| 
Janet Domenitz
Executive Director

Author: Janet Domenitz

Executive Director

(617) 747-4320

Started on staff: 1980
B.A., magna cum laude, Brandeis University.

Janet has been the executive director of MASSPIRG since 1990 and directs programs on consumer protection, zero waste and recycling, health and safety, public transportation, and voter participation. Janet has co-founded or led coalitions, including Earth Day Greater Boston, Campaign to Update the Bottle Bill and the Election Modernization Coalition. Janet serves as vice president for the Consumer Federation of America; and serves on the Common Cause Massachusetts executive committee, Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow board of directors, and Department of Environmental Protection Solid Waste Advisory Committee. For her work, Janet has received Common Cause’s John Gardner Award and Salem State University’s Friend of the Earth Award. Janet lives in Cambridge, Mass., with her husband and two sons and every Wednesday morning she slow-runs the steps at Harvard Stadium with the November Project.

Started on staff: 1980
B.A., magna cum laude, Brandeis University.

 

Before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary

 

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony in favor of S. 772, A Resolution Restoring Free Speech.  The resolution calls upon the United States Congress to pass, and send to the states for ratification, a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment and fair elections to the people. The impetus for this resolution was a decision issued by the United States Supreme Court in January 2010 which basically allowed for unlimited, as well as untraceable, corporate money in our electoral campaigns.

Passage of this resolution is important for many reasons; for the sake of brevity we will limit this written testimony to three:

#1- Our democracy cannot function properly unless our elections are free and fair. The Citizens United decision ultimately allowed for elections to be bought and sold by the highest spender. The influence of money in politics that the Court’s decision enabled will corrupt our democracy soon enough unless we act to address it.

#2-Obviously, the problem of corporate money in politics is not a problem that can be solved by any one or two or even several states. Our country’s electoral system is now threatened, and we need to act as a country to salvage our democracy. Thus, this resolution calls for action by Congress, as we see the main remedy to the Citizen’s United decision coming in the form of a Constitutional amendment.

#3-While the remedy must be enacted by the country as a whole, it is in fact up to each state to take a role—in calling out the problem, in demonstrating leadership, and in campaigning for a solution.

The passage of this resolution accomplishes all three of those goals, and we hope that the Massachusetts Legislature will take this opportunity to be one of the first states in our country calling for this critical reform.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

Janet Domenitz
Executive Director

Author: Janet Domenitz

Executive Director

(617) 747-4320

Started on staff: 1980
B.A., magna cum laude, Brandeis University.

Janet has been the executive director of MASSPIRG since 1990 and directs programs on consumer protection, zero waste and recycling, health and safety, public transportation, and voter participation. Janet has co-founded or led coalitions, including Earth Day Greater Boston, Campaign to Update the Bottle Bill and the Election Modernization Coalition. Janet serves as vice president for the Consumer Federation of America; and serves on the Common Cause Massachusetts executive committee, Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow board of directors, and Department of Environmental Protection Solid Waste Advisory Committee. For her work, Janet has received Common Cause’s John Gardner Award and Salem State University’s Friend of the Earth Award. Janet lives in Cambridge, Mass., with her husband and two sons and every Wednesday morning she slow-runs the steps at Harvard Stadium with the November Project.

Started on staff: 1980
B.A., magna cum laude, Brandeis University.