As lawmakers around the county urge Congress to create a constitutional amendment to overturn the controversial Citizens United decision, the City Council on Tuesday may vote in favor of supporting a resolution to overturn the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case.
Councilmembers Sam Liccardo, Don Rocha and Xavier Campos already forwarded a memo voicing opposition to Citizens United. Most recently, District 2 Councilman Ash Kalra submitted his own memo against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which allows corporations the same First Amendment rights as citizens and protects political spending as a form of free speech.
“I share their concern that the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has opened the door for the further erosion of the democratic process and core democratic principles by expanding the role that corporate money plays in elections,” Kalra writes in agreement. “As Justice Stevens stated in his dissenting opinion, ‘A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.’ The decision gives corporations, special interest groups, and lobbyists even more power to bankroll legislative efforts that serve only their interests. This is an anathema to the basic principles of democracy.”
Other items on the San Jose City Council agenda for May 7, 2013:
• The San Jose Police Department flubbed a rape investigation several years ago and now the former accused is demanding a $150,000 settlement for lost time and damages. The council will hear a report about the lawsuit and vote on whether to accept the final conditions of the case.
• The city’s software is a few generations behind and staff is asking for a $413,000 annual contract to buy the latest and greatest in Windows operating software, Microsoft 365. And here we thought everybody was using a Mac.
• Contracts for legal services for the city’s pension plans are about to sunset, so there’s a consideration Tuesday to renew a couple agreements, each for $250,000, to extend the terms for another year.
• Several pieces of legislation going before California lawmakers propose lowering the vote threshold to pass special taxes. The council will consider whether to vote in support of one, some or all of those measures to make it easier to pass a new tax. The bills aim to change the threshold from a supermajority to 55 percent.
WHAT: San Jose City Council
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260