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California Becomes 2nd State to Call for a Constitutional Convention

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  • California Becomes 2nd State to Call for a Constitutional Convention

    When Calif. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) introduced AJR 1 in December 2012, he was the first legislator in the United States to employ a unique procedure in the U.S. Constitution that allows state legislatures to command Congressional action. Specifically, AJR 1 would require Congress to call a convention to amend the Constitution, to address the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Today, good-government advocates are celebrating after AJR 1 passed the California State Senate by a vote of 23-11. AJR 1 has already prompted Vermont to pass a resolution modeled after it, and in Illinois a similar resolution is currently making its way through its legislature.

    “Most Americans are fed up with the notion that money is speech and that moneyed interests can drown out the speech of average citizens,” said Gatto.

    This burgeoning movement to limit the effect of financial influence in the political system continues to grow. Earlier Monday morning, the California Highway Patrol arrested fourteen protestors outside the State Capitol who marched more than 450 miles from Los Angeles to rally to get money out of politics and in support of AJR 1. Two days earlier, The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized in favor of a convention, calling the Resolution “the most significant step in a fledging revolution” to obtain campaign-finance reform.
    http://californianewswire.com/2014/0...tizens-united/

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/R6k7cL3z0Bk?list=UU1yBKRuGpC1tSM73A0ZjYjQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  • #2
    As I've said before, if you want to eliminate the influence of money in politics, don't bother with campaign finance reform. Pass a national initiative ammendment to the Constitution. Let the voters override Congress directly when needed.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by The Lone Bolt View Post
      As I've said before, if you want to eliminate the influence of money in politics, don't bother with campaign finance reform. Pass a national initiative ammendment to the Constitution. Let the voters override Congress directly when needed.
      Overriding congress is exactly what we're doing. 32 more states and they're constitutionally obligated to have a constitutional convention (with delegates from the states).
      Last edited by Hotwheelz; 06-23-2014, 10:37 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Lone Bolt View Post
        As I've said before, if you want to eliminate the influence of money in politics, don't bother with campaign finance reform. Pass a national initiative ammendment to the Constitution. Let the voters override Congress directly when needed.
        Completely agree with this. This is the best solution I've heard yet.

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        • #5
          I have been following this since Cenk started trying to get Vermont. I said no way!! Well, now maybe it can be done. It will take awhile but I think it will snowball leading up to and following the 2016 election.

          Here is Cenk after Vermont passed their initiative.

          <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CiiOUp-V6-4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Lone Bolt View Post
            As I've said before, if you want to eliminate the influence of money in politics, don't bother with campaign finance reform. Pass a national initiative ammendment to the Constitution. Let the voters override Congress directly when needed.
            That's the only way it will ever happen.

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            • #7
              Can't wait for the times of

              "Citizen, is that a microphone?"

              "Uh, yeah."

              "Did you buy that with money?"

              "Sure?"

              "Sorry, we'll have to confiscate that. Free speech doesn't involve money. Just contribute to our campaign if you want your own truth to get out. We'll see what we can do with whatever you can spare."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Lone Bolt View Post
                As I've said before, if you want to eliminate the influence of money in politics, don't bother with campaign finance reform. Pass a national initiative ammendment to the Constitution. Let the voters override Congress directly when needed.
                Actually, I jumped too quickly in agreeing with this statement. I agree with the OP, that citizens should call a Constitutional Convention to write in an amendment that states the basic principle that money is not speech and specifically overturns McCutcheon, Citizens United and Santa Clara v Southern Pacific. However, I'm opposed to a broad spectrum of citizens simply overriding Congress at will. Why bother having a republic in that case? Same with term limits. Direct democracy is sometimes necessary to overturn a corrupt government and put it back on the right track, but as a long standing practice it is, like Ben Franklin said, "Two lions and one lamb voting on what is for lunch."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rohirrim View Post
                  Actually, I jumped too quickly in agreeing with this statement. I agree with the OP, that citizens should call a Constitutional Convention to write in an amendment that states the basic principle that money is not speech and specifically overturns McCutcheon, Citizens United and Santa Clara v Southern Pacific. However, I'm opposed to a broad spectrum of citizens simply overriding Congress at will. Why bother having a republic in that case? Same with term limits. Direct democracy is sometimes necessary to overturn a corrupt government and put it back on the right track, but as a long standing practice it is, like Ben Franklin said, "Two lions and one lamb voting on what is for lunch."
                  Good point. Plus submitting federal issues to direct democracy is a recipe for dissolution of the Union. The Constitutional contract was designed to balance the interests of the rural and urban. Putting a direct democracy layer overriding that destroys any reason Nebraska would ever want to sit under the same union as California.

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                  • #10
                    Thats hella cool.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rohirrim View Post
                      Actually, I jumped too quickly in agreeing with this statement. I agree with the OP, that citizens should call a Constitutional Convention to write in an amendment that states the basic principle that money is not speech and specifically overturns McCutcheon, Citizens United and Santa Clara v Southern Pacific. However, I'm opposed to a broad spectrum of citizens simply overriding Congress at will. Why bother having a republic in that case? Same with term limits. Direct democracy is sometimes necessary to overturn a corrupt government and put it back on the right track, but as a long standing practice it is, like Ben Franklin said, "Two lions and one lamb voting on what is for lunch."
                      A) The initiative process has proven to work, as a long-standing practice, on the State level. No reason to believe it won't work on a national level.

                      B) Initiative overrides of Congress would not be commonplace. Just like on the State level, they would require a lot of support just to make the ballot. Only important issues would get that far.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hotwheelz View Post
                        Overriding congress is exactly what we're doing. 32 more states and they're constitutionally obligated to have a constitutional convention (with delegates from the states).
                        Only this one time. I would like to see a permanent mechanism to override Congress by direct vote when needed. This would pretty much kill the corrupting influence of Big Money.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post
                          Good point. Plus submitting federal issues to direct democracy is a recipe for dissolution of the Union. The Constitutional contract was designed to balance the interests of the rural and urban. Putting a direct democracy layer overriding that destroys any reason Nebraska would ever want to sit under the same union as California.
                          There are both rural and urban environments in every State, but it doesn't seem to be a problem with States that have an initiative process.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post
                            Can't wait for the times of

                            "Citizen, is that a microphone?"

                            "Uh, yeah."

                            "Did you buy that with money?"

                            "Sure?"

                            "Sorry, we'll have to confiscate that. Free speech doesn't involve money. Just contribute to our campaign if you want your own truth to get out. We'll see what we can do with whatever you can spare."
                            I think you're misunderstanding the aim here. We want EVERYONE to have an equal voice. Having more money shouldn't give a louder microphone. Can you imagine if, at a presidential debate, the volume of a candidate's microphone correlated with how much money they raised? That sounds preposterous, right? But that's exactly what's happening. It's not our government anymore. We're trying to get a publicly financed system so anyone can run, regardless of wealth or status. You think you have the best ideas, Beavis? You'll be more than welcome to run against your representative and you'll have an equal platform to make your case. And should you win, you'll represent your voters because those are the only people who'll have ANY power over you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Lone Bolt View Post
                              There are both rural and urban environments in every State, but it doesn't seem to be a problem with States that have an initiative process.
                              Yeah. Great. Looks Swell.

                              http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/diaz/a...ss-2327530.php

                              The notion of direct democracy as a way for the citizenry to rise up against an unresponsive state government has become quaint and naive in an era when a cottage industry of paid signature gatherers has evolved to the point where some firms actually guarantee placement on the ballot - for a price.

                              "If you have $2 million, you're on the ballot," said Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles.

                              Progressive-era Gov. Hiram Johnson certainly never envisioned that his concept of direct democracy would morph into an opportunity for PG&E or Mercury Insurance to pour tens of millions of dollars into campaigns to stifle competition, as they did in last year's Props. 16 and 17.

                              The last California initiative to qualify as an all-volunteer effort was the English-only measure (Prop. 63) of 1986.

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