Berkeley, Ca., April 27, 2010 — On Tuesday evening Berkeley’s mayor and City Council voted by unanimous consent to call for amending the U.S. and California constitutions to declare that corporations are not entitled to the rights of persons and that corporate money is not free speech and to request that other communities take a similar stand. The Peace and Justice Commission prepared this Democracy Resolution in anticipation that corporate spending in elections will increase due to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Federal Elections Commission in the Citizens United case.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations. Guests: John Bonifaz – Director, Free Speech for People, Pam Wilmot – Director, Common Cause Massachusetts, and Senator Jamie Eldridge discuss the recent Supreme Court decision Citizens United v FEC that may have the most deleterious effect on democracy in our lifetime, weakening campaign finance laws and expanding the power of corporations. A fascinating discussion of possible legislation and a constitutional amendment are also included as avenues to protect the voice of people in their own government.
No matter what the topic, corporate money is the culprit. Here’s Harvey Wasserman speaking last night on the upcoming climate bill. He lists five things we need to do and the first is to undo corporate money in politics:
Proposing the `Doris `Granny D’ Haddock Amendment of 2010′ to the Constitution of the United States regarding the authority of Congress and the States to regulate the spending and activities… (Introduced in House)
At the 10:22 point in this video, GRIT tv host Laura Flanders takes up the topic of the Supreme Court, corporate power, and the "Citizens United" ruling. Guest John Bonifaz, the director of Free Speech for People discusses the results we’re already seeing from that ruling, how it impacts corporations, unions, and real flesh-and-blood people, (including how it has already impacted our thinking) and what needs to be done.