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Money as political speech is on a lot of NH minds as Town Meetings approach
As Town Meeting season kicks off in many communities Saturday, voters will deliberate union contracts, building projects, road upgrades, land conservation, and various citizens petitions, like the resolution seeking to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and "get big money out of politics."
The U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010 gave corporations and unions the OK to spend unlimited money on advertising, ruling political spending as protected First Amendment speech. As the Center for Public Integrity put it, the high court gave the green light "for corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they want to convince people to vote for or against a candidate." Petition articles can come in many forms. In Rye, for example, there are a couple of citizen petitions concerning acceptable activities on town beaches. One would declare all town beaches smoke-free zones, while another would ban commercial activity on town beaches from Memorial Day to Labor Day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and anytime on weekends and holidays.
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