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My Turn: A missed opportunity to fight money in politics

It’s shameful. This past week, because of roadblocks put up by 12 Republican state senators, the Committee of Conference killed a measure (SB 307) calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and curb the influence of money in politics. This violates the will of New Hampshire residents.

On two previous occasions, the same 12 Republican senators defeated proposed language calling for an amendment. Instead, they repeatedly tried to move forward a hollow version of SB 307 that would merely create a committee to examine the impact of the Citizens United ruling and make recommendations to the New Hampshire congressional delegation. Last year, they refused to even take a vote on a similar resolution that had passed the House.

In contrast, the New Hampshire House of Representatives on May 15 voted by a 2-1 margin – 183-87, with a strong bipartisan vote – to move forward a version of SB 307 that would have made the Granite State the 17th state to call for a constitutional amendment.

Fifty-four New Hampshire towns have passed resolutions (52 this year) directing the state Legislature to call for a constitutional amendment, and a poll in support of a constitutional amendment was overwhelmingly supported by a 3-1 margin across party lines.

The vote was only a temporary setback for those of us who do not want to pay the price when our government is bought and sold by wealthy interests. The fight continues across the state, and the issue will come up again in the next session.

(Jonah Minkoff-Zern is the campaign director for Public Citizen’s Democracy is for People campaign.)

Legacy Comments2

You won't hear Jonah saying the NYT or MSNBC needs to print fewer articles or put on produce less media air time. Both are large corporations. The liberal/progressive argument that Citizens United is wrong because "corporations aren't people" disingenuously ignore that media corporations are currently unregulated entities protected by the 1st Amendment. If XYZ Corporation wanted to engage in public speech more, it could buy the NYT and have unregulated political speech rights. Yet the liberal/progressive argument says that XYZ may be able to buy the NYT; but, that corporation cannot rent the NYT in the form of paid advertising placed in the paper. Being liberal/progressive though means never having to apply consistent logic. The only consistency is that the flood of conflicting principles flowing from the left is that they all advance centralization and control. You'll know they are serious when they say Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire can no longer own NYT stock or that the NYT must reduce the amount of their content dedicated to politics. Don't hold your breath.


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