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Maryland Legislators Call For Citizens United Reversal

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Opponents of the controversial Citizens United decision rally outside the state house in Annapolis, Md.
Matt Bush
Opponents of the controversial Citizens United decision rally outside the state house in Annapolis, Md.

In Maryland, several Democratic state legislators are asking Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which nearly two years ago changed campaign finance laws.

Maryland state senator Jamie Raskin says there had always been an understanding throughout U.S. history that corporations were not people and did not have the same rights as a person: "And now suddenly we have a 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court which upsets that understanding and has enthroned corporations in our elections. And we're already seeing a torrent of corporate money in the 2010 elections and the Republican presidential primaries -- we're seeing the way corporate money is distorting and driving the whole process."

Raskin and others rallied outside the statehouse joined by Congressman John Sarbanes. Having to run for re-election every two years means House members must spend a lot of time campaigning, and Sarbanes says that means super PACs can have an even greater impact on their races than presidential ones.

"If now members of the House of Representatives are now going to have to worry that a super PAC could drop in a half a million dollars into negative advertising at the last minute of a campaign, how do you prepare for that?" asks Sarbanes. "How do you defend against that? It completely distorts the whole system."

Only Democratic legislators, the majority of which hail from Montgomery County like Raskin, attended the rally and signed a letter asking Congress to pass the amendment.

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