November 8, 2012
Voters in Montana and Colorado on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved ballot initiatives calling on their congressional delegations to help overturn Citizens United, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that led to unlimited spending by corporations and wealthy individuals. They become the 10th and 11th states to pass such resolutions. The initiatives in both states passed by landslide proportions with the support of almost three-quarters of the voters. Vermont voters in more than 60 towns last spring approved similar resolutions and the state Legislature also called for action to amend the U.S. Constitution. Sen. Bernie Sanders is the sponsor of the Saving American Democracy Amendment.
"Amazingly enough, we withstood the assault. We withstood the hundreds of millions of dollars that came in from these billionaires," Sanders said after the election. The money spent by billionaires to influence the election was not enough to topple President Obama. Others in Congress survived the financial onslaught too. But he said a constitutional amendment still is needed.
"I worry very much what it does on the floor of the House and the Senate. How many people are going to have the guts to stand up to big money when they know that the airwaves in their states are going to be flooded with negative ads if they vote against Wall Street or vote against coal or oil? So I would say that one of the major issues that we've got to deal with is Citizens United. I think we need a constitutional amendment to overturn it. I think it would be a wonderful rallying point for folks all over this country."