Florida Congressman Sponsors New Amendment To Clean Up Politics

Apr 14, 2017

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, is sponsoring a constitutional amendment to take big money out of elections.

The 28th Amendment would limit individual political contributions, require them to be disclosed and throw out the the legal notion that corporations are “people.”

28th Amendment promotional material.
Credit Peter Haden

“In the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court said that corporations and wealthy people can spend an unlimited amount of money to influence our elections,” Deutch said. “The only way that we can respond to return democracy back to the people is to amend the Constitution.”

It takes two-thirds of Congress to pass a constitutional amendment. Then, 38 states would have to ratify it.

It’s a heavy lift. But, as 28th Amendment advocate Jeff Clements of the group American Progress points out, Americans have done it 27 times before.

“Senators used to be appointed in a very corrupt process. And the people said, enough is enough,” said Clements. “They passed the 17th Amendment to elect senators. Women vote in America because of of the 19th Amendment. The poll tax used to prevent people from voting. The 24th Amendment overturned that.”

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch rallies support for the 28th Amendment at a town hall meeting in Wilton Manors on April 13, 2017.
Credit Peter Haden / WLRN

Nearly 800 cities and towns and 18 states have already passed resolutions calling for the 28th Amendment.
Deutch and Clements rallied supporters to back the proposed amendment at a town hall meeting in Wilton Manors Thursday.