Free Speech for People moves forward in Washington State
At my urging, Senator Jacobsen has introduced a Senate Joint Memorial asking for Congress to submit to the states a Federal Constitutional Amendment limiting the political activities of Corporations. The bill has been sent to the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee, where Darlene Fairley from your district is the chair. Can I get your help to push this through committee AS FAST AS POSSIBLE before first cutoff goes by and we miss the opportunity for this year?
Please read the bill as submitted. As you can see, this is one of the most critical issues that we have ever dealt with in this country in over 230 years. This is literally a “Drop Everything” moment. I’m not joking. Specific actions to take are below the text of the bill.
SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8027
State of Washington 61st Legislature 2010 Regular Session
By Senator Jacobsen
TO THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The First Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations; and
WHEREAS, For the past three decades, a divided United States Supreme Court has misinterpreted the First Amendment favoring the corporations’ agenda over the people’s voice; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC overturned longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from freely spending their general treasury funds for purposes of electioneering communications or direct contributions to candidates for public office; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC will now permit unprecedented spending of corporate money in our political process unrivaled by any campaign expenditure totals in United States history; and
WHEREAS, An individual can use his or her money to speak on his or her singular behalf, the money corporations use to speak belongs to its shareholders, who presumably come from disparate political ideologies; and
WHEREAS, It took over one million individual donors to raise about seven hundred fifty million dollars for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Seven hundred fifty million dollars is approximately five percent of ExxonMobil’s third quarter profits in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Seven hundred fifty million dollars is approximately five percent of Bank of America’s profits in 2007; and
WHEREAS, Seven hundred fifty million dollars is approximately 18 percent of Bank of America’s profits in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Seven hundred fifty million dollars is approximately 37.5 percent of Goldman Sachs’s first quarter profits in 2009; and
WHEREAS, Seven hundred fifty million dollars is approximately 18 percent of JPMorgan Chase’s third quarter profits in 2009; and
WHEREAS, Seven hundred fifty million dollars is approximately 25 percent of Ford’s profits in 2009; and
WHEREAS, Seven hundred fifty million dollars is approximately five percent of Philip Morris’s profits in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Individual shareholders will now be inextricably absorbed into the corporation’s powerful political action, regardless of their individual political beliefs and affiliations; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC threatens to dilute an individual’s power as a voting citizen and compromise the democratic process; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC presents a serious and direct threat to our democracy;
WHEREAS, The people of the United States have previously used the constitutional amendment process to correct those egregiously wrong decisions of the United States Supreme Court that go to the heart of our democracy and self-government;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memoralists respectfully pray that Congress, in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States, immediately transmit to the several states for ratification an amendment to the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution so that corporations will not be considered as persons for the purposes of electioneering communications or direct contributions to candidates for public office.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
So how do we push this through? The bill is currently in the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee. Here are the members:
|Fairley, Darlene (D-32) Chair||JAC 227||(360) 786-7662|
|Oemig, Eric (D-45) Vice Chair||LEG 416||(360) 786-7672|
|Roach, Pam (R-31) Ranking||INB 202||(360) 786-7660|
|Benton, Don (R-17)||INB 109B||(360) 786-7632|
|McDermott, Joe (D-34)||JAC 230||(360) 786-7667|
|Pridemore, Craig (D-49)||JAC 212||(360) 786-7696|
|Swecker, Dan (R-20)||INB 103||(360) 786-7638|
Government Operations & Elections
439 J.A. Cherberg Bldg., P.O. Box 40466, Olympia, WA 98504-0466
Telephone: 360-786-7432 / Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000
If you live in one of the districts represented above, please contact your Senators office directly and ask them to co-sponsor and support the bill. Then we need EVERYONE to call the committee office itself and ask that SJM 8027 be put on the hearings schedule as soon as possible so it can then be scheduled for a vote in committee. The first cutoff, where all bills must be out of the first committee, is tomorrow, February 5th. So this is a drop everything moment to get this done. The Senate and House leadership could choose to waive the cutoff rules, but that’s not a sure bet. Let’s do the work.