Move to Amend Referendum

The national Move to Amend referendums to remove election spending by special interest groups held in Whitewater and Fort Atkinson were strongly supported by voters last week.


Move to Amend is a United States, national coalition trying to get rid of corporate power and create a constitutional amendment that declares money is not free speech and put an end to “corporate personhood.”  The group was created after the Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which ruled that corporations are protected under the First Amendment, to spend money to support or oppose candidates for political elections.


A total of 1,211 votes were cast on the referendum in the City of Whitewater with 1,013 voting “yes,” which was 83 percent of the vote.  198 ballots “no” votes in Whitewater.


Fort Atkinson voted “yes” on 76 percent of the ballots, totaling 1,312 votes.  There were 395 “no” ballots for a total of 23 percent of the vote.


There was a high level of support on this measure and organizers are very pleased with the outcome.


Dan Fary of the Town of Oakland, who led the formation of the Rock River Affiliate of Move to Amend said,  “It just shows the overwhelming support that citizens have for a constitutional amendment to return control of the democracy to the citizens.”


James Hartwick led the Pettition efforts in Whitewater, and he too was pleased with the outcome with both communities. “I am surprised and pleased by the outpouring of the average person saying enough is enough,” Hartwick said.


Hartwick also commented on the results of the election that it showed “strong bipartisan support to get big money out of elections.


The referendums in both the cities of Whitewater and Fort Atkinson read:


“Resolved, that ‘We the People’ of the City of Whitewater (Fort Atkinson), Wisconsin, seek to reclaim democracy from the expansion of corporate personhood rights and the corrupting influence of unregulated political contributions and spending. We stand with the Move to Amend campaign and communities across the country to support passage of an amendment to the United States Constitution stating: 1. Only human beings – not corporations, limited liability companies, unions, nonprofit organizations or similar associations and corporate entities – are endowed with constitutional rights, and, 2. Money is not speech, and therefore, regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech. Be it further resolved, that we hereby instruct our state and federal representatives to enact resolutions and legislation to advance this effort.”


In the state of Wisconsin, six counties and municipalities have passed resolutions in support of a new constitutional amendment, including Eau Claire County, West Allis, Madison, Dane County, the Town of Westport and Dunn County.  Similarly, on a national scale, 11 state legislatures have already approved measures in support of this movement.