Letter: Denounce Citizens United Decision

To the Editor:

Two weeks ago, at Town Meeting, Lyme and many other New Hampshire towns voted on a petition article to urge Congress to clarify that the First Amendment right to free speech does not mean a right of individuals, corporations, unions, etc., to spend unlimited money on elections, given that such spending has a corrupting effect on lawmakers.

With information from all New Hampshire towns now in, here’s how this article fared statewide: The final tally was 47 towns voting for (mostly by wide margins), 12 against (mostly by small margins), and one tabled. For town-by-town numbers, visit www.nh4democracy.org. Hanover will vote at its May Town Meeting. Lebanon has a city form of government (not a town), and needs one or more champions to organize bringing a resolution to the City Council.

Citizens United is currently considered one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in memory, and the new best example of judicial activism. Since it was handed down in 2010, this decision has been denounced by U.S. citizens of all persuasions as essentially gutting the one-person, one-vote principle, and as the single most corrupting judicial ruling in history on our electoral system.

This petitioned article’s content is strongly supported by a huge percentage of New Hampshire residents, so the Legislature should be hearing from 47 town selectboards, requesting lawmakers to petition Congress to support a constitutional amendment.

By the way, each of us who believes that the effects of Citizens United are corrupting our system worse than anything that came before should plan to ask all candidates in the coming elections whether they will support or oppose overturning it.

Michael Whitman