By DON THOMPSON
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
North Bay Assemblyman Michael Allen introduced a resolution Wednesday to reverse a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed corporations to spend as freely as individuals in campaigns.
The resolution calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn the court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which held that corporations can spend unlimited sums to influence elections. The ruling generally is viewed as benefiting Republican candidates.
Allen, D-San Rafael, submitted the resolution with Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, on the same day Occupy protesters announced they would target more than 80 courthouses nationwide Friday, including some federal courts in California, to protest the Supreme Court decision.
The protests are scheduled one day before the second anniversary of the ruling, which has led to a surge in corporate campaign spending.
“A lot of us believe the Supreme Court ruling has thrown us out of balance,” Allen said. “It’s a system that’s out of whack, and for democracy to function well, everybody needs a voice and not to have some voices drown out the others because of overwhelming resources.”
Hawaii passed a similar resolution last year and other states are considering similar action, according to Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group backing the resolution.