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Dems ponder Citizens United overturn

April 18, 2012 at 11:57 PM

WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- Several congressional Democrats met Wednesday in Washington to discuss a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance.

The Congressional Summit on Overturning Citizens United -- convened at the Capitol by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt., and Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. -- included Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Tom Udall of New Mexico, as well as Reps. John Larson of Connecticut, Donna Edwards of Maryland, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts.

They heard from local government officials and campaign finance reform advocates including Public Citizen, People for the American Way, the Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause, as well as the Communications Works of America.

The congressional leaders heard testimony and discussed ways to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which held that the First Amendment prohibits government restrictions on political expenditures by corporations and unions.

Udall told participants at the forum James Madison -- an author of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the fourth president of the United States -- said constitutional amendments were remedies for "extraordinary occasions." Udall said under Citizens United, American democracy is for sale to corporate interests, the liberal Web site Alternet.com said.

Citizens United President David Bossie attended the session, and sent out Tweets calling participants "clowns" and "socialists" who want to "chill speech," the report said.

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