphasized the legislation’s role in defending our nation’s democracy. "Voters need to know their opinions count as much as any corporate entity, trade, or labor association. I'm proud that New Mexico's State Senate is willing to stand for this principle,” said Fischmann. Lead advocate Viki Harrison of Common Cause New Mexico praised the legislation’s passage as “a frank statement of the State of New Mexico’s intent to correct the egregiously wrong Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to spend millions on electing politicians who will do their bidding.”

The impact of HM4/SM3 was also touted by national partners who joined in advocating for the legislation. "Today's vote by the New Mexico State Senate marks a great victory for American democracy," said Maram Abdelhamid, national field director for Free Speech For People, a national campaign pressing for a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to overturn the Citizens United ruling. "The State of New Mexico is helping to lead the way for the nation in this movement to ensure that people, not corporations, govern in America.  We look forward to working with other state legislatures which will follow New Mexico's example and defend our democracy."

Addressing the flood of campaign contributions from corporations and wealthy individuals is supported by a vast and diverse majority of Americans, including two-thirds of small business owners. Lawrence Rael, President of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, emphasizes that "the Citizens United decision is deeply unpopular with our businesses and the vast majority of small businesses leaders believe the decision hurts small companies.”

As memorials, the two bills need no further approval or signatures in New Mexico. 

February 11, 2012 at 02:53 PM in Citizens United, Corporatism, NM Legislature 2012, U.S. Constitution | Permalink | Comments (3)