A Big Win for Big Money in Milwaukee County

United Wisconsin Condemns County Executive Chris Abele’s Veto of Move to Amend Resolution

 MILWAUKEE, WI – Today, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele vetoed a resolution placing an advisory referendum on Citizens United on the November ballot.

The resolution, passed by a super majority of the County Board, asks voters if the U.S. Constitution should be amended to establish that corporations are not people and therefore not entitled to Constitutional rights, and that money is not the equivalent of speech. Today marked the deadline for the resolution to be placed on the November ballot for a referendum vote.

“Through his veto of the Move to Amend resolution, County Executive Abele has put big money special interests ahead of the voters of Milwaukee County,” said United Wisconsin Executive Director Lisa Subeck. “Abele ignored the will of the people to have their voices heard. Refusing to put the referendum on the ballot is an assault on our democracy.”

The advisory referendum would have allowed Milwaukee County residents to join the over 200 cities and counties nationwide, including West Allis, Madison, and Dane County, who have passed resolutions in opposition to the controversial Citizens United ruling. The 2010 ruling granted corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts on elections – in many cases requiring no public disclosure of the funding source – claiming it is their Constitutional right of “free speech.”

In a recent interview, Abele mocked the proposed county-wide referendum, comparing its legitimacy to “A Facebook poll.” [1]

“It is an insult to the people of Milwaukee County and our state to suggest, as Abele did, that Wisconsin’s time-honored tradition of letting the people’s voice be heard by referendum has no more legitimacy than a Facebook poll,” said Subeck.

“The proposed referendum would have allowed Milwaukee County residents to take a stand against the big money special interest currently polluting our elections,” Subeck added. “The people of Wisconsin will not sit idly by and let our democracy be hijacked. We will hold politicians accountable when they choose the will of corporate interests over the will of the people they are elected to represent.”

United Wisconsin will continue to work with our grassroots partners to bring the Citizens United question to the ballot in Milwaukee County and in local communities across the state.

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1. WISN News, August 27th, 2012


United Wisconsin is an independent, grassroots organization of citizens restoring the Wisconsin tradition of democracy in action. For more information, visit our website at www.unitedwisconsin.com.

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