Del. Senators push for Constitutional Convention to Create Amend - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Senators push for Constitutional Convention to Create Amendment

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DOVER, Del.- Two Delaware Senators are pushing for a constitutional convention and amendment that curbs money's influence on campaigns.

Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, and Sen. Bryon Short, D-Brandywine Hundred, have introduced a resolution that calls for a Constitutional Convention to pursue an amendment reversing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC regarding campaign finance.

Sen. Townsend says he believes the notion that corporations and special interests should have the same free speech rights as citizens defies this country's fundamental principles of democracy.

“James Madison wrote that the Congress of the United States of America should be ‘dependent on the people alone.' Surely conveying one's message to voters costs money, but there is a problem when so much of that money – or even unrelated expenditures – comes from a single wealthy individual or entity with special interests,” Townsend said.

Sen. Short says he believes that the way elections are funded creates a sense of distrust amongst the public. “The Citizens United case exacerbated this problem. I had hoped Congress would have acted, but in the absence of that, calling for a constitutional convention is the next appropriate step,” said Short.

Under the U.S. Constitution, a Constitutional Convention must be convened if called upon by two-thirds of all state legislatures.

If a convention were held, Delaware's delegation would consist of state and local office holders, not any federal appointees or elected officials.

If both houses of the General Assembly pass the Resolution, Delaware would join California, Illinois and Vermont.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 will be taken up by the General Assembly when it reconvenes in March.

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