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PNS Daily News - December 16, 2019 


Sen. Chuck Schumer calls for four specific witnesses in Senate impeachment trial; giving Iowans with disabilities a voice in caucuses; and an expert says Seasonal Affective Disorder is a lot more than just the holiday blues.

2020Talks - December 16, 2019 


Sen. Cory Booker led the charge asking the DNC to ease up debate qualification requirements. All seven candidates who made the cut for Thursday's debate say they won't participate in the debate at Loyola Marymount in LA if it means crossing the picket line of Unite Here Local 11.

Oregonians Still "Moving to Amend" U.S. Constitution

PHOTO: Oregon was one of the states to go on record in opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to lift political spending limits for corporations as part of their free-speech rights. But five years later, it's still the law of the land. Photo credit: Lucidology/iStockphoto.com.
PHOTO: Oregon was one of the states to go on record in opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to lift political spending limits for corporations as part of their free-speech rights. But five years later, it's still the law of the land. Photo credit: Lucidology/iStockphoto.com.
January 21, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. - It's the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling, and some Oregonians have been working for five years to counteract it.

The ruling removed limits on the amount of money that corporations, associations and unions can spend on political campaigns.

In 2013, the Oregon Legislature passed a Joint Memorial opposing the decision, and nationwide, hundreds of towns, counties and states have made similar moves. But more could be done, said Rachel Ozretich, a steering committee member of the Corvallis chapter of "Move to Amend," the group seeking a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

"In Oregon, we have almost no regulations of campaigns, and we certainly have good eggs and bad eggs," she said. "But our Legislature really did well in passing - in a bipartisan vote - the memorial that we asked them to pass."

The eight Move to Amend chapters in Oregon are gathering signatures for a 2016 ballot measure to support a constitutional convention. If two-thirds of the states do the same, a convention is the place where a constitutional amendment would be written - in this case, to say corporations are not people and money is not speech.

Stephen Spaulding, policy counsel for the watchdog group Common Cause, said millionaires and billionaires have gained greater influence over elections at every level of government since the Citizens United ruling. In 2014, he said, spending from undisclosed sources topped $170 million.

Add that to the more than $300 million spent during the 2012 presidential election and, said Spaulding, "We're well over $500 million in money that is untraceable, that has been dumped into our elections, that otherwise likely would not have been spent but for Citizens United."

Spaulding said a new Common Cause report shows political spending from secret sources has influenced issues that range from minimum wage and gun control to climate change and having an open Internet. The report is online at commoncause.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR