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NY for Democracy coalition is side-stepping Senate resolution barrier

Protester waves corporate flag in front of Supreme Court
Protester waves corporate flag in front of Supreme Court
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The NY4Democracy coalition has hit a brick wall in its effort to get a resolution to Congress asking it to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. An undemocratic, NY Senate rule forbids resolutions to the federal government asking any branch to act in any way. Coalition members have decided, instead, to go around this wall by asking NY Assemblypersons and Senators to sign a letter to Congress. This has previously been done in three other states.

The letter states in part:

The Supreme Court has erred in its finding that such contributions and spending do not cause intolerable harms to the foundations of democratic elections in the United States. Such harms include the potential for subtle, if not obvious, quid pro quo corruption; privileged access and undue influence by elite donors; and a corrosive effect on citizens’ confidence that their representatives serve in The People’s interests. New York and all other states, as well as the United States Congress, should have the power to limit by law the influence of money in their political systems, as provided in Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution.


Article V of the United States Constitution empowers the People, the States, and the Congress to use the constitutional amendment process to protect republican self-government. This power has historically been used by the People with great efficacy to further the progress of popular democracy.

With this letter, the undersigned members of the New York State Senate calls upon Congress to approve an amendment to the United States Constitution that (1) establishes that artificial entities created by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state are not entitled to the same rights and protections as natural persons under the Constitution and that (2) assures the power of the federal, state, and local governments to limit, regulate, and require full source disclosure of all money spent to influence elections.

So far, eight Senators and twenty two members of the Assembly have signed this letter including one Republican in the latter body. To make this letter bipartisan in both houses of NY Government, one Republican Senator needs to sign this letter. That will not be Senator DeFransisco; he supports the Citizens United decision and a government of, by and for the corporate plutocrats.

A petition is available asking Senators Ball, Bonicic, Boyle, Farley, Gallivan, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, LaValle, O'Mara, Seward, and Young to sign the letter. If you are opposed to corporate plutocracy and the oligarchic state the U.S. is veering toward, sign the petition here. If you support corporate plutocracy and the oligarchic state, you need to spend some time reading The Federalist Papers. Congress is supposed to be dependent upon the people alone, not corporations.

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