Colorado Makes Bold Move To Curtail Corporate Influences

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In the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movements and the overhwhelming backlash against the "corportization of America" and the corruption of its political process, there may be some signs of actual change.

Boulder, Colorado adopted a resolution by a three-to-one margin, calling for the U.S. Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to say that corporations are not people and money is not speech, and 6 Senators introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Have corporations overplayed their hand - is the backlash now underway?

Here is the what the people of Boulder voted on. Speech from the ballot:

Shall the People of the City of Boulder, Colorado, call for reclaiming democracy from the corrupting effects of corporate influence by amending the United States Constitution to establish that: 1) Only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights; and 2) Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.


Posted by Hi on 2011-11-06 20:17:27
it's important to understand all the aspects of the Citizens United case.

First: The only thing that is allowed now, that was not allowed before, is that corporations are allowed too spend money to fund advertisements that do not specifically endorse a candidate or party within 30 days of the election. Direct donations to campaigns are still restricted as they were before.

Secondly: This decision was lawful, as US Code 1, Title 1 states "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise-- the words "person" and "whoever" include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals"

As a result of this, any decision the court makes regarding corporations will affect you, as well as Unions, not for profits, newspapers and any other association of people.

Because really, that's what a corporation is. It is an association of people with a common interest. I am not comfortable with any restriction of free speech that differentiates between different groups of people and how or what they can advocate.

There is also the point of contention that many people bring up claiming money should not constitute speech. I could not disagree more. The purchases I make, can be very representative of my worldview and philosophy. Should we not beware the danger of monopolization of choice, because it doesn't really matter since money isn't speech.

Regarding the outcome of the decision, I believe it is also important to examine alternatives. Ruling differently could have meant an absolute nightmare for companies like the New York Times, because they would have to take great care in writing their reviews of the news and canidates to make sure that nothing they included could be regarded as an endorsement of a particular position. Truthful and inquisitive reporting would be a lot harder to come by.

As it happens, the Citizens United decision represents a bit of a win for Unions. Previously the political power of Unions was concentrated in their ability to mobilize voters. Typically, this would involve paying members to go door to door. However, due to spending restrictions they could only knock on doors of Union members. That's ridiculous. Now, instead of skipping four out of every five houses, they can canvass entire neighbor hoods.

Finally, let me point out the Citizens United did not grant unlimited rights. In a subsequent decision, the Supreme Court drew a clear distinction between a person and personal/individual rights. Cheif Justice Roberts pointed out that “because ‘person; means one thing, [it doesn’t mean] ‘personal’ has to be the same relation.” In the case AT&T vs. FCC the court rebuked AT&T's desire for personal privacy protections regarding the release of embarrassing documents by the FCC.
Posted by sb on 2011-11-15 01:10:03
While you're proving how much more you know about the decision than anyone else, you miss the entire point of the article:

The decision was legal under existing law; members of the legislative body are considering changing the law to make it illegal. You do know about the three branches of government, and how they work?
Posted by John63 on 2011-11-29 05:38:08
From an earlier post...
"Because really, that's what a corporation is. It is an association of people with a common interest. I am not comfortable with any restriction of free speech that differentiates between different groups of people and how or what they can advocate."

I work for a corporation and purchase company stock, so I own a piece of the company. The common interest is to further the success and profitability of the business and that is IT. There are no other common interests. If my corporation pours money into commercials endorsing or attacking a candidate (MY money) and I completely disagree with the message, where is the "common interest"?

Unlimited, anonymous, misleading advertisements by corporations that are only interested in improving the bottom line (usually at the expense of powerless individuals) is a HORRIBLE idea.
Posted by Chris74 on 2012-02-28 12:45:53
Now that the City of Boulder has passed a resolution, those corrupt politicians will be trembling in their boots!
Posted by smilidon on 2013-07-26 02:01:50
@Hi's post pretty much summed it up. If you make legislation to limit a corporations right to free speech, because unless your living on a convent your money is the biggest exerciser of free speech you have, you also will place the same limitations on unions, media outlets, social groups, churches, Pacs, Super Pacs any pretty much anything or any group. An individual will be the only one with a voice and since they cannot pool together or they have their speech limited, then you'll have 40 million whispers trumped by the 1% who are legally allowed to spend their own money however they want.

You claim to rally against the 1% yet this act would give them more power then they could have ever imagined.


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