“United to Amend” Group Collecting Signatures This Month

Local citizens concerned about the influence of big money over the United States political system have joined statewide grassroots effort “United To Amend” to collect signatures.

Formerly known as “Wisconsin Move to Amend,” United to Amend is a nonpartisan state network working for a constitutional amendment that will overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions relating to corporations’ rights and money in politics, including Citizens United vs. FEC.

Founded locally as “Wisconsin United to Amend – Marshfield” by Ben Dorshorst, United to Amend will begin October 1 by seeking to collect 1500 Marshfield signatures on its petition so that the item will be added to the ballot in the next election. The group has 60 days to gather the signatures.

The first signature collection event will be held Sunday, October 1, from 9-11:00am in the vicinity of Upham and Central Avenue, and continuing later that day at Wildwood Park from 3:00-5:00PM. This will be an opportunity for people to sign the petition or to get more information if they want to help gather petition signatures.

“The decision by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case ruled that corporations and other artificial entities are entitled to freedom of speech and that political spending by these groups is a form of speech,” said Kathleen Rulka, event co-organizer. “We believe that unlimited political spending by corporations, super PACs and other groups is corrupting our political process and drowning out the voice of real people.”

In Marshfield, the group’s goal is to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment stating that:

Only human beings are endowed with constitutional rights – not corporations, unions, nonprofits or other artificial entities, and
Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting speech.

“In order to do this we will be gathering signatures on a petition to the Marshfield Common Council to place this resolution on the April 2018 ballot,” said Rulka. “Placing this resolution on the ballot allows the people of Marshfield to vote on whether they support this effort. In April, voting in favor of the referendum will allow us to join others in Wisconsin working to remove big money’s influence from the political process. Having this resolution on the ballot is one way for the citizens of Marshfield to have our voice heard by those who represent us.”

More than one hundred other towns, cities, villages and counties in Wisconsin have already passed a similar resolution, representing 2.8 million people and 49% of Wisconsinites.In Wisconsin, these referendums have passed with on average 79% of voters approving.

“By passing this resolution in the City of Marshfield we can add our voice to those of fellow Wisconsinites who have already spoken out on this issue, and through the power of the people spur our representatives in Madison into action,” said Dorshorst.

“We want Wisconsin to join the 19 state legislatures that have already passed a similar resolution, representing 139 million Americans or 45% of the US population,” he added. “When enough states pass this resolution, our legislators in Washington will realize they have to give up their corporate campaign money and take action on this issue.”

There will be future gatherings in Marshfield public parks to ensure people are given an opportunity to sign the petition and those who wish to help, can find out more. Volunteers (circulators) are also needed to gather signatures. A short training session to learn how to do this ensures that all signatures will be valid. E-mail or call 715-391-9661 with interest or questions, or visit their Facebook page.

Schedule of Events:

Sunday, October 1
9:00-11:00am
Vicinity of Upham and Central Ave.

3:00-5:00 pm
Wildwood Park

Saturday, October 7
9:00-11:00 am
Columbia Park

Sunday, October 15
1:00-3:00 pm
Braem Park

Saturday, October 21
1:00-3:00 pm
Griese Park

Sunday, October 29
1:00-3:00 pm
Joe & Bernadine Weber’s Nature Park

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