Communities Use Direct Democracy To Save Democracy

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Above photo: Wisconsin United to Amend

Madison, WI  – On Tuesday, November 6th, Wisconsin residents in nine communities will vote on whether to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only humans should have constitutional rights and that money is not the same as speech and political spending can be limited to allow all Americans to participate in the democratic process.

Voters will cast ballots in Jackson, Sauk and Wood counties, the villages of Readstown, Westfield and Weston, and the towns of Kickapoo, Rib Mountain and Vermont.

If all vote in favor, 142 Wisconsin communities will have called for the We The People amendment. Nationwide, 19 state legislatures have done likewise, as have more than 780 towns, villages, cities, and counties.

“We cannot solve any of the pressing issues in front of our country as long as our politicians do not represent us, and they won’t until we get the big money out of politics,” said Weston resident Carolyn Michalski.

Multiple polls show over 90% of Americans, regardless of party, think special interest money has too much influence in American political campaigns.[1]  Many polls show that Money in Politics is a top issue for voters[2]

Readstown resident, Kent Gallaway said, “The avalanche of corporate money is burying average citizens under a wave of corruption that is the worst ever in our nation’s history.  Government is being corrupted at every level.  We must amend the Constitution to roll back the effects of Citizens United.”

Former State Senator Dale Schultz summed it up well. “We’re talking about billionaires turning this country into a Russian-style oligarchy, where there are two dozen billionaires who buy the whole political process… we are awash in money because of Citizens United, and it puts good people in both parties in a difficult situation.” [3]

One volunteer, Ben Dorshorst of Marshfield, expressed frustration: “Citizens in 133 Wisconsin communities have passed resolutions calling for an amendment. We need state legislators to put it on a statewide ballot, but they won’t even let the bills have a public hearing!”

The roots of the problem run deeper than Citizens United. Over a century ago Robert M. La Follette spoke out against corruption wrought by the “concessions and privileges” given to corporations by legislators. “Why,” he asked, “in a government where the people are sovereign, why are these things tolerated?”

United To Amend is a non-partisan, grassroots movement. For more information:




[3] Senator Dale Schultz presentation, March 7, 2014 at the L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI.

  • KennyB

    Don’t expect the über-rich to allow upstart citizens to vote their way to freedom. It doesn’t even occur to them that what they are doing is destroying the planet. They want ALL the wealth and as long as there are enough of us to look after the needs of the rich, they don’t care if 6 billion of us die from starvation, climate change or nuclear war.

  • jemcgloin

    We outnumber the billionaires by over seven billion people. They only get away with this nonsense because the rest of us let them. How do we let them? By telling each other that they have the power and there is nothing we can do about it.
    As long as we keep telling each other that there is nothing we can do, then there is nothing we can do.
    As soon as we stop listening to their media dividing is into warring camps we can take care of each other.

    I believe that we will win.

  • jemcgloin

    Passing at Amendment like this would not solve all the problems in the world. But it would knee cap global corporations and the billionaires that own them, freeing up political space and creating momentum for deeper change.

    Corruption kills. Help take secret dark money contributions out of politics to make corruption more difficult.

    The Party of Trump says the solution to lying, corrupt politicians is to find the most corrupt pathological liar they could find and make him president. They lie.

    The U.S. Constitution has been used to make all citizens equal sovereigns who together hold the power of King. We ended slavery, gave women the vote, ended child labor, and created many worker protections. The Bill of Rights keeps millions alive and untortured.
    We can wait for democracy to rise from the ashes of global self-destruction, or we can reduce the corruption that has turned the Constitution into a tool for the mega rich and:

    “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,.”

    Before the Constitution was the Articles of Confederation. There is a reason the slave states wanted to go back. When Republicans call a judge an originalist, that is what they mean, going back to white male landowners having all of the power.

    Stop the Party of Trump and pass an Amendment that makes clear to the Supreme Court that

    Corporations are Not People and Money is Not Speech.

  • KennyB

    I do agree with you, while at the same time emphasising that the rich will resist any efforts to vote out their candidates. In the USA, that takes the form of the Republicans fiddling the voters rolls in many states and by bringing in rules to make voting more difficult for any populations that generally vote Democrat. Then you have the rules that both main parties have put in place to keep independant candidates from participating in elections. Those State-level laws can be changed by the efforts of the people to allow for candidates other than the red and blue to be on the ballot in the first place. If all you are offered is bad and worse, why bother to vote?

    It’s not impossible to change the course of a nation by voting, it’s just hard.

    In my opinion, in the USA, there has to be a concerted effort by grassroots activists to get a large voter turnout, especially in the marginal districts. Firstly, the Republicans have to be defeated in Congress, and then enormous pressure will have to be placed on the Democrats to stop them from simply continuing “business as usual” in Washington D.C. Then, in the next two years, you’d have to also get rid of the Democrats, because they are only marginally less bad than the Republicans and they support the MIC war machine equally.