Wyoming Promise falls short of signature goal
November 28, 2018
CHEYENNE (WNE) -– Advocacy group Wyoming Promise didn’t collect enough signatures to put a campaign finance reform initiative on the 2020 ballot, but some believe the effort could still be successful during this year’s legislative session.
Wyoming Promise, an extension of American Promise, wants to make Wyoming the 20th state asking Congress to ban corporations and unions from political spending.
This would require a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United v. FEC, a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision granting First Amendment protections to super PACs and other anonymous donors.
More than 300 volunteers gathered 20,255 signatures from registered Wyoming voters – falling far short of the 38,818 required by the state.
If lawmakers passed a resolution in support of “free and fair elections,” there would be no need to bring the measure before voters, said Ken Chestek, Wyoming Promise chairman.
Advocates tried to pass a similar resolution during the 2016 Legislature, but decided to take the initiative straight to voters after it failed.
They think this time will be different.
“We believe we’ll have a number of lawmakers interested in sponsoring this bill,” Chestek said. “When you get 20,000 signatures, you get noticed. The bill would say that Wyoming is ready to ratify a 28th amendment effectively overturning Citizens United.”
Nearly 60 percent of signatures received were from registered Republicans, with the remaining 40 percent coming from Democrats and unaffiliated/third-party voters.
Nineteen states have passed resolutions asking Congress to draft the new amendment, which would require the support of three-fourths of states.