Amendment aims to stop corruption, flow of big money into government

LANSING, Mich. — Rep. Jeremy Moss (D–Southfield) and Sen. Rebekah Warren (D–Ann Arbor) today introduced resolutions that would urge Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow for the regulation of independent political expenditures by corporations.

If passed, this legislation would make Michigan the 20th state calling for the amendment — which would overturn the controversial Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court case — and allow Michigan legislators to set campaign finance limits that prevent the anonymous, and untraceable, spending that has been seen in elections in recent years.

“Our elections should be in the hands of real people — meaning citizens, not corporations,” Sen. Warren said. “When companies have the power to meddle in elections, the voices of everyday electors get overwhelmed by their money and insider influence. Repealing Citizens United puts the power of our democracy back in the hands of the voters.”

More than 27 million dollars was spent in the 2016 elections in Michigan, and the 2018 election is projected to be one of the most expensive in state history. In just the first quarter of 2017, 25 Michigan lawmakers raised $800,000 and more than a third of the total came from just seven individuals.

“Democracy fails when power is concentrated in the hands of the few,” Rep. Moss said. “We cannot say we’re a government of, and for, the people when special interests and corporations can use their money to control message and action. Everyone, regardless of their background or financial status, should have a place at the table, and an opportunity for their voices to be heard and their needs to be addressed. Overturning this ridiculous case is an important step in restoring our democracy.”

In 2015, Michigan was given the worst score by the Center for Public Integrity for transparency within state government. This amendment would allow Michigan legislators to set campaign finance limits that prevent the anonymous and untraceable spending that has been seen in the elections in recent years and limit overwhelming influence by an individual.