Supporters of S.J. Res 19 and participants in the Overturn Citizens United Rally and petition delivery.
On Monday, Daily Kos, alongside dozens of allied organizations representing 3 million petition signers, joined with elected officials to demand a constitutional amendment that would end the notion that corporations are people and money is speech.
Out of 3 million signatures, 280,534 of them were from the Daily Kos community. And all told, at least 534,305 individual Daily Kos readers have signed one or more petitions demanding an end to money as speech since the Citizens United decision in 2010.
The event took place on the day the Senate voted 79-18 to continue debate on the amendment. Most see the Republicans' willingness to continue the debate as a way to avoid other issues Democrats want to talk about such as the minimum wage, women’s pay equality and student loan interest rates.
To see additional photos and elected official comments during the rally see below the fold...
Sen Tom Udall speaking at 9/8/14 rally in support S.J. Res 19
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) called the Citizen’s United
rulings “a disgrace of a decision, factually erroneous...and morally bankrupt.” Sen. Whitehouse used climate change as an example of how these rulings negatively impacted both our country and our world. Pre-2010, even the Republican presidential nominee was talking about a plan for addressing climate change. Post-2010, climate change is being almost universally denied by Republican elected officials. Decisions like Citizens United
allow the Koch brothers to not only control the debate, but to stop any debate in its tracks.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shared this sentiment stating, “ the results of this debate will in fact determine whether or not we maintain a middle class in this country. Koch brothers have put forty-four thousand ads on television this election cycle alone. They have an agenda and it is of the very wealthy, and for the very wealthy.” He listed countless issues that are vital to American citizens that have been ignored since money became speech, and will continue to stagnate unless this constitutional amendment goes through.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking at rally in support of S.J. Res 19.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) acknowledged the 3 million people represented in the petitions stating “they are going to be heard loud and clear” She went on to say that much like Women’s right to vote and the Dred Scott
decision, “this is a moment that demands an amendment,” pointing out that if someone can drop $10 million dollars on a race, “it throws out the rules” and “destroys the kitchen table.” If the people’s voice is going to be heard, than “individual candidates have to be responsible for their individual campaigns.”
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) when considering the statements made during these Supreme Court decisions, noted “this court says there is no apparent corruption. We see it, so it is apparent.” And addressing why Democrats are pushing for this when everyone knows the amendment will not pass this year Sen. Franken stated, “the amendments that Sen Klobuchar mentioned took a long time and the American people know this is wrong. We are here for the long haul and hoping for soon.”
Sen. Al Franken speaking at rally in support of S.J. Res 19.
Rep Ted Deutch (D-FL) pointed out that “the three million people represented in these boxes don’t have a Super PAC. They don’t give dark money. They have hopes for a Congress that functions well... They want to see legislation that makes a difference in their lives. They don’t want a congress that serves a handful of billionaires.”
Rep Jim McGovern (D-MA) described himself “as someone who shows up to work everyday to watch Republicans stick it to poor people while at the same time supporting billionaires.” His explanation for Republican behavior since 2010: “money is calling the shots”. Sen McGovern has a parallel constitutional amendment in the House.
Speakers included Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), who is the lead sponsor of the amendment in the U.S. Senate.