WASHINGTON, March 6 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) welcomed results from town meetings today across Vermont where citizens called for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United and restore limits on corporate campaign spending.
As of Tuesday evening, voters in 23 towns had passed resolutions to amend the Constitution to ensure that corporations do not have the same First Amendment rights as people and cannot spend huge amounts of money on campaigns. As many as 60 towns could weigh in by later tonight.
"The people of Vermont have seen the huge campaign contributions being made by billionaires and large corporations because of Citizens United, and they understand how horrendous this is for the future of American democracy," Sanders said. "Vermont is helping to lead the nation on this important issue. Real people across our state stood up today to protect our democracy. I am very proud of what they have done," Sanders said.
"Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, Town Meeting Day voters understood that corporations are not people. The resounding results will send a strong message that corporations and billionaires should not be allowed to buy candidates and elections with unlimited, undisclosed spending on political campaigns," Sanders added.
He called the 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission one of the worst decisions the Supreme Court has ever handed down.
"I hope the message coming out of the town meetings in Vermont will spark a grassroots movement all across the United States that a constitutional amendment is needed to overturn the ruling."
Sanders last Dec. 8 introduced in the Senate the Saving American Democracy Amendment. His proposal would restore the power of Congress and state lawmakers to enact campaign spending limits like laws that were in place for a century before the controversial court ruling.