July 3rd, 2014 Following the arrest of five more protesters and the Senate’s final legislative approval to a bill supported by 99Rise, the 12-day occupation and civil disobedience campaign at the State Capitol came to an end. In total 48 people were arrested for demonstrating without a permit and refusing an order to disperse. If the governor signs the bill it will put as an advisory measure on the November ballot to seek federal action to overturn the Citizens United court decision that lifted campaign contribution limits on corporations.
An activist group for campaign finance reform, 99 Rise protesters arrived in Sacramento on June 22, after marching 36 days, and 480 miles from Los Angeles to demand the State Legislature “publicly acknowledge the crisis of corruption and take immediate action to end it”. The “action” called for the passing of three reform bills: Assembly Joint Resolution 1 (AJR 1), Senate Bill 1272 (SB 1272), and Senate Bill 52 (SB 52).
AJR 1 was passed on June 23 and SB 1272 was passed on June 30. SB 52 passed through an initial committee meeting and is going on to the Appropriations Committee.
The goal of these pieces of legislation, and a backbone of the 99Rise platform, is the reversal of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which allowed corporations and labor unions to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political tools, such as advertisements, for individual candidates.
The members of 99Rise want to “reclaim democracy from the domination of money-in-politics” and will stay their course of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience until their demands are met.
AJR 1 is a formal application for a Constitutional Convention to propose a Constitutional amendment that would allow limits on campaign donations from corporations. The amendment would, among other things, limit corporate personhood for purposes of campaign finance and political speech, and declare that money is not speech, therefore campaign donations are not protected by the First Amendment.
SB 1272, colloquially known as the Overturn Citizens United Act, is a Voter Instruction measure that will be placed on the November 2014 California State Ballot and calls for the reversing of Supreme Court decisions on the cases of Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission, and all other related judicial precedents.
SB 52, also known as the Disclosure Act, requires that financial backers of political advertisements be disclosed to voters.
For more information on 99Rise visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/99Rise