Citizens United referendum on multiple central Wisconsin ballots - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Citizens United referendum on multiple central Wisconsin ballots

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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WAOW) -

A referendum to disallow corporations from funding political candidates is on the spring ballot in Marshfield and Wittenberg. 

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling called Citizens United opened the door to a new way to pay for political campaigns. Critics say it makes the playing field unfair for some candidates. 

Some Marshfield residents are taking the issue very seriously. 

"Ever since, most recently with the 2010 Citizens United decision, that really has opened the flood gates of unlimited political spending that's really having a significant impact on how our political system operates," Ben Dorshorst, of Marshfield said. 

Dorshorst has two other residents who fought with him to get this referendum on the upcoming ballot. 

"People across the board have been talking to us about United to Amend and they've been enthusiastically supporting it," Kathleen Rulka, of Marshfield said. 

"I think this is just part of preserving core American values of democracy," Brian Ewert, of Marshfield said. "And it's part of keeping our community strong, that's what motivates us to do this."

Dorshorst, Rulka, and Ewert want the ruling overturned. 

The trio along with many volunteers went around Marshfield back in the fall to collect more than 1,200 signatures to petition to get the referendum on the ballot. 

If the bi-partisan referendum passes, it would mean the city of Marshfield supports overturning Citizens United. 

Nearly half of Wisconsin communities, including Wausau, already passed the same referendum. 

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