St. Paul City Council members will take a symbolic vote this afternoon to denounce a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that struck down limits on the amount of money corporations and unions can spend on political activities.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison planned to rally with St. Paul Council members and activists after the vote as part of a week-long effort, led by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to "get money out of politics" and draw attention to the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.
The Minneapolis City Council will consider a similar resolution Friday.
As co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, Ellison has taken the lead during their "Resolutions Week," writing editorials and making cable television appearances to promote the campaign. In those appearances and editorials, he's argued that since the Citizens United ruling, corporate interests and wealthy donors have wielded undue influence in elections while touting legislation that he says could restore balance.
"My own Get Corporate Money out of Politics Amendment clearly states that corporations are not people. They do not vote, they do not serve in office, and they should not be able to buy our elections," Ellison wrote in a recent editorial. "If we learned anything from Wisconsin, it's that money should not be able to drown out the voice of the people."
Ellison's Republican opponent in the Fifth Congressional District race is hoping to use "Resolutions Week" to his advantage too. Chris Fields sent out a fundraising plea to supporters Wednesday, noting that Ellison has a significant fundraising advantage in their race.
"Keith has raised more cash in the last three months than I'll raise this entire campaign," the letter read, in part.
"If Keith Ellison really wanted to get the money out of politics, he could lead by example and pledge not to raise one more dollar for this campaign -- he clearly already has plenty."