Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, says she doesn’t expect the Texas Legislature to approve a resolution she filed to urge Congress to overturn a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that allowed corporations and unions to donate to political candidates. But she wants her resolution to send a message.
She filed the resolution “to bring attention, more to the public than to anything, that money should not usurp the power of the vote,” says Thompson, a Houston solo.
She filed House Concurrent Resolution 21, which asks the 83rd Legislature to urge Congress to propose a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010). The resolution is identical to Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston.
Both resolutions say, “[T]he tide of corporate money that has been unleashed in the wake of Citizens United deeply threatens the free speech protections of individuals.” The resolutions say Congress should amend the U.S. Constitution “to reverse this erroneous and damaging decision.”
Among other things, the resolutions ask that the constitutional amendment clarify that election spending isn’t free speech under the First Amendment, that governments may regulate election spending and that “only natural persons are protected by constitutional rights.”
Thompson says, “We need to do something about how we fund elections and that we not deprive the citizens of the right to elect their representatives and government.”
Ellis, of counsel at Reaud, Morgan & Quinn in Beaumont, didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.
-- Angela Morris