Long Beach, CA
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File #: 13-0934    Version: 1 Name: CD8 - Citizens United Reso Req
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 10/14/2013 In control: City Council
On agenda: 10/22/2013 Final action: 10/22/2013
Title: Recommendation to request City Attorney to draft a resolution in support legislative action so that the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected speech, including a constitutional amendment. Upon adoption of this resolution, request City Manager to forward copies of the resolution to our elected representatives in Congress and the state legislature, and include the position in our federal and state legislative agendas.
Sponsors: COUNCILMAN AL AUSTIN, EIGHTH DISTRICT, COUNCILMEMBER PATRICK O'DONNELL, FOURTH DISTRICT
Attachments: 1. 102213-R-9sr.pdf
Related files: 13-0947
TITLE
Recommendation to request City Attorney to draft a resolution in support legislative action so that the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected speech, including a constitutional amendment.  Upon adoption of this resolution, request City Manager to forward copies of the resolution to our elected representatives in Congress and the state legislature, and include the position in our federal and state legislative agendas.
 
DISCUSSION
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission that rolled back legal restrictions on corporate spending in the electoral process.
 
The Supreme Court decision afforded corporations the same political free speech protections as persons in the context of campaign expenditures. Since the ruling that independent spending on elections by corporations and other groups could not be limited by government regulation, Super Political Action Committees (Super PACs) have spent millions of dollars to influence elections at the federal, state and local levels.
 
The Citizens United decision also supercedes state and local efforts to regulate corporate activity in their elections.
 
Several dozen cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland and New York, and at least 16 states have successfully passed resolutions opposing the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United and supporting a constitutional amendment.
 
We request the City of Long Beach to also go on record against the Citizens United decision and supporting a constitutional amendment to protect the integrity and fairness of our electoral process.
 
FISCAL IMPACT
There is no fiscal impact.
 
SUGGESTED ACTION
Approve recommendation.
 
 
Respectfully Submitted,
AL AUSTIN
COUNCILMAN, EIGHTH DISTRICT
 
PATRICK O'DONNELL
COUNCILMEMBER, FOURTH DISTRICT