Our Government and Electoral Process Need to be Fixed!
Why are approval ratings for Congress, at just 9%, at the lowest levels ever recorded? Why does a plurality of Americans believe that most members of Congress are corrupt?
This is a truly universal issue that unites us all.
Today, rather than representing We the People, Congress represents those corporations that influence and control our legislators by spending as much money as they want to help political candidates win elections. We the People need to fix this.
The goal of Move to Amend is to fix this problem by passing an amendment to the Constitution that forces Congress to once again represent We the People.
Please join us in helping to get this amendment passed.
We all know that money is part of the problem. 75% of Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and 72% support limiting corporate spending on election campaigns. While we are a divided country, this is one issue that we all, Republicans and Democrats, Tea Partiers and Occupiers, agree on.
Why we need a Constitutional Amendment
Did you know that under U.S. law, a corporation is a person? In fact, according to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a corporation's right to free speech allows it to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections and legislation!
No wonder our government has been bought and paid for by the most powerful and unaccountable interests in human history!
We the People have an important opportunity to roll back the runaway train of corporate power and corruption that has effectively hijacked government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
We can fix what started right here in Santa Clara County in 1886—one key is to eliminate the notion of corporate personhood from any possible interpretation of the U.S. Constitution for now and forever.
The other key is explicitly eliminating the doctrine that spending money is equivalent to exercising free speech.
It All Started Here
In 1885, the great Southern Pacific Railroad Company decided that it preferred not to pay property tax on certain fences along its lines to the county of Santa Clara, California (yes, that's us!). When the county tried to collect that tax, the railway sued, and the case found its way into the Supreme Court in 1886.
The railway claimed that the county was treating the railway differently from natural persons with regard to that tax. In short, Santa Clara County supposedly violated the railroad's right as a person to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
That claim was struck down in the court's written opinion, but the court's clerk wrote corporate personhood into the decision's headnote. Now, a headnote carries no legal weight, yet that 1886 headnote encouraged later courts to declare that corporations are persons, and are entitled to personhood rights, under nearly every provision of the constitution. The Roberts Supreme Court even cited the Santa Clara case in its Citizens United decision!
Want to know more? The whole story is in Jeffrey Clements' book Corporations are not Persons, Thom Hartmann's book Unequal Protection, and Ted Nace's book Gangs of America.
The Citizens United v. FEC Case
Almost two years ago, in January, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that because of their rights as people, under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, corporations could not be denied their first Amendment rights to free speech. In particular, the court ruled that barring political spending is equivalent to suppressing free speech, and so corporations could not be prevented from spending unlimited amounts of money to influence any and all elections.
Here's a short movie that describes the history and impact of corporate personhood in a humorous, but accurate way. Watch it more than once -- the story comes pretty thick and fast!