Citizens United

I think that Senate 304 and 305 are great ideas. I really do not see why publicly traded corporations should be involved in the political process in the current fashion. It is highly questionable.

Update: Relevant 2015-2016 bills filed.

Home > In the States > Massachusetts > Litigation and Lobbying > Legislation

—2015 Legislative Agenda —

Please find an overview of our 2015 legislative agenda below! More information and the status of each bill will be coming soon, as the Massachusetts legislature moves beyond its opening weeks and full write-ups are available. In the meanwhile, you can help Common Cause by contacting your representatives and senators about cosponsoring our bills. If you see your legislator’s name next to a bill already, it’s because they’re original sponsors introducing the Common Cause agenda on Beacon Hill. Feel free to call them too and say thanks!

Campaign Finance Reform

Increase state campaign finance reporting to close remaining loopholes created by the Citizens United decision, including expanding the top 5 contributors requirement to direct mail and removing exemption for certain organizations. — Rep. Bradley, Rep. Cutler (HD 2111, HD 2392)
Reduce coordination between candidates and SuperPACs. — Rep. Straus (late-file)
Make corporations accountable for their political spending through required recorded votes and disclosure. —Rep. Atkins, Sen. Eldridge (HD 2086, SD 1404)
Establish a robust system of public financing of state elections. —Sen. Eldridge (SD 1257)
Support a federal constitutional amendment to allow the states and Congress to place reasonable limits on independent expenditures and to clarify that corporations do not have the same rights as real people.

Addendum 2/4/15. SD1311, Senator Donnelley
SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1311 FILED ON: 1/16/2015
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kenneth J. Donnelly
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:
The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying proposal for constitutional amendment:
Proposal for a legislative amendment to the Constitution relative to corporate rights and political spending.

Kenneth J. Donnelly Fourth Middlesex
Chris Walsh 6th Middlesex
Benjamin B. Downing Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden
Jason M. Lewis Fifth Middlesex
Timothy R. Madden Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket
Barbara L’Italien Second Essex and Middlesex
David M. Rogers 24th Middlesex
Cory Atkins 14th Middlesex

SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1311 FILED ON: 1/16/2015
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No.
[Pin Slip]

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the One Hundred and Eighty-Ninth General Court

Proposal for a legislative amendment to the Constitution relative to corporate rights and political spending.

A majority of all the members elected to the Senate and House of Representatives, in joint session, hereby declares it to be expedient to alter the Constitution by the adoption of the following Article of Amendment, to the end that it may become a part of the Constitution [if similarly agreed to in a joint session of the next General Court and approved by the people at the state election next following]:


Section 1. Corporations are not people and may be regulated. The rights afforded to the human inhabitants of the Commonwealth, under this Constitution, are not applicable to corporations, limited liability companies, any corporate entity or any artificial person. Any references to persons, citizens, inhabitants, subjects, men, women, people, individuals or like terms in this Constitution, are not to be construed in any way to be referring to a corporation, limited liability company, any corporate entity or any artificial person. Corporations, limited liability companies, any corporate entity or any artificial person, shall do business in this state under the regulation of laws passed by the legislature which shall set the rights of such entities to do business to promote the common good and strengthen the social compact of this Commonwealth.
Section 2. Money is not free speech and may be regulated. To protect the political process and the functioning of government to serve in the best interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth, money shall not be considered free speech. The legislature shall have the power to regulate the raising and spending of money and inkind equivalents for any primary or election of a public official and for ballot measures. This shall include regulation of any advertising for or against any candidate in a primary or election for public office and any ballot measure.
Section 3. Nothing contained in this Amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

Published by MurielMedard

Muriel Medard is a Professor in EECS at MIT. She was previously an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a member of the Coordinated Science Laboratory at UIUC. From 1995 to 1998, she was a Staff Member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Optical Communications and the Advanced Networking Groups. She received B.S. degrees in EECS and in Mathematics in 1989, a B.S. degree in Humanities in 1990, a M.S. degree in EE in 1991, and a Sc. D. degree in EE in 1995, all from MIT. Professor Medard's research interests are in the areas of network coding, wireless networks and reliable communications, particularly for optical and wireless networks. She was awarded the IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Prize Paper Award (2002), the IEEE Communication Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award (2009), and the William R. Bennett Prize in the Field of Communications Networking (2009). She received a NSF Career Award in 2001, was the co-winner of the 2004 MIT Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award and one the recipients of the inaugural EECS Faculty Research Innovation Fellowships. She was named a 2007 Gilbreth Lecturer by the National Academy of Engineering. Professor M\'edard is a Fellow of IEEE, and is the President of the IEEE Information Theory Society.