Voters overwhelmingly approve Evansville referendum

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Gina Duwe
April 7, 2015

EVANSVILLE—Evansville voters overwhelmingly approved an advisory referendum, 620-158, aimed at getting big money out of politics.

A local “Move to Amend” campaign, part of a national volunteer effort, gathered signatures to get the referendum on the ballot so Evansville residents could have a say.

“I just feel that we got the message across, and people really recognize the issue,” local organizer Fran Zell said.

Regardless of the party or the candidates people support, “this cuts across all the lines,” she said. “It’s great that people in Evansville responded this way.”

Move to Amend hopes to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision in a case referred to as Citizens United. In that case, the court ruled that First Amendment rights extend to corporations, labor unions and nonprofit organizations.

The ruling made it easier for those groups to engage in unlimited spending during election season on behalf of a candidate without his or her knowledge, opening campaigns to a flood of money.

Zell said her group would ask the city clerk to forward the results to elected state and federal officials.

“Move to Amend” resolutions have passed in hundreds of communities across the country, and 41 percent of Wisconsin residents live in communities that have approved it, Zell said.

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