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https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=22765
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 6, 2017 02:55 PM
From: Representative Jim Cox
To: All House members
Subject: Free and Fair Elections Resolution
 
Please join me in the coming days as I re-introduce the Free and Fair Elections Resolution (HR 357) calling for a limited convention of the states under Article V of the United States Constitution. The purpose of this convention will be to propose amendments to the United States Constitution authorizing the States to apply disclosure rules and reasonable guidelines on election campaign finance.

Pennsylvania is the birthplace of our representative democracy and the United States Constitution. As public servants in the Commonwealth, we must continue this proud legacy of self-government that we have sworn to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. When anonymous special interests and foreign governments attempt to exert undue influence over our federal officials, the “consent of the governed” is undermined and the American principle of self-determination is placed in jeopardy.

Our Founding Fathers created the convention process so that state legislatures could propose amendments when Congress itself is the problem. In fact, most constitutional amendments have been preceded by requests for an amendments convention, including the Bill of Rights. Whether an amendment is introduced by Congress or the states, it must still be ratified by three-fourths (38) of the 50 states.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC, have virtually nullified campaign regulations at the state and federal level, allowing anonymous special interests, rent-seekers, and foreign powers to obtain undue influence over U.S. public policy. Since Congress will not properly regulate itself and the FEC has stated they are unable to perform their oversight role effectively, Article V allows a conversation to take place independent of the corruption and dysfunction in Washington, D.C.

Making Congress responsive to the people once again will make sure that public policy is reflective of public opinion, which is essential to a government that works in the national interest, as well as obtaining popular policies like a sensible tax code. Similar resolutions have passed with bipartisan support in Vermont, Illinois, the Missouri Senate, and the New Hampshire House, as well as in many other states.

I hope you will join me in supporting this important legislation that will keep our republic responsive to the people and ensure the blessings of liberty for future generations of Americans and Pennsylvania citizens.

Previous Cosponsors of HR 357: BARBIN, BRIGGS, BURNS, CALTAGIRONE, P. COSTA, CUTLER, M. DALEY, DEAN, DERMODY, ELLIS, EVERETT, FRANKEL, GILLEN, GOODMAN, HANNA, HARKINS, KAMPF, KAUFER, LEWIS, MALONEY, MULLERY, MURT, ORTITAY, SANKEY, SAYLOR, SIMS, STURLA, TOBASH, VITALI, KRUEGER-BRANEKY, CONKLIN, SONNEY, DAVIS, MICCARELLI, PETRARCA, YOUNGBLOOD, GAINEY, PASHINSKI, FABRIZIO, J. HARRIS, BARRAR, DONATUCCI, WHEELAND, SANTORA, GILLESPIE, RADER, MOUL, DiGIROLAMO, NEILSON, C. QUINN, and McCARTER



Introduced as HR357