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More Wisconsinites Speak Out Against Citizens United

PHOTO: The grassroots group United Wisconsin is urging Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele to sign a county board resolution for an advisory referendum on the controversial Supreme Court Citizens United decision. Photo courtesy United Wisconsin.
PHOTO: The grassroots group United Wisconsin is urging Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele to sign a county board resolution for an advisory referendum on the controversial Supreme Court Citizens United decision. Photo courtesy United Wisconsin.
April 28, 2014

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Late last week, the Milwaukee County Board voted to put an advisory referendum on the November ballot. The Board is seeking a constitutional amendment to reverse the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission. More than 40 other Wisconsin communities have already voted to pass similar resolutions, saying the Citizens United decision allows special interest groups to pour too much money into political campaigns.

Lisa Subeck heads United Wisconsin, a grassroots organization working for such an amendment to get big money out of politics.

"This is the second time the Milwaukee County Board has passed such a resolution," Subeck said. "They proposed a similar resolution last year and unfortunately the County Executive, Chris Abele, vetoed the resolution at that time. We are certainly hopeful that this time around, the County Executive will decide to sign it."

Subeck said Milwaukee County residents should have the same opportunity as those in other communities to make their voices heard about the Citizens United decision.

The Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case held that corporations, unions and associations have the same free speech rights as individuals to contribute money to political campaigns. Subeck said she disagrees with that idea.

"We are very interested in seeing a constitutional amendment that would reverse Citizens United, which is a Supreme Court decision that just opened the floodgates to unlimited amounts of corporate special-interest spending in our elections," she explained. "We feel strongly that it's time to turn that around. Nobody is happy about big money in politics."

Subeck pointed out that several Milwaukee suburbs, including Wauwatosa, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay, already have passed resolutions calling for a referendum.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI