Assembly Republicans Refuse to Consider Referendum Giving Voters a Voice on Citizens United
Republicans again fail to take action on corporate special interest money in politics
January 19, 2016
MADISON – Today, Republicans in the State Assembly refused to even consider AJR 8, which would place a statewide advisory referendum question on the ballot to give voters the opportunity to voice their support for a constitutional amendment overturning the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
“Wisconsinites are outraged by the massive amounts of corporate special interest spending Citizens United has ushered into our elections,” said Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison). “It is ridiculous that Republicans refuse to let Wisconsinites’ voices be heard on the critical issue of Citizens United.
Today’s vote comes days before the 6th anniversary of the Citizens United ruling, which opened the floodgates to unlimited election spending by corporations and special interest groups. During the last legislative session, the Republican majority failed to act, refusing to even hold a hearing on a similar resolution.
Six years after the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, outside spending on elections by special interests continues to increase, while rulings by the Wisconsin Supreme Court have allowed the sources of much of this spending to go undisclosed, keeping Wisconsinites in the dark about who is trying to influence their votes. Even more recently, Republicans have passed legislation that further deregulates election spending by special interests, corporations, and billionaires.
“Unlimited election spending by corporations, Super PACs, and special interest groups has drowned out the voices of the people in our elections, and urgent action is needed to restore our democracy,” said Subeck. “Our constituents want the opportunity to make their voices heard, as evidenced by the 61 counties and municipalities that have held referendums and overwhelmingly passed resolutions on this issue, but Republicans have again chosen to let the people’s pleas fall on deaf ears.”