One Little Town’s Fight to Get Money Out of Politics

On January 21, 2015 the tiny town of Derry, New Hampshire approved a resolution supporting a Constitutional Amendment to reverse the famed "Citizens United" decision, which gave individuals and corporations the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money behind their political objectives . In a unanimous 7-0 vote, Derry joined 56 other towns in New Hampshire calling for an Ammendmant that would clarify that the constitutional rights were established for the people, not corporations, unions or other artificial entities. Essentially this Amendment would reduce influence of money in politics and give more power back to the voter.

Sixteen states around the country have adopted similar resolutions.

One little town in New Hampshire, or even 16 states, might not tip the balance in Washington and reverse the flow of money into politics, but Derry sure does prove that individual citizens can plant the seeds of change.

HeadCount contacted Derry town councilman Josh Bourdon to get the full story.

“It all started a month ago when a local New Hampshire resident, Corrine Dodge, called fired up about the idea of all towns and cities at the local level moving forward to establish the guarantee of regulated campaign spending and safeguard fair elections,” Bourdon said.

When speaking with Bourdon about the resolution and how he believes it will impact other towns and, ultimately, New Hampshire and Congress, he was hopeful the outcome will be very positive and believes in the bipartisan momentum of the voters. “Both sides have come together with a common belief that we should not be bought out by the few,” Bourdon says. In 2012, campaign spending reached over $6 billion dollars (over $3 billion in the Congressional election and over $2 billion in the Presidential election.)

In the past few years, there have been several attempted actions to achieve an Amendment with similar goals to give power back to the voter. With this in mind, Bourdon stated in order to achieve this once and for all, we must “be quick but not hurry.” Meaning we must be quick, since every day we are closer and closer to the 2016 elections.  But we also must be patient, as Constitutional Amendments sometimes take decades to pass. It all starts in little places like Derry, NH.