Massachusetts ballot question seeks to change U.S. Constitution

(WJAR)

A Massachusetts ballot question aims to alter campaign finance rules by changing the U.S. Constitution.

“The system the way it is now values big money,” said Wambui Gatheru, of American Promise, the group that is leading the effort to approve Question 2.

“The people that have the most amount of money most likely will have their policies enacted in a way that is favorable to them as opposed to the regular American,” Gatheru said of the current system.

Approval of Question 2 would establish a commission to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution, with the goal of cutting current corporate, union, and non-profit political spending.

Supporters hope to reverse a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2010, the Citizens United case, in which the high court ruled political spending is a form of free speech and political spending by companies or unions cannot be limited.

Those entities cannot coordinate with a candidate’s campaign, but they can spend on ads arguing for or against candidates or issues.

“It's an even playing field for everyone to speak up,” said Paul Craney, of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, which opposes Question 2.

Craney argues supporters of the ballot question want to put government officials in charge of regulating speech.

“They're trying to strip all rights, all constitutional rights away from employers, non-profits, and unions. For that reason and many more it should be completely unconstitutional and voted against,” Craney said.

Voting “yes” on Massachusetts ballot Question 2 would be in favor of setting up a commission with the goal of amending the Constitution. Voting “no” would not.

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