The weekend of January 19, 2013, marks two important dates — Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the 3rd anniversary of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission U.S. Supreme Court ruling. A coalition of groups is planning a rally in Federal Plaza on Saturday, January 19th to commemorate the anniversary of the Citizens United decision. Participating in the rally will be members and supporters of Public Citizen, Illinois Move to Amend, Common Cause, MoveOn, ILPIRG, Newspaper Guild/CWA Local 34071, Coffee Party, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Americans for Democratic Action and the 10th Democrats.
When: Saturday, January 19, 2013 - NOON
Where: Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn, Chicago
The Citizens United ruling solidified the concept of corporate personhood and gave the same Constitutional rights to legal entities such as corporations, associations and unions that were originally intended only for human beings. In addition, the Court ruled that money is considered speech and falls under the same protected category. This has allowed wealthy individuals, corporations and organizations to create Super PACs to covertly finance political campaigns. Donors can give unlimited amounts of cash to the Super PACs anonymously. Because of this ruling, campaign finance reform laws can no longer be enforced. Unlimited campaign donations have the effect of buying politicians' loyalty to donors and corrupting our electoral process.
In the November, 2012 election, local Move to Amend affiliates sponsored ballot initiatives in 10 districts in Illinois calling for the overturning of the Citizens United decision and abolishing the "money is speech" concept. A super majority in all 10 districts voted "YES" (on average by 73%) that they wanted to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United and end corporate and other special interest rule by abolishing corporate personhood. The following districts voted on the ballot initiatives in Illinois:
¢ Lisle Township — DuPage County
¢ City of Warrenville
¢ County of Kane
¢ City of Chicago
¢ Avon Township — Lake County
¢ Northfield Township — Cook County
¢ Oak Park Township — Cook County
¢ Champaign Township — Champaign County
¢ Cunningham Township — Champaign County
¢ Carbondale Township — Jackson County
Sponsored by: Public Citizen, Illinois Move to Amend, Common Cause, MoveOn, ILPIRG, Newspaper Guild/CWA Local 34071, Coffee Party, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Americans for Democratic Action, The 10th Democrats