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Resolutions & Amendments

43rd International Convention - Boston, MA (2018)

Campaign Finance Reform and Overturning Citizens United

Resolution No. 38
43rd International Convention
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
July 16 - 20, 2018
Boston, MA


In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Citizens United, a conservative PAC with major funding from the Koch Brothers, which had argued that certain limitations on organizational spending on political campaigns were a restriction on First Amendment protected speech; and


One of the most often discussed issues to come out of the court’s decision was that it eliminated some restrictions on how corporations can spend money in elections. The decision had declared unconstitutional the Tillman Act of 1907 and its later amendment that made it illegal for corporations to make money contributions for political elections and other federal corrupt election practices; and


The ruling, encompassing the idea that “non-persons have speech rights” hence corporations have speech rights, allowed for a massive influx of PAC, lobbyist and special interest group spending in campaigns. When unlimited sums of money from the billionaire class flow into American elections, corruption and cronyism ultimately follow. We must not allow our elected officials to be bought and sold based on the whims of the ultra-rich financier class. True, free elections and elected officials must be representative of the entire population; and


Our current president, Donald Trump, is the product of, among other things, a total breakdown of the integrity of the electoral process; and


Campaign finance reform on state and local levels is key to building a movement towards a change on the federal level. Public financing of elections, at least partially, could lay the groundwork for this type of change. If enough states adopt campaign finance reforms as part of their constitutions, gradually, those changes may be influential enough to affect federal constitutional law, including, potentially, a reversal of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision; and


In 2017, California congressman Adam Schiff introduced a bill to amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United, and polls have shown that over 70 percent of Democrats and Republicans support this type of measure.


That AFSCME will lobby, build coalitions for and support legislation and policies at state and local levels to facilitate substantive campaign reform in order to ensure a more just and equitable elective process; and


That AFSCME will lobby for and support legislative and other reforms, including asking Congress to pass a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision and that disallows the personhood status of corporations.


Dawn Bundick, President and Delegate
Courtney Wendel, Secretary and Delegate

Juan Fernandez, President and Delegate
Juliet White, Delegate
Sheera S. Glass, Delegate
Thomas Orawiec, Delegate
James Whooley, Delegate
Local 154, District Council 37
New York