New Mexico’s message: Amend 2012.
New Mexico state leaders are showing the country how Amend 2012 can be won, state by state.
The House voted 38-29 on Jan. 31 to call on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United, and the state Senate did the same on Saturday by a vote of 20-9. New Mexico joins Hawaii as the second state to take a stand against this shocking Supreme Court ruling.
The Clearly New Mexico blog reported on last week’s House vote:
Referring to the millions of dollars of Super PAC campaign spending this year, Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque) said, “There are plenty of people in our districts and in our state that are not happy with the political process in general and this just adds fuel to the fire.”
The Citizens United decision is a controversial and unpopular decision. One effect of the Citizens United decision is in allowing corporations to make unlimited “independent” expenditures, much of it undisclosed, that aid or oppose political candidates.
These “Super PACs” have come to special prominence by spending millions of dollars in the current Republican presidential primary. This includes $10 million in donations from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to a Super PAC that some say is “singlehandedly keeping Newt [Gingrich] alive” in the presidential race.
Stewart’s memorial*, which would not change existing law but rather petitions the New Mexico congressional delegation, encountered opposition from a few Republicans during the floor debate that preceded final passage.
In an interesting note, Minority Leader Tom Taylor (R-Farmington) said he did not believe the memorial went far enough.
“You have the right to speak but you also have the responsibility to let people know who you are,” Taylor said. This may have been a reference to the greatly reduced donor disclosure that has been one of the results of the Citizens United decision, but it was not entirely clear. Taylor ultimately voted against the memorial.
He said that if Citizens United is overturned, corporations would just funnel their money into other entities to make their views known.
A similar vote expressing opposition to Citizens United failed in the House in 2011 by a 33-34 tally. Reps. Tomas Garcia (D-Ocate), Don Tripp (R-Socorro) and Andy Nuñez (I-Hatch) voted “no” in 2011 and switched over to vote for the memorial in 2012.
Reps. Bob Wooley (R-Roswell) and Paul Bandy (R-Aztec) missed the vote this year after voting against it in 2011, and Rep. David Chavez (R-Los Lunas) was absent for the votes in both years; interestingly, Wooley, Bandy and Chavez were all present for the floor debate on the memorial, prior to the vote being taken.
More about New Mexico’s bold move
New Mexico Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United (CorporationsAreNotPeople.com)
Matthew Reichbach of Clearly New Mexico contributed to this post