Gatto seeks to reverse 'super PAC' court decision

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) joined two other state lawmakers to introduce a measure that would begin the process of nullifying the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision that created “super PACs,” which have flooded unlimited corporate money into federal campaigns.

The process would include amending the U.S. Constitution to deal with Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, in which the divided Supreme Court held that corporations are due the same free-speech rights as individuals.

“I figured rather than just condemning the decision with a symbolic resolution, why not start the process to actually amend the Constitution?” Gatto said in a statement. “Voters are fed up with the notion that money is speech and that big money can drown out the speech of average citizens.”

Gatto introduced the measure with Assemblymen Michael Allen (D-Sonoma County) and Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont).

The joint legislation features a rarely used process for amending the Constitution, which typically requires a two-thirds approval by Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states.

The proposed measure, called AJR 32, would use a procedure outlined in an Article V of the Constitution under which states can demand Congress enact an amendment. If two-third of states make the demand, Congress must call a constitutional convention on the matter.

Several states have already passed informal resolutions condemning the decision on Citizens United, Gatto said.

-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Twitter: @LAMarkKellam

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