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News Blog

Group Mobilizing Against Corporate Rule

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2012-02-15 -

Tonight, a chapter of the national Move to Amend movement is gathering to begin the first steps of a long campaign to overturn a recent court decision that says corporations are people who can spend unlimited amounts on political candidates and the troubling notion that money equals free speech.

Group organizer Ashley Sanders says the group is starting at the very local level in Salt Lake City by gathering signatures for a citywide petition that would create a municipal resolution calling for a Constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision that gave personhood rights to corporations.

“This isn’t just a feel-good resolution, where people say what they want and then go back to their jobs and lives,” says group organizer Ashley Sanders. She says the group will seek citywide resolutions this year before moving up to the county and state levels. “By the time states are calling for this and putting on real pressure, there are millions of people who know about the issue and are fighting for it,” Sanders says.

For the here and now, Sanders says all sorts of volunteers will be needed. Sanders says the group already has working groups that will work on media relations, performing street theater and, of course, the biggest task, signature gathering—since the group will need 9,000 signatures by April 15 to get on the ballot.

While the road is long and hard to get enough political momentum to reverse a Supreme Court decision, Sanders says time is what will be needed for the American public to realize the legal implications of giving corporations the ability to freely talk with their money and buy political candidates with impunity.

“If money is speech, then we have a plutocracy, not a democracy,” Sanders says. “Corporations can basically say we have a complete and total right to rule over you and make profits off of you, and all you have the right to do is to submit.”

Join the local Move to Amend movement tonight at the group’s first meeting, February 15, at 6 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Downtown Library, 210 E. 400 South, Conference Room B. Check back with the national Move to Amend Website for further details on the Salt Lake City chapter’s meeting times and future events.

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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // February 16,2012 at 09:25

This article contains misleading and false information. I mentioned this last time but I guess we don't care?

 

 

The Citizens United decision did NOT grant personhood rights to corporations. That was done over a century ago. Simply reversing the Citizens United decision will NOT remove personhood rights, granted under the 14th ammendment, from corporations. Reversing the Citizens United decision will only force corporations to go back to buying politicians under the table, more or less, meaning nothing meaningful will change.

 

 

I can't believe that these people (Move to Amend) don't understand that their politicians have been purchased for decades now. All that the Citizens United decision did was allow corporations, already granted certain personhood rights via the 14th, to further utilize the 1st amendment, equating money with free speech, in order to purchase your politicians more easily.

 

 

Forget the Citizens United decision! You're wasting your energy! You've been mislead! Corporations have been buying your politicians all along, for hell's sake. Corporations have been running this country since the late 19th century, legally, and earlier than that, not so legally.

 

 

If you want to change the way corporations run this country, you're going to have to amend the constitution to disallow the term "person" from being applied to corporations in the first place - you are going to have to amend the 14th specifically, change the wording that allowed corporations to ride to power and prosperity on the back's of recently freed slaves. And you'll have a helluva time doing that as it will be argued that you are taking away a collective voice belonging to individuals intent on achieving the same goals.

 

 

You will also have to completely remove lobbyists from DC, develop some kind of independent lobbyist's committee, allowing corporations to request certain things from the government (this is necessary), via the committee, without having direct, personal contact with politicians.

 

 

You will also have to completely change the way politicians receive campaign donations, create a tax-payer pool that each candidate draws an equal amount from and no more. You'll have to provide tax-funded media time equally to each candidate, a certain amount of publicized debates, etc, while disallowing any private media time or other contributions.

 

 

But goddammit, whatever anybody does, please stop misleading people through news articles and otherwise, by telling them that the Citizens United decision granted personhood to corporations. It did not. If you want to change things, at least try doing so by giving the ignorant, unwashed masses decent information. Too many people are stupid enough as it is.

 

Posted // February 21,2012 at 13:59 - This group only needs to sharpen its focus on reversing Citizens United. Regardless of the reporter's copy points being accurate or otherwise, reversing it would still be a huge positive if it were possible. Of course it wouldn't undo corporations buying influence, but it might put a crimp in the money pipeline of extreme causes. I doubt they are trying to define it, according to the excellent post you created, as only and erroneously giving corporations 'personhood rights.' Citizens United is an extremely complicated action that addresses a number of campaign-election areas, rulings and appeals of lower courts, McCain-Feingold violations and, as you've pointed out, a plethora of misunderstood ripples. Regardless of the 'personhood' or 'speech is money' opinions, it did open up our elections process to unfettered donations to buy candidates and fuel platform planks with Super Pac super money. Even though many like me believe the current SCOTUS is loaded with conservative activists, the creation of Super Pacs has been a bone to choke on for both sides as I see it. I was reading a national news opinion piece over the week-end about how Citizens United v. Federal Campaign Elections Committee has only deepened the abyss where corporations can buy and severely influence our elections.

 

 
 
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