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28th Amendment National Roadshow Comes to Wisconsin

PHOTO: John Nichols of The Capital Times and The Nation will be among the local keynote speakers when the 28th Amendment National Roadshow makes a stop in Madison, Wis., on Saturday. Photo courtesy of The Nation.
PHOTO: John Nichols of The Capital Times and The Nation will be among the local keynote speakers when the 28th Amendment National Roadshow makes a stop in Madison, Wis., on Saturday. Photo courtesy of The Nation.
September 4, 2014

MADISON, Wis. – A grassroots movement called the 28th Amendment National Roadshow to permanently overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision comes to Wisconsin this Saturday.

The Citizens United decision essentially says corporations are considered people, and the money they spend on campaign donations is an extension of their freedom of speech rights.

Matt Rothschild, senior editor of The Progressive magazine, maintains the nation cannot live with that ruling.

"And what that decision means is that we have no real hope for genuine democracy in this country until we amend the Constitution and say, once and for all, that corporations are, indeed, not persons and that money is, indeed, not speech," he stresses.

The 28th Amendment National Roadshow opened on the west coast in spring and is working its way east before the November elections.

The Wisconsin stop is the Marquee Theater in the Union South building on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Rothschild emphasizes change will happen.

"I think people will increasingly, as they feel disempowered, as they recognize as they do in poll after poll that the rich and the corporations have way too much power – not only over our economy but over our political system – at some point there's going to be a point where people just are so fed up that they decide that they have to do something," he explains.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is among those who support upholding the Citizens United decision.

"I'm not upset about the amount of money in politics,” he says. “We spend far more on advertising peanut butter and diapers."

Local keynote speakers for Saturday's event include John Nichols of The Capital Times and The Nation, Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy and Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Rothschild asserts the issue is at a boiling point.

"There's a great movement in this country that isn't being reported by the mainstream and corporate press,” he says. “Sixteen states and 600 municipalities have already called for a Constitutional amendment to say that corporations aren't people and money isn't speech.

“There's a huge grassroots movement behind this and ultimately, it will succeed."


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI