McGee collecting signatures in New London
By John Faucher and Scott Bellile
Nettie McGee wants New London to pass a resolution requesting action to overturn Citizens United.
McGee initially made the request at the city’s Finance and Personnel Committee meeting in October.
At that meeting, McGee spoke on behalf of Wisconsin United to Amend, a group opposed to the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled corporations are entitled to make unlimited political campaign contributions because they, like humans, have free speech rights.
At that meeting the committee voted to table the item.
At the Dec. 2 committee meeting, New London City Clerk Susan Tennie presented a prepared memo regarding a request to initiate a Direct Legislation Petition, which is what Magee is seeking.
Tennie informed committee members that she set up a timeline with McGee. She said there has to be sufficient time for the city to certify the signatures.
“State statute requires that this petition be acted on by the local municipality 70 days before the election which is Jan. 26,” Tennie said.
She added that further action will proceed if McGee adheres to the timetable.
“Corporations can’t die, they can’t be put in prison. … They don’t have emotions,” McGee told the Press Star prior to the Dec. 2 committee meeting. “So when they hurt somebody, they don’t feel it. They don’t have any conscience that they’ve done something wrong.”
Wisconsin United to Amend seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to state that only human beings possess free speech rights and money is not political speech under the First Amendment.
“I believe in this so deeply,” McGee told the Press Star. “I really think that all the problems we’re facing as Earthlings can’t be fixed until we fixed this.”
Since the October Finance meeting, McGee has initiated a Direct Legislation Petition with the city clerk’s office to have the resolution placed on the April 5 ballot.
Wisconsin’s Direct Legislation Statue, section 9.20, gives voters a voice in local issues and provides a procedure by which they may compel local government to pass or put before the public for a popular vote on a proposed ordinance or resolution.
According to the statue, 15 percent of electors in the city of New London who cast votes in the last governor’s election need to sign the petition.
If enough signatures are collected, the city council must either adopt the resolution or refer it to a vote by the electors.
She is busy going to door to door collecting the signatures needed to place the resolution on the April ballot.
A town of Ellington resident, McGee said in the past that she plans to run for District 31 of the Outagamie County Board. New London area resident Ralph Thern currently represents district 31.