Udall Amendment SJR19 is Seriously Flawed

SJR19 is a weak half measure! We need to abolish corporate constitutional rights. This is an historic opportunity to repair our Constitution and we will only have one chance to get it right. The Constitution originally established the hierarchy: We the People –> Government –> Corporations. What we have now is Corporations –> Government –> We the People. It’s no wonder everyone hates the government and thinks the country is on the wrong track. We have nothing against corporations, but with the help of the Supreme Court, the financial elites and the huge transnational corporations have taken control of our country. Not only do they control the purse strings for most of our politicians, they are using their rights as “people” to:

  • Refuse disclosure of what’s in their products.
  • Freely advertise harmful products.
  • Pollute our air and water while avoiding government inspections.
  • Force chain stores into locations where communities don’t want them.
  • Avoid subpoenas for price fixing or unlawful trade.
  • Refuse birth-control to employees, based on the company’s religious rights.

Corporations are supposed to have privileges, not human rights. The legal framework for this still exists, so abolishing corporate constitutional rights would not be a difficult transition. For more background on these topics, please read:

SJR19 makes a weak attempt to address the campaign finance aspects of today’s problems, but we need to put our Constitution back to what our Founder’s intended. Fortunately, on June 18th, another step in the right direction was taken by a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here is the improved language. But it still falls short of what is needed. Move To Amend cannot support an amendment that doesn’t end corporate constitutional rights and makes explicit that money is not speech. This proposed language permits regulation of these issues but doesn’t require it.

We would like to see the Senate adopt more definitive language, like that found in the Move To Amend “We the People” amendment, HJR29, which was introduced last year in the House by Mark Pocan and Rick Nolan. In addition, we would like the Senate to introduce our HJR29 amendment into the next session of Congress.

Thirteen Communities Vote for Constitutional Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: wisconsin@movetoamend.org

Thirteen Communities Vote for Constitutional Amendment

Madison, WI (April 1, 2014) – On Tuesday, April 1, 13 communities voted in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to make clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech. These two ideas were the basis of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates to big money in elections.

All 13 referenda passed with solid majorities: Waukesha (69%), Wauwatosa (64%), Whitefish Bay (65%), Shorewood (76%), Waunakee (79%), Edgerton (87%), Lake Mills (73%), Elkhorn (69%), Delavan (76%), Belleville (85%), De Forest (70%), Windsor (71%) and Waterloo (61%). This brings the total number of communities in Wisconsin that have called for an amendment to 41. In the country as a whole, 16 state legislatures have voted for an amendment, as well as over 500 towns, cities and other organizations.

“An amendment saying that corporations aren’t people, money isn’t speech, and political expenditures can be regulated is common sense,” said Scott Trindl of Waukesha, “I think our founding fathers would agree.”

Polls have shown widespread disapproval of Citizens United among Democrats, Independents and Republicans, and strong support for an amendment to reverse it.

“The citizens of Edgerton know the difference between corporations and humans and the difference between money and speech,” said Margie Jessup, a Move to Amend volunteer in Edgerton. “Anyone who works for a living and get paid with a speech could tell you what the difference is.”

“The call for an amendment grows stronger with every passing election,” said George Penn, Volunteer Coordinator for South Central Wisconsin Move to Amend (SCWMTA). “People are not happy with the current system. It’s time to reverse the Citizens United decision, and to limit the influence of money in politics.”

For more information:

Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll on campaign spending limits (see page 21):
http://ap-gfkpoll.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/AP-NCC-Poll-August-GfK-2012-Topline-FINAL_1st-release.pdf

Half in U.S. Support Publicly Financed Federal Campaigns and 79% of Americans Would Limit Campaign Fundraising:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/163208/half-support-publicly-financed-federal-campaigns.aspx

Total Outside Spending by Election Cycle:
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/reports/citizens_united.php

South Central Wisconsin United to Amend:
https://wiuta.org/scwuta

Wisconsin United to Amend:
https://wiuta.org/

Wisconsin communities (before April 1) that have passed Amendment resolutions and referendums:
https://wiuta.org/resources/wisconsin-ready-to-amend/

Photo:
https://wiuta.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Wauwatosa-April-1st.jpg

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Thirteen Communities To Vote on Citizens United April 1st

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jim Crist, 608-274-6201 / 608-213-3201

Thirteen Communities Vote For Democracy on April 1st

Madison, WI (March 31, 2014) – On Tuesday, April 1, Wisconsin residents in 13 communities will vote on whether to amend the U.S. Constitution to make clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

Voters will cast ballots in Waukesha, Wauwatosa, Whitefish Bay, Shorewood, Waunakee, Edgerton, Lake Mills, Elkhorn, Delavan, Belleville, De Forest, Waterloo and Windsor.

If all vote in favor, this will bring to 41 the number of Wisconsin communities and governmental bodies that have called for an amendment. Nationwide, 16 state legislatures have done likewise, as have over 500 towns, cities and other organizations.

The language of the amendment would effectively reverse Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling.

“I was, and am, appalled by that decision,” said Jim Crist, board member of Wisconsin United to Amend (WIUTA). “Moneyed interests were already distorting our representative democracy, but that decision triggered unprecedented spending by special interests.”

Polls consistently show widespread disapproval of Citizens United among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. Politicians from both major parties have called for reforms.

“I always thought that businesses did not have a significant voice and that their voices should be heard in the public square,” said Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) during a recent public forum. “Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think businesses would buy the public square.”

Schultz has decided not to run for re-election. “We are awash in money because of Citizens United,” he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “and it puts good people in both parties in a difficult situation.”

Over a century ago, another Republican and Wisconsin’s most celebrated progressive, Robert M. La Follette, spoke out against corruption wrought by the ‘concessions and privileges’ accorded to corporations by legislators. His question posed in an 1897 speech resonates today.

“Why,” said La Follette, “in a government where the people are sovereign, why are these things tolerated?”

For more information:
Associated Press-National Constitution Center poll on campaign spending limits:
http://ap-gfkpoll.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/AP-NCC-Poll-August-GfK-2012-Topline-FINAL_1st-release.pdf

Total Outside Spending by Election Cycle:
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/reports/citizens_united.php

South Central Wisconsin Move to Amend:
http://scwmta.org/

Wisconsin United to Amend:
https://wiuta.org/

Wisconsin communities (before April 1) that have passed Amendment resolutions and referendums:
https://wiuta.org/resources/wisconsin-ready-to-amend/

Photo:
https://wiuta.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Wauwatosa-April-1st.jpg

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