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Mass. Commission Looking At Campaign Finance To Meet In Springfield

A voting sign.
Keith Ivey
Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/kcivey
A voting sign.

The Massachusetts Citizens Commission, which is charged with looking into political campaign finance, will meet in Springfield Wednesday.

Established by Ballot Question 2, which was passed by voters last year, the panel will create a U.S. Constitutional Amendment which looks to offset the so-called Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court.

"The purpose of the amendment is to allow legislative bodies like the U.S. Congress and state legislatures to regulate what is currently unrestricted spending by corporations and other artificial entities on political campaigns," said William Kilmartin, Citizens Commission co-chair.

And in order to do that, the panel will conduct research into several areas related to campaign finance.

That's according to Jeff Clements, a commissioner, who helped to get the ballot question passed.

"What kind of money is flowing into our political system," Clements said. "What is disclosed, what is not. What can we get a handle on, and what, according to the Supreme Court, with its theory that unlimited money is just free speech, does the amendment need to address."

The Springfield meeting will be the fourth by the commission. Both Kilmartin and Clements said they have been impressed with the amount of public interest on the topic.

That might not come as a surprise, though, as the ballot question setting up the 15-member Citizens Commission passed with more than 70 percent of the vote.

The amendment is supposed to be drafted by the end of this year.

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