Aiming to change the Constitution

Members of Monona: United to Amend review the petition they will circulate this fall in an attempt to force a city referendum asking whether they should be a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United court ruling. From left, are Janet Vinje, Kathy Williams and “Wally” Brinkmann.

Monona: United to Amend will hold a public information meeting from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Monona Public Library to discuss a proposed referendum for the spring 2017 election.

Monona: United to Amend is a nonpartisan group that is part of the United to Amend community. Members are concerned about the role of moneyed interests in politics, particularly as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The court ruled that the government could not restrict political spending by nonprofit corporations because of a right to free speech.

“The only permanent solution is to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying that ‘corporations are not persons’ and that ‘money is not speech,’” said Kathy Williams of Monona: United to Amend.

Sixteen states have already passed such a resolution; Wisconsin is not one of them.

More than 70 municipalities in Wisconsin have already passed such a resolution to show legislators that the residents want Wisconsin to call for such an amendment; Monona is not one of them.

“The goal of Monona: United to Amend is to have Monona residents sign a petition for this resolution during mid-September through mid-November and to have the city of Monona put the referendum on the ballot in the spring of 2017,” Williams said.

She said the nonpartisan group has a core of 7-10 residents and is looking for others to join them.

Williams said after the informational meeting, organizers will set up at the Monona Farmers’ Market and other locations to collect signatures. Door-to-door efforts will also be made.

The goal is to collect 1,000 signatures from Sept. 16 through Nov. 16.

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