Our Blog

Jeff Clements at Orion magazine blog: "Louder Than a Dollar"

Our co-founder and President, Jeff Clements, wrote the following on Orion magazine's blog, including a touching tribute to the recently deceased Executive Director at the Rainforest Action Network, Becky Tarbotton.

Louder Than a Dollar
January 11, 2013, by Jeff Clements

Here’s a number from the November elections: 0.5.

That’s not a victory margin; it’s a measure of how bad things have gotten in our democracy.

Calling on President Obama to support a Constitutional Amendment in his State of the Union address.

We've just launched a petition on the White House's official petition site asking President Obama to include a call for a constitutional amendment in his State of the Union address, which is coming up in just a couple of weeks.

Click here to sign the petition: http://wh.gov/P9j7

Here's the language:

We petition the Obama administration to:

Use the State of the Union to call for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics.

Using a corporate "person" to qualify for the carpool lane.

Here's a novel twist on the notion that corporations are people: a man in California is arguing in court that corporate papers in his car should count as a human passenger, qualifying him to drive in the carpool lane.

U.S. News / NBC News has the story. Here's an excerpt:

California man says he can drive in carpool lane with corporation papers

By Isolde Raftery, NBC News

State Comptroller Sues Qualcomm for Data on Its Political Contributions

Nicholas Confessore

New York Times

January 3, 2013

 

The New York State comptroller, seeking to force greater public disclosure of corporate political spending, has sued Qualcomm, demanding to view internal records of political expenditures by the company, one of the country’s largest makers of computer chips for mobile devices.

John Bonifaz: The Face of Democracy 2013

Joanne Boyer

Wisdom Voices

January 1, 2013

 

Excerpt: 

NY Times compares NRA carrying water for gun makers to corporate claims of constitutional rights.

The New York Times has an editorial today castigating the National Rifle Association for doing the bidding of gun manufacturing companies, rather than its members. It cites NRA members' support for background checks before sales are made at gun shows, which the NRA has opposed, as an example.

The editorial also appropriately places the gun makers' efforts to sell more of their product, without regard to public preferences or safety, in the context of the fight we're leading to end the fiction that corporations have constitutional rights:

Legal Ethics Forum and The Nation look at the National Rifle Association's corporate ties & outside political spending

People are starting to take a close, critical look at the National Rifle Association, in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT on Friday.

The website Legal Ethics Forum points out some salient statistices from OpenSecrets.org:

First Amendment Political Speech, the Second Amendment and the Best Gun Laws Money Can Buy

US Court to Big Pharma: "Make any claim you like."

In America, we have the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) to ensure that the food we buy is safe to eat, and that drugs do for our health what their makers say they do.

A U.S. Court recently tossed much of that premise out the window, saying pharmaceutical companies and their employees can not be prevented from making claims about health effects that are un-verified by the F.D.A. In effect, the decision gives drug makers the green light to make up any claim they please, to make the sale.

Robert Reich: Why billionaires will still pour millions into politics

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has an excellent piece in the Christian Science Monitor today dispelling the myth that big money was beaten for good in the last election.

I keep hearing that the billionaires and big corporations that poured all that money into the 2012 election learned their lesson. They lost their shirts and won’t do it again.

Don’t believe that for an instant...

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lee Samuel's defense of U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson: American Democracy Is Not for Sale

Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia has recently come under attack in certain blogs for speaking up for the truth that corporations are not people and do not have the same constitutional rights as people.

Rev. Dr. Samuel has written a spirited defense of Congressman Johnson in the Huffington Post. Here's an excerpt:

It's not every day that our political leaders truly do the right thing.