A RESOLUTION urging Congress to propose a constitutional amendment ensuring free and fair elections and empowering the voices of Wyoming human citizens.
WHEREAS, Article 1, Section 1 of the Wyoming Constitution provides that: “All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness; for the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper;” and
WHEREAS, Article 1, Section 2 of the Wyoming Constitution provides that: “In their inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all members of the human race are equal;” and
WHEREAS, the words “human race” in Article 1, Section 2 of the Wyoming Constitution preserve political rights only for natural persons, giving no such protections to entities authorized by statute such as corporations; and
WHEREAS, Article 10, Section 2 of the Wyoming Constitution provides that: “All powers and franchises of corporations are derived from the people and are granted by their agent, the government, for the public good and general welfare, and the right and duty of the state to control and regulate them for these purposes is hereby declared;” and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that Congress and the states lack authority to ban independent corporate expenditures to political campaigns for public office, relying on the concept that the spending of money to elect a candidate is protected speech; and
WHEREAS, this United States Supreme Court precedent has allowed the creation of super political action committees in campaigns for public office, which have made possible unregulated campaign expenditures in unprecedented amounts; and
WHEREAS, much of this flood of unregulated campaign spending is contributed and controlled by individuals not residing in Wyoming and whose political goals may partly or wholly differ from those of Wyoming residents; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Wyoming has grave concerns that corporations and unions have privileges not enjoyed by natural persons, such as limited liability, perpetual life and favorable treatment of their accumulation and distribution of assets, which have enabled these entities to financially overwhelm individual natural persons in the political process; and
WHEREAS, Congress, state legislatures and local legislative bodies should have the authority to regulate political contributions and expenditures; and
WHEREAS, based on the American value of ensuring that all citizens, regardless of wealth have an opportunity for their political views to be heard, there is a compelling reason to regulate political spending; and
WHEREAS, a constitutional amendment would overrule United States Supreme Court precedent interpreting the United States Constitution.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WYOMING:
Section 1. That the [enacting body] respectfully urges the Congress of the United States to propose and send to the states for ratification an amendment to the United States Constitution consistent with the findings of this resolution clarifying the distinction between the rights of natural persons and the rights of corporations, unions, and other legal entities and providing that Congress and state legislatures may regulate all monies raised and spent for political purposes.
Section 2. That the Secretary of the [enacting body] transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress and to the Wyoming Congressional Delegation.