Legislation Quick Search
12/04/2021 06:06 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Home / House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

Subscribe to PaLegis Notifications

Subscribe to receive notifications of new Co-Sponsorship Memos circulated

By Member | By Date | Keyword Search

House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 1, 2017 02:04 PM
From: Representative Frank Dermody
To: All House members
Subject: CO-SPONSOR MEMO – Overturn Citizens United
The growing influence of money in American and Pennsylvania elections -- particularly corporate and special interest money -- has made the wealthiest voices the loudest and the ones with the most access and influence on political candidates and government officials. The extent to which these powerful and wealthy special interests have become entrenched in American and Pennsylvania politics is one of the primary reasons for the inability of our legislature and the Congress to reach solutions to our Commonwealth's and nation's most pressing problems.

In 2010, the United States Supreme Court made this problem much worse with its 5-4 decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission. The court ruled that election spending by corporations and special interests is protected "free speech" under the Constitution and cannot be limited. The practical implication of the Supreme Court ruling is that unchecked political spending by corporations, unions and other special interests overwhelms the voice of ordinary citizens and undermines the free speech rights of the people, limiting your access to candidates and public officials and your ability to influence the policies they make. Citizens United rigged the game in favor of huge corporations, moneyed special interests, and the wealthy, and gave them undue control over our elections, government policy and our democracy.

To that end, I am introducing a resolution urging the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United and clarify the distinction between the free speech rights of natural persons and the political spending done by corporations, unions and other special interest groups. Let's return control of our democracy once again to the people, not the corporations and special interests.

Introduced as HR440