Brookhaven Supervisor Says Yes to overturn Citizens United

Brookhaven’s Romaine, Cartright, & Kepert vote to overturn Citizens United

Public views of the Citizens United v. Federal...

Public views of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine  broke with his Republican colleagues at the Town Board meeting on Thursday, Dec.17, 2015, to add his Yes vote to those of Councilwomen Valerie Cartright and Connie Kepert, for a Sense Resolution to be sent to the State, overturning the Supreme Court‘s recent decision in the case of Citizens United v FEC.   

The Resolution, proposed by Councilwoman Kepert, would support an amendment to the Constitution  to

exclude for-profit corporations from the constitutional rights given to human citizens regarding political campaign contributions.

New York is close to being the 17th State to support such an amendment. Opposing the three Yes votes, the remaining Council members Jane Bonner, Kevin LaValle, Neil Foley and Dan Panico abstained, and the Resolution failed to gather the majority needed to pass.  

During the time allotted for public comment, twelve residents who included members of Brookhaven Move To Amend, the League of Women Voters, ABCO, and other community groups spoke in behalf of the Resolution, warning of the threat to our Democracy of corporate and mega money’s influence on present and future legislative and judicial decisions.

Barbara Salz of Coram informed the Board:

by voting no or abstaining, you are on the wrong side of history.  You would be accepting the poison that has undermined our country.

While Joshua Comden, a supporter and graduate student at Stony Brook University added:

Congress, as Madison said, was to be dependent on the people alone … not the rich more than the poor”. They were applauded repeatedly by members of the audience.

This was not the first time a resolution to pass an amendment to overturn Citizens United was presented to the Board for approval, and according to Move To Amend Brookhaven Co-Founder Steve Lupo, it will not be the last.  In 2012, then Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld, working closely with members of Brookhaven Move To Amend, proposed a similar Sense Resolution.  At that time, Councilman Fiore-Rosenfeld and Councilwomen Kepert and Walsh voted for the Resolution, while Supervisor Romaine, and Council members Bonner, Foley and Mazzei abstained. Several amendments to overturn Citizens United have been proposed in the U.S. Senate.

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