Explanation of Model Municipal Resolution

The resolution makes clear that as a result  the renderings of court decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and subsequent lower court decisions based upon those decisions, the meaning of the right of free speech under the First Amendment has been radically and erroneously redefined such that it now gives virtually unlimited power to wealthy individuals, artificial entities like corporations and unions and special interest groups to influence elections, referendums and ballot measures through the expenditure of vast sums of money. It also cites unlimited lengths of campaigns as an exacerbatory effect.

This resolution does not establish that “corporations are not people” or, more clearly stated, that corporations do not have fundamental rights under the Constitution. The thinking behind this version of the amendment is the recognition that 1) it is unnecessary to declare that corporations and other artificial invites do not have such rights in order to effectively regulate campaign finance and elections and 2) that eliminating corporate constitutional rights which have been recognized for centuries in American law raises a unnecessary complexity and probable political opposition that could be avoided if not included. The belief is that the issue of corporate constitutional rights would be best addressed in a separate constitutional amendment.

The resolution reaffirms the authority,  power and duty  of  the federal, state and local governments to regulate campaign finance contributions and expenditures to regulate and limit the amounts of money collected and spent in elections and for referendums and ballot measures, the timing of electioneering communications, and the length of campaigns for election to public office, in order to protect the integrity of such elections and secure the equal rights of all American citizens to representation and participation in government, regardless of ownership or access to money