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More than 100 democracy reform groups signed a letter asking Congress to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

100+ democracy reform groups push Congress to overturn Citizens United

More than 100 democracy reform organizations are making another attempt at convincing Congress to take action to limit the influence of big money in politics.

A letter signed by 123 organizations was sent to members of the House of Representatives on Thursday, urging them to cosponsor a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment to limit how much can be raised and spent to influence elections. Some of the organizations include American Promise, Common Cause, End Citizens United Action Fund, the NAACP, Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG and Wolf-PAC.

If successful, this amendment would effectively undo the Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which uncapped campaign finance limits.

Currently, 139 House members — all Democrats and one lone Republican, Rep. John Katko of New York — have backed the amendment proposal. But the resolution has remained in committee since it was introduced in January.

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Gov. Steve Bullock, now a Democratic candidate for president, pushed the Montana Legislature to enact a political ad transparency law in 2015.

Montana dark money disclosure law upheld by federal appeals court

Montanans advocating for political ad transparency are breathing a sigh of relief now that a federal appeals court has upheld their state's campaign disclosure mandate.

To counteract the unlimited political ad spending allowed by the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, Gov. Steve Bullock pushed the requirement into law in 2015. He has ceaselessly promoted this accomplishment In his long-shot presidential campaign, citing it as evidence he's uniquely positioned in the giant Democratic field to extinguish dark money's influence in Washington.

The Montana law requires nonprofit organizations to register with the state as political committees and file disclosures if they spend $250 or more in the final two months of a campaign on advertising or mailers referring to a candidate, political party or ballot initiative. The educational and social welfare groups known as 501(c)(4)s, which usually evade disclosure requirements and are often behind dark money activity, are covered by the requirement.

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When Rep. John Sarbanes (left) led the push for HR 1, reformers knew it was part of a multi-year strategy, writes Wertheimer.

Don’t give up on HR 1. The battle lies ahead.

Wertheimer is the president of Democracy 21, which works to strengthen democracy by ensuring the integrity of our elections and more.

The House passed historic reform legislation to repair and strengthen the rules of our democracy on March 8.

HR 1 is unprecedented, holistic reform legislation to fix our broken political system. It passed on a 234-193 party line vote, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. John Sarbanes. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Tom Udall with all 46 of his Democratic and independent colleagues as sponsors.

HR 1 provides essential reforms to address what's broken in our political system — money corruption, voter suppression and discrimination, extreme partisan gerrymandering, and government ethics abuses.

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Sen. Tom Udall at Tuesday's rally in front of the Supreme Court.

Senate Democrats unify behind altering the Constitution to curb campaign money

Senate Democrats on Tuesday announced they were all behind a constitutional amendment that would shrink the sway of big money in politics.

But the unanimity, while symbolically important for the party's democracy reform messaging in the 2020 campaign, means next to nothing when it comes to actually changing the regulation of campaign finance.

Altering the Constitution requires the support of two-thirds of the Senate and House, plus ratification by 38 states. And Republicans in Congress (and in most of the statehouses) are just as unified in their opposition as the Democratic senators are in favor of their proposal. It would effectively overturn the Supreme Court's landmark 2010 decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission — which held that unlimited political spending by corporations, nonprofit organizations and labor unions was a protected form of free speech — by permitting Congress and states set rules on spending and donations in elections.

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