State Rep. Kent Smith (D- Euclid) and State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) Tuesday provided sponsor testimony on House Resolution (HR) 74 to the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee. This resolution calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would eliminate corporate personhood, money as speech and limit money in politics.

“In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission overturned decades of campaign finance law and gave corporations, billionaires and super PACs new privileges to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote or defeat political candidates,” said Rep. Smith. “This is the money that decides who runs, who wins and who governs.”

A 2014 Brennan Center for Justice analysis on the impact Citizens United had on campaign spending found that nearly 60 percent of the $1 billion spent by super PACs from 2010-2014 came from just 195 individuals.

“In the United States, we still live in a democracy. It is time that our society truly reflects the will of the people,” said Rep. Antonio. “It is time to give our government back to the people—not corporations.”

Recent studies indicate some 83 percent of voting-age Americans favor overturning the Citizens United decision and placing limits on corporate spending in U.S. elections. In addition, more than 66 percent of small business owners surveyed believe that Citizens United makes it harder for their businesses to compete against large corporations.

“The current rules of the game are tilted towards corporate interests and their political goals. Corporations do not need healthy food, clean water and sufficient housing to survive,” added Smith. “HR 74 seeks to remove the concentrated, corrupting influence of money out of our elections and secure our collective right of equal representation and human liberty, which makes effective, honest government possible.”

A dozen witnesses provided testimony in support of the measure, including a number of members of Move to Amend, a citizen-led grassroots organization dedicated to removing undue monetary influence from the political process.

The next hearing on HR 74 has yet to be announced.

Featured Posts

Rep. Kent Smith Joins Other Dems In Call For Immediate Fix To EdChoice


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon), who serves as Ranking Member on the Committee of Primary and Secondary Education,issued statements today concerning the immediate need to fix the state’s EdChoice voucher program.


Rep Smith: Ohio House GOP Offers No Solution To The Massive Great Lakes Plastic Pollution Problem, Prevents Localities From Trying To Fix It


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) spoke on the Statehouse Floor on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, in opposition to House Bill 242 which would prevent local governments from enacting plastic bag bans and other similar legislation.


Rep. Kent Smith Supports Legislation To Strengthen Striking Workers


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a statement following a Statehouse press conference Thursday morning, where he joined lawmakers Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma),  Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and UAW workers to support legislation to extend unemployment benefits and food assistance to union workers fighting for fair wages, better benefits and safer working conditions. The call comes amid a nationwide strike by UAW employees, who reached a tentative labor agreement Wed. on the 31st day of their strike with General Motors.


Rep. Kent Smith Issues Statement On Dayton Shooting, Says More Needs To Be Done To Keep Children And Families Safe


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a statement on the state legislature’s duty to work together to address senseless gun violence and keep all Ohioans safe and secure in the wake of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio this past weekend:

“The first, best step that we can take in Ohio to curtail senseless gun violence is to close all background check loopholes,” said Smith. “Today in Columbus, I agreed to co-sponsor Democratic priority legislation: Extreme Risk Protection Order (Russo, Sweeney), the High-Capacity Magazine Ban (Weinstein), and legislation Closing the Background Check Loophole (Robinson).