In November of 2016, Washington became the 18th state to call for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supereme Court’s Citizens United decision of 2010. Citizens United is one of a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that, together, have blocked efforts to reform campaign financing. The decision itself unleashed unlimited and unaccountable private money into political campaigns, and therefore into influencing public policy.
In the 2016 election, Washingtonians passed Initiative 735 by 63 percent both statewide and in Snohomish County — a super majority. The initiative calls on Washington state legislators to support the proposed 28th Amendment. But it also indirectly asks that the Washington state’s congressional delegation propose and ratify a joint resolution that supports the same amendment.
Nationally, 54 members of the House of Representatives have signed onto the House bill, HJR 48. Five of our 10 representatives have co-sponsored. We not only need to convince more members to sign on, but we also, especially, need to convince our two senators to introduce a companion bill to HJR 48 in the Senate.
This is an auspicious task for Sen. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, given the politics of the other Washington. But their efforts would reflect the will of the people in this Washington. If you believe in the rationale for the proposed 28th Amendment, please contact Sens. Murray and Cantwell to introduce a bill that would help push the amendment toward ratification. If you have questions about the amendment, please search the web for 28th Amendment or contact Fix Democracy First.
David A. Shively