Greetings from ProgressMass! We’re a brand new effort working to promote progressive values in Massachusetts’ political discourse and in our news media. (You can learn more on our website, and we invite you to Like ProgressMass on Facebook and follow the ProgressMass Twitter feed.) To that end, we wanted to bring our first action initiative to the attention of the Blue Mass Group community.
As you well know, the notorious Citizens United decision by the Roberts-led Supreme Court opened the door to unlimited political spending by corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals, effectively drowning out the voices of everyday Americans. This is a direct attack on the basic fairness of our democratic process, and the only remedy is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Currently pending in the Massachusetts Legislature is a resolution, Senate 772, calling for such an amendment to our nation’s Constitution. The bill will be heard by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on February 28. On that day, ProgressMass will deliver a letter to Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo calling for S. 772’s swift passage, and we urge you to sign on to the letter. (The text of the letter appears at the bottom of this post.)
We have already seen the corrosive effect of the ruling in Citizens United. At least four corporations have contributed one million dollars each to a Super PAC aligned with Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign. One billionaire businessman and his wife – just two people – have contributed ten million dollars to a Super PAC aligned with Newt Gingrich’s Presidential campaign. When a corporation or billionaire mogul can legally write a check for a political campaign that is literally one million times the amount of the contribution made by an everyday American just trying to make his or her voice heard in our political process, that process is fundamentally flawed.
The Roberts-led Supreme Court declared that Big Money can effectively silence your political voice. We think that’s wrong. We think that our democratic process and First Amendment free speech exists for people, not for corporations. We think that the volume of your political voice should be every bit as loud as any billionaire’s voice.
Please visit the ProgressMass website, sign on to the letter, and share the link with your family, friends, and co-workers. We, again, also invite you to Like ProgressMass on Facebook and follow the ProgressMass Twitter feed. More importantly, moving forward, we encourage you to share your thoughts, concerns, and progressive priorities with us by e-mail, on our Facebook wall, and via tweet.
The text of the ProgressMass letter to Senate President Murray and House Speaker DeLeo:
Protect the Integrity of Our Democracy
Dear Senate President Murray and House Speaker DeLeo,
Massachusetts has a heritage of leading the way for our nation when it comes to defending our democratic principles and rights. From abolishing slavery in 1783 to recognizing same-sex marriage equality in 2004, our Commonwealth has been at the forefront of historic progressive battles for fairness.
Our democracy now faces another serious challenge as the basic fairness of our political process is under attack. When the U.S. Supreme Court made its 5-4 ruling on the notorious Citizens United case, it opened the door to an onslaught of unlimited corporate dollars that will effectively drown out the voices of everyday citizens and, with that, First Amendment free speech.
The only remedy to a Supreme Court decision so corrosive to our democracy is an amendment to our nation’s Constitution. We, the undersigned, urge you to expeditiously bring S. 772 to the floors of your respective chambers of the Massachusetts Legislature so that our Commonwealth can, in one unified, progressive voice, declare that we still hold true to the ideal that, in a democracy, one person equals one vote, and that “free speech” doesn’t simply go to the highest bidder.
By passing S. 772, Massachusetts will continue in its meaningful tradition of being a national leader in defense of democracy, fairness, and equality.