When Hillary Clinton called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC this year, it took a lot of folks by surprise considering the PACs and corporate leaders who donate to her campaign for the presidency, her paid Wall Street speeches, and her on-again off-again on-again off-again positions on the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal. Despite Hillary Clinton being at the center of the Citizens United case, there are few if any candidates that have benefitted more from the decision.
Thank you, Ms. Bonham. This is exactly the path we need to take (if we ever rid ourselves of _Citizens United__).
A constitutional amendment seems unlikely as those benefiting from Citizens United also control much of congress, whatever party sits in the White House, and a good part of the judiciary. Congress can only unite around war and Janet Jackson's breast.
An article from a former leader of the Justice Party Laura Bonham. It appears the Justice Party, which was started by Rocky Anderson, who ran for president in 2012, did not make it to 2016.
If the proposed Amendment only over-turns the Citizens United decision it will be doing only half of what needs to be done. What needs to be done is to craft an Amendment that makes clear that CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE; and they do not have the same rights as individual persons. Until we accomplish this, we will continue to be ruled by corporate greed. What's "best for General Motors" is NOT necessarily what's "best for the American People"....more often than not it's just the opposite
Bonham is correct in assuming that Clinton will be as much of a do nothing on this issue as Obama. Clinton's long range plan is to rebuild the Democratic Party at the state level, state by state, to recapture the House and unseat Republican governors. That's going to take trainload after trainload of money. No way is she going to give ending Citizen's United or serious campaign reform the time of day. Just more empty and hypocritical campaign talk. The only good news, here, is that she may be so busy raising money for the Ds as the president, that she my not have time to govern.
Had Clinton been elected in 1976 her "long range plan" WOULD HAVE BEEN "to rebuild the Democratic Party at the state level and recapture the House".
The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) playbook has, since the 1985 DLC formation, dictated that Democrats in the White House assure that the GOP control Congress as much as possible to give the POTUS cover to deliver as many favors for the 1% at the expense of the 99% as possible.
Bill Clinton fulfilled the DLC requirement by zealously pushing NAFTA through during his first year as POTUS, resulting in many Democrats not voting in 1994, thereby handing control of Congress to the GOP for the first time in 40 years.
Obama fulfilled the DLC requirement by digging up the GOP's 1990s "health care plan" during his first year as POTUS, relabeling it the Affordable Care Act (ACA), resulting in many Democrats not voting in 2010, thereby handing control of Congress to the GOP for the remainder of Obama's POTUS tenure.
Just like Obama, most of President Clinton's domestic travel will not be for public appearances, but to attend "fundraisers" to collect money from bag men in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and other technology and power centers.
Excellent article Laura. Corporations demand that they be given all of the rights of natural born persons and more. Yet they also demand that they should have none of the responsibilities of natural born persons. I like the "We the People Amendment" and followed the link in the article to sign on.
But getting a Constitutional Amendment passed is a near impossibility - so I wonder what would happen if we took the opposite attack and propose instead to extend Citizens United. Let's declare that Corporations are like natural born citizens in every way - therefore
* they must pay taxes at the rates for individuals (and be subject to the same rules as natural born individuals for income earned from overseas sources);
* they cannot request that governments exercise eminent domain on behalf of their projects;
* they must be subject to the same lifetime caps on welfare as individuals;
* they should be subject to the same penalties and minimum sentencing laws as natural born citizens for criminal actions (e.g. life imprisonment in three-strikes-and-your-out situations in certain states and the death penalty in Texas).
* etc., etc...
Excellent work, Thank you, Ms. Bonham.
It should be pointed out that unless we can fracture the 2 party duopoly of political convenience in the US, nothing of substantial benefit will be a prime directive of anyone in power. Clinton 2.0 scares me every bit as much as Trump 0.01, for the sake of everyone else in the world. I think folks should consider voting for Jill Stein this time around, to gain a substantial enough number as to not be ignored.
Do you think the planet is worth saving? Vote Green!
Do you believe we could be doing so much more towards incentivizing industry to go renewable? Vote Green!
Do you think that your fellow humans in name-a-country want anything less than the same opportunity to freely live their life without someone else's boot on their neck? Which totally includes American boots! ...that is, if we had the true courage of our convictions enough to do anything more than flying chicken-shit Reapers from half way around the world and dropping bombs on wedding parties, hospitals and schools from 30,000 feet, then, ...they'd be our boots, on their necks, ...it was a metaphore, our radio control planes are the boots... And I vote we have no business doing so!
A vote for Clinton is a vote for doing this in my name, and in your name too! I Say To Hell with That! Clinton needs to fear a challenge from the left in the offing of her first mid-term election for her to pretend for one second, if she wins, that anything she does as president is for the benefit of the middle class and below.
VOTE GREEN: JILL STEIN
Laura Bonham strikes all the correct notes in her article here. Not only does she have the historical perspective that fully addresses the breadth and depth of what is before us, she also points to the best remedy while carefully warning against the half measures and divisive tactics that will be hurled against those wanting to take back our democracy. Move to Amend best addresses the path forward and the way out of the dark forest planted by the moneyed and corporate interests. All wanting to restore (and in truth to begin) real democracy, despite our varied personal issues and interests, and regardless of our political place on the spectrum. Kudos to you Laura for clearly dissecting where we presently are and the way out of the morass of issues that are rooted in one problem.
Bonham has laid out the correct historical perspective and future path if we are to create real democracy in this country. If we are to change our course, all--in spite of our political associations and our place on the political spectrum--should work with Move to Amend while working on our other pet issues. Our issues are cut from the same cloth, and we need to unite under Move to Amend's banner to form the needed fabric for democracy upon which our multi-colored pattern can be realized. Thank you Laura Bonham for clearly laying out our way forward.
The amendment language states:
Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]
The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.
Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]
Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.