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Ashland voters could tackle campaign spending

ASHLAND — Local voters likely will weigh in this November on whether they would support a constitutional amendment allowing Congress to regulate campaign spending.

The Ashland City Council on Tuesday approved a new law that allows such advisory votes on the ballot, even though the city has no legislative power over the issue.

The council is expected at a future meeting to approve the actual question for the Nov. 6 ballot.

In 2010, a Supreme Court majority said corporations and unions have the same First Amendment free-speech rights as individual people and that election spending counts as speech. The ruling unleashed new waves of campaign spending nationwide.

In a movement known as Move to Amend, groups across the country are working for passage of a constitutional amendment that would allow campaign regulation.

City Councilwoman Carol Voisin said Ashland residents concerned about campaign spending have spoken eloquently about the need for the community to express an opinion on the issue via the ballot box.

"They're just asking for an opportunity to express their voice," Voisin said.

While the issue is not in Ashland's hands, residents should have an opportunity to speak out, Councilman Greg Lemhouse said.

"This is an important issue that a lot of people are talking about," Lemhouse said.

Reach Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.