Model Campaign Finance Reform Resolution for Municipalities
[Version 1: with invalidation of corporate constitutional rights]
[Town, City, County] OF [Name]
STATE OF NEW MEXICO
A RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO CLARIFY THAT THE RIGHTS PROTECTED UNDER THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION ARE THE RIGHTS OF HUMAN BEINGS AND NOT THE RIGHTS OF ARTIFICIAL ENTITIES, AND THAT GOVERNMENTS MAY AND SHALL REGULATE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE FROM CORRUPTION AND UNDUE OR DISPROPORTIONATE INFLUENCE IN ELECTIONS AND GOVERNMENT; ASKING THAT CONGRESS PROPOSE A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE SUCH CLARIFICATION.
WHEREAS, neither the Constitution of the United States nor any of its several amendments make any reference to corporations or other artificial, government-created entities, and the rights set forth therein were originally conceived as inalienable rights belonging inherently to human beings only;
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States in a number of cases has erroneously recognized some of these rights set forth in the Constitution as also belonging to corporations and other artificial entities, including the right to free speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution;
WHEREAS, certain rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States and by lower courts predicated upon them have erroneously changed the meaning of the First Amendment, without consultation of the States or the People, so as to enable virtually unlimited political spending with impenetrable “free speech” protections;
WHEREAS, restricting the ability of the federal, state and local governments to impose well-reasoned, appropriate limits upon political contributions and spending has allowed wealthy individuals, corporations, unions, other artificial entities and unincorporated special interest groups to spend vast, virtually unrestricted amounts of money to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens and thereby unduly and disproportionately influence elections, candidate selection, and policy decisions affecting national, state and local interests;
WHEREAS, the current practice of unrestricted long campaigns serves only to exacerbate the problem of the unrestricted spending of money over long periods of time;
WHEREAS, even-handed, well-reasoned, effective limits on the role of money used to influence outcomes of elections and limit the lengths of campaigns are necessary, among other purposes, to (1) secure the rights of all of the citizens of our nation to be represented and participate in elections and self-government, regardless of wealth, standing or privilege; and (2) protect the integrity of elections and government against the undue influences of foreign interference and concentrated economic capital, whether of corporations, unions, other artificial entities or unincorporated special interest groups; and
WHEREAS, Article V of the United States Constitution empowers and obligates the people and States of the United States of America to use the constitutional amendment process to protect and defend the Constitution and secure our liberties;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the [name of governing body] of the [name of town, city or county], State of New Mexico, hereby requests that Congress propose and send to the states for ratification an amendment to the Constitution of the United States confirming that:
- The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are rights belonging to human beings only;
- Artificial entities, such as corporations established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution, and are subject to regulation by the People, through federal, state, or local law. The privileges, benefits limitations, obligations and responsibilities of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through federal or state law, and any such privileges or benefits shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable;
- The federal, state, and local governments have the power, authority and duty to regulate, limit, or prohibit the campaign contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, and may further set limits upon the timing of electioneering communications and the length of time of campaigns for election to public office, to prevent corruption, and to ensure that all citizens have fair representation and equal participation in the political process and that no person or entity gains, as a result of his, her or its access to or ownership of money, greater access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure;
- The federal, state, and local governments shall require that such campaign contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed, and shall make the disclosed information timely available to citizens in an easily understandable form;
- Regulation enacted in accordance with the intents and purposes of such an amendment shall not be construed as violative of the Constitution; and
- Congress and the States shall have the power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this resolution be prepared and submitted to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Minority Leader of the United States Senate, and to each member of the New Mexico congressional delegation.
PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the [name of governing body] of the [name of town, city or county], State of New Mexico, on this _____ day of ____________________, 20__.
APPROVED AS TO FORM: