In a blow against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, the second-largest city in the U.S. sent a strong, if symbolic, message against corporate personhood and unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns.
Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition C, a resolution that instructed local and state officials to promote the overturning of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. With 100 percent of precincts reporting by 3:16 a.m. Wednesday, Prop C had won 76.6 percent of the vote, according to the LA City Clerk's unofficial results.
In the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporate spending on political campaigns was protected by the First Amendment. The controversial decision has since unleashed a deluge of donations from corporations, unions and individuals that have affected everything from the 2012 presidential election to this year's mayoral race in LA.
It's unclear what legislative impact Prop C will have on the nationwide movement to overturn Citizens United. The ballot measure's language is vague about what steps legislators should take against the 2010 court ruling. But for some activists, it's enough to continue racking up municipalities and states willing to officially renounce Citizens United. With this measure, Los Angeles joins Chicago, San Francisco and 175 other cities who have protested the court decision via the ballot box.
California voters may also get a chance to join Colorado and Montana as state electorates that support the ruling's reversal. California Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) hopes to put a measure on the state's 2014 ballot urging Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle are vocal about their criticism of Citizens United. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) introduced a constitutional amendment in March to reverse the court decision. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a staunch advocate for campaign finance reform, has often characterized Citizens United as the Supreme Court's "worst decision ever."