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To the Editor:

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates for big corporations and billionaires to overwhelm our electoral system with huge injections of money. And we have been feeling the effects of this decision in recent years. Politicians too often respond to the big donors rather than to the average person who can only pony up $25 or $30 to help elect a candidate.

The only remedy for a bad Supreme Court decision is a constitutional amendment. Last year in the state of Washington we passed Initiative 135, which called on our congressional delegation to support a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, that would say that corporations are not people protected by the First Amendment and that money is not speech. (Eighteen other states have taken similar action.) That initiative passed with 63 percent majority statewide. Just as important, it passed in 47 of our 49 legislative districts and in all 10 of our congressional districts. You could scarcely have a stronger expression of the will of the people.

So far, four of our state's congresspersons have responded positively (Reps. Kilmer, Del Bene, Jayapal and Smith). We have been pressing our own 8th District representative, Dave Reichert, to support such a Constitutional amendment. After all, the measure passed in all counties in the 8th District. We are awaiting his response.

Several proposed amendments have been introduced in Congress. The strongest and best is HJR 48 (We The People Amendment), which meets the requirements that were embodied in I-735. Currently there are 51 cosponsors. Not only do we need to work on getting more cosponsors for that amendment, but we need to have a companion bill to HJR 48 introduced in the Senate. That would be a wonderful job and a great service for our senior senator, Patty Murray. It would be a great chance for her to demonstrate once again that she listens to the voice of her constituents.

Please write to Sen. Murray and urge her to introduce into the Senate a companion bill to HJR 48.

Larry Lowther



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