Our central project has been to promote passage of the Democracy Amendment Resolution (DAR, read it here: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2018RS/bills/hj/hj0011T.pdf) in the Maryland General Assembly. The Resolution will serve as Maryland’s application to Congress under Article V of the U. S. Constitution (read Article V here: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/article-v.html) for an amendment-proposing convention of states. Under Article V, if 34 states apply to Congress on the same topic, Congress “shall call a convention for proposing amendments.” The topic proposed in the Democracy Amendment Resolution is limited solely to “authorizing the regulation of contributions and expenditures intended to influence elections.” Such an amendment would take effect only if subsequently ratified by 38 states. This is not a general “constitutional convention,” and indeed there is no provision for such a convention in the Constitution. (To date, five states have issued calls for an amendment on campaign finance reform - Vermont, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island.)
In 2018, the DAR had 25 co-sponsors in the Senate (a majority) and passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 94-42, but it died in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee.
Citizens United v. FEC and related decisions have drastically limited regulation of campaign finance by both Congress and the states, have equated donating and spending huge sums of money with free speech, and have implied that artificial entities such as corporations and unions have Constitutional rights.
No matter what area of the political universe you occupy, the issues important to you are being affected by the corrupting influence of money in politics. We must act with urgency to solve this problem so that our future generations do not have to deal with the consequences.
Historically, most U.S. Constitutional Amendments were proposed and ratified after the American people used every tool of democracy available: state level reform, petitioning Congress, ballot referendums, and demanding an Article V Convention. The risk of not using every tool available to end the corrupting influence of money in our political system is one we are not willing to take. Exercising our right to use Article V of the U.S. Constitution shows respect for the Constitution that we are fighting to strengthen.
Please answer “Yes” to the following 2 questions to indicate your support.