BOSTON — State Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, joined U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern last Thursday for a “People’s Rights” tour in Boston and Worcester to show support for two new constitutional amendments filed by Rep. McGovern to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case and call for an end to corporate political spending.
“When corporate dollars influence politics, the American people don’t have a place at the table to express their principles and voice,” said Eldridge. “The new legislation proposed by Congressman McGovern would make it clear that First Amendment rights are for people, not corporations, making sure that corporate special interest money stops drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens.”
Eldridge was joined by elected state officials and national advocates for campaign finance reform, including Attorney General Martha Coakley, State Rep.Cory Atkins, Rep.Marty Walz, Rep.Jim O’Day, Harvard Law Professor John Coates, American Sustainable Business Council CEO David Levine, and Free Speech for People co-founders John Bonifaz and Jeff Clements.
In 2011, ldridge and Atkins introduced S.772, “The People’s Rights Resolution,” a successful state resolution supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Eldridge reaffirmed his strong support for McGovern’s two new amendments to restore fair elections and constitutional rights in stops at Suffolk University and Clark University.
“Our election system is broken, awash in special interest money,” said McGovern. “As any high school civics student knows, the first three words of the preamble to the Constitution are ‘We the People.’ Corporations are not people. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling marks the most extreme extension of a corporate rights doctrine which has eroded our First Amendment and our Constitution, and we must work through every grassroots and legislative avenue to overturn it.”