Updated: Senate Democrats join call for constitutional convention

Constitution 1Typically, convention of the states legislation has been the domain of conservatives who say they want to undo the damage done to the country over the past 100 years, but a group of Democrats are now calling for one, too.

The 18 members of the Iowa House of Representatives presented House Joint Resolution 3 in the hopes of joining the Democrat movement to rein in corporate spending used for political speech. The basis is similar to that of a constitutional amendment bill offered in the then-Democrat controlled U.S. Senate during the last Congress.

The bill title states, “A Joint Resolution requesting the call of a constitutional convention in order to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to allow Congress and the states to prohibit or otherwise regulate the expenditure of funds for political speech by any corporation, limited 5 liability company, or other corporate entity.”

The bill’s sponsors include House Minority Leader Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown) and Assistant Minority Leaders Ako Abdul-Samad (D-Des Moines), Mary Gaskill (D-Ottumwa), Todd Prichard (D-Charles City), and Sharon Steckman (D-Mason City). Other sponsors are Reps. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines), Dan Kelley (D-Newton), Chris Hall (D-Sioux City), Curt Hanson (D-Fairfield), Jerry Kearns (D-Keokuk), Todd Taylor (D-Cedar Rapids), Liz Bennett (D-Cedar Rapids), Vicki Lensing (D-Iowa City), Marti Anderson (D-Des Moines), Winckler, Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City), Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D-Ames), and Jo Oldson (D-Des Moines).

A companion bill with identical wording, Senate Joint Resolution 1, was offered Thursday by a number of Senate Democrats. Among the sponsors were Senate President Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque), Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs), Majority Whip Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City), and Assistant Majority Leaders Bill Dotzler (D-Waterloo), Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines), Amanda Ragan (D-Mason City), and Mary Jo Wilhelm (D-Cresco). Other sponsors include Bob Dvorsky (D-Coralville), Joe Seng (D-Davenport), Tony Bisignano (D-Des Moines), Tod Bowman (D-Maquoketa), Janet Petersen (D-Des Moines), Rich Taylor (D-Mount Pleasant), Wally Horn (D-Cedar Rapids), Dick Dearden (D-Des Moines), Steve Sodders (D-State Center), Brian Schoenjahn (D-Arlington), Rita Hart (D-Wheatland), Chris Brase (D-Muscatine), Chaz Allen (D-Newton), Liz Mathis (D-Robbins), Kevin Kinney (D-Oxford), Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids), and Jeff Danielson (D-Waterloo).