Non-binding referendums are useless

In November of 2014 the city of Appleton (and many others in WI) had this advisory referendum on the ballot:

Shall the City of Appleton adopt a resolution, which reads as follows? Whereas, the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission and related case law allows unlimited political campaign spending to influence local, state and federal elections; Be it resolved, that “We the People” of the City of Appleton, Wisconsin, call for reclaiming democracy from the expansion of corporate personhood rights and the corrupting influence of unregulated political contributions and spending. We stand with the Move to Amend campaign and communities across the country supporting passage of an amendment to the United States Constitution stating: 1. Only human beings – not corporations, limited liability companies, unions, nonprofit organizations, or similar associations – are endowed with Constitutional rights; and 2. Money is not speech and, therefore, regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limited political speech. Be it further resolved, that we hereby instruct our state and federal representatives to enact resolutions and legislation to advance this effort.

Appleton (and many other cities) also had this advisory referendum on the ballot:

Shall the City of Appleton adopt a resolution which supports increasing the minimum wage in the State of Wisconsin to $10.10 per hour?

Racine Alderman Greg Helding at the time voted against putting a non-binding minimum wage question to voters, but he was outvoted.

“I don’t think they really have a place at the local level,” Helding said of advisory referendums. “What I have found is when we have them, what they end up doing is providing an opportunity for the Common Council to argue about things over which they have no control, and to spend time on issues that are really outside its authority.”

Helding was/is correct.

Big waste of time.

One thought on “Non-binding referendums are useless

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (02/27/17) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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