Link to Draft Bylaws for Get Money Out Maryland (updated 2-26-2013)
What We're Doing
This website tracks progress in Maryland toward an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the 'Citizens United' decision by the Supreme Court in 2010. Related reforms are also tracked from a Maryland perspective. Get Money Out - Maryland works in Maryland to promote a constitutional amendment, fight "corporate personhood," and related reforms to restore Democracy to the people.
"Big Money over Voters, or Voters over Big Money? . . .
"The Kochs and Roves have made their choice, and they're in it for the long-term. Now We, the People are rising up to announce our choice: Money Out, Voters In." said Rob Weissman, President of Public Citizen. "With a growing movement calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, a guarantee of voting rights and a restoration of our democracy is announcing that we're in it for the long haul also, and we aim to win."
In 'Citizens United,' the Supreme Court found that any limits on independent spending on elections (such as by corporations) are unconstitutional. Now, elections results are determined by corporations and the ultra rich - anonymously. No longer can we claim to be living in a Democracy. The court's legal rationale was that corporations are entitled to constitutional rights including "free speech" as if they were people!
This has accelerated the takeover of public institutions by corporations and the further transfer of wealth to the already wealthy. Now, corporations and the ultra-rich have the power to halt progress toward justice, peace, environmental protection, an economy that works for all, health, or fair elections themselves.
The "Citizens United" decision can only be undone by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (or by waiting for the Supreme Court to reverse itself). It cannot be undone by legislation. Many Maryland groups & individuals are working locally as part of the national amendment movement.
We’re Winning - in Maryland and the U.S.
Thus far (updated December 2012) the following are on record as supporting such a constitutional amendment: 125 members of Congress, 1 President, 13 states, 350 cities and towns, over 100 national organizations, and a clear majority of the public. Also, 5 Maryland cities and one county have passed resolutions in support, and a majority of members of the Maryland General Assembly have signed a letter in support of a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics. Over 1.9 million signatures were delivered to lawmakers in July 2012, calling on them to overturn the Citizens United decision.
Other Ways to Get Our Democracy Back
It's not as if American Democracy's problems all began in January 2010 after the 'Citizens United' decision. Momentum has developed around several legislative approaches nationally, which pass constitutional muster despite the Supreme Court decision, and could be enacted right now. Learn about them Here.
There are many reforms we can win on the state level, such as Same Day Voter Registration, Public Campaign Financing, Disclosure of political donations (including independent expenditures), and Shareholder Approval of corporate political spending. We work with our partners on these, including Common Cause Maryland, Maryland Public Interest Research Group, Progressive Maryland and others.