The Recorder: Push is on for political finance reform

Jeffrey Clements Posted by Jeffrey Clements.

Jeffrey Clements is a cofounder and general counsel of Free Speech for People, a national, nonpartisan campaign to oppose corporate personhood and pass the People’s Rights Amendment.


The Recorder in Greenfield, Massachusetts covers the campaign finance reform efforts across the country, from an anti-corruption measure in Washington State to local political....

The Recorder in Greenfield, Massachusetts covers the campaign finance reform efforts across the country, from an anti-corruption measure in Washington State to local political reform efforts in Massachusetts. Free Speech For People President, John Bonifaz, discusses in the article the cross-partisan push to challenge money in politics and the success of the movement to overturn Citizens United and abolish super PAC spending in elections.

Meanwhile, John Bonifaz, the Boston-based lawyer with roots in Conway, is co-founder and president of Free Speech For People, which has been working to enact a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United case and also to challenge the Speech Now decision that same year, which gave birth to Super PACs.

Already, 17 states — including Massachusetts — and more than 675 cities and towns have gone on record calling for such a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations do not have the constitutional rights of people and allowing Congress and the states to set overall limits on campaign spending, including prohibitions on corporate and union spending in the political process. The House Joint Resolution was introduced in Congress last year by Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

“I think we’ll continue to see that momentum,” said Bonifaz. “Where we’ve seen states put it on the ballot, like Montana and Colorado, there’s been 75 percent support across the board among Republicans, Democrats and independents. This is clearly an issue that has cross-partisan appeal.”

He adds, “That’s not to say the amendment is going to pass two-thirds of Congress tomorrow … But if continued work in the states goes on, we’re going to see more pressure put on members Congress from those states to push for this amendment in Congress.”

Also, with the current Supreme Court vacancy, Bonifaz says, “We now have a transformative moment where we see the potential for dramatic change in the way the court has viewed these issues of money and politics, the Citizens United ruling and the Speech Now ruling in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which released super PACs into our elections.”

To read the full article via The Recorder, click here.

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