…and out comes the Wolf-PAC: An Amendment to Be

There are a lot of political “donors” who have got too much freedom / I want to make it easier for policemen to beat ‘em. I do, but that’s not the goal of Wolf-PAC, an organization founded by Young Turks host and political commentator Cenk Uygur. The goal is to reduce the political influence of corporations, unions and other organizations by limiting their campaign spending. This limits our liberties because individuals are dwarfed by big contributors.

Diamond Joe Quimby finds a briefcase left for him by a campaign contributor.

But why can’t we just make laws against what certain organizations can broadcast or spend during elections? Because after the Citizens United decision, that kind of law would be unconstitutional. And we know that only the Supreme Court can limit constitutional rights.

“But if we changed the Constitution…” …we could make some good laws. Enter Wolf-PAC. Wolf-PAC is a grass roots movement urging state legislatures to pass resolutions demanding a national constitutional convention to propose an amendment. Remember that Article V provides that an amendment may be proposed by 2/3 of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by 2/3 of state legislatures. Wolf-PAC is opting for the convention proposal because it does not think Congress would pass such a proposal. Based on Congress’ inability to pass much of anything worthwhile, it is probably correct.

Although I don’t like limiting speech, I think restrictions on types of political spending and advertising are necessary to encourage and protect all political speech. Politicians from both parties are beholden to money and the people or groups who supply it. When someone slips a representative a briefcase full of money in exchange for a vote or favor, that’s bribery. When the money is a donation to a campaign or an ad on TV, then it’s all good. Additionally, representatives spend most of their time fundraising instead of legislating. All of this harms democracy.

This should be a nonpartisan issue. After all, politicians on both sides of the aisle are bought. If you’re a liberal, you should want your elected Democrats to support progressive ideals and not what the money tells them too. Conservative individuals’ interests do not always line up with corporate interests. It is important to note that unions will also have their influence restricted under this amendment. Unions, while often allied with Democrats, represent themselves and their members, not necessarily all working people’s interests.

Big bucks can turn any politician into a monster.

The convention method has never before been successfully used to propose an amendment. But there’s a first time for everything and this is a good idea. So is eliminating the electoral college.

Chris DeMatteo is an attorney and the sole member of DeMatteo Legal Solutions at 2911 Dixwell Ave., Ste. B10, Hamden, CT. Call (203) 691-6594 or visit the office website. Attorney DeMatteo represents clients in criminal, juvenile and civil matters in all of Connecticut's courts.