On Nov. 6, voters in Kane County will have an opportunity to vote on the following advisory referendum: Should the United States Constitution be amended to limit the use of corporate, special interest, and private money in any political activity, including influencing the election of any candidate for public office? Yes or No.
The fact that we have the privilege of letting our voices be heard on this issue is thanks to the hard work of a small group of dedicated individuals who collected more than 14,000 signatures from citizens who would like to have their opinions registered. The people who vote on the advisory referendum in Kane County will be saying in effect that they would like for their voices to be heard in the discussion of issues raised in Citizens United.
An argument can be made that the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United was an opinion in search of a case. When the case was originally brought to the court, it did not lend itself to the ultimate ruling, and the attorneys were asked to reframe the debate. This means that issues that affected the final decision were not even part of the original lawsuit. In other words, this highly influential opinion which now permits unbridled private spending in politics is simply a reflection of the opinions of the majority of the court.
The people have never had an opportunity to weigh in on the debate. The citizens who banded together in the spring of this year share a nonpartisan concern that the use of unlimited private money can threaten a democracy. We do not have consensus on any final wording for a constitutional amendment, but we do have an overwhelming consensus that unlimited private spending on campaigns is not good for freedom for all.