Interview with David Cobb Helps to Explain Move
In 2006, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County in Northern California wrote the first draft of legislation designed to ban non-local corporations' involvement in local elections. The target of the involvement was financial contributions. In a historic vote, the residents of Humboldt County passed the measure.
DUHC then became an educational organization. It has created programs and facilitated workshops intended to help other localities free themselves of corporate interference of local elections.
Yesterday, The Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the efforts and accomplishments of DUHC.
Once the Supreme Court's decision to give unlimited campaign contribution rights to corporations became official, DUHC launched a move to amend the Constitution to negate the court's decision.
DUHC released the following statement after the decision was announced:
Yet again the U.S. Supreme Court has sided with the ruling elite against the interests of the American people. Today in Citizens United vs. FEC they overturned the flimsy federal campaign finance reform laws afforded by the McCain-Feingold law. Corporations can now spend unlimited money in buying our elections. The Court has legalized corporate bribery of our elected officials.
So if you were already disgusted by the fact that over $5 billion dollars was spent in the 2008 election, watch out. Because the floodgates are now wide open!
And once again, the Court relied on the illegitimate legal doctrine of "Corporate Personhood" in order to justify this profoundly undemocratic decision.
Corporate personhood is the notion that a corporation can claim to be a person, and therefore is entitled to basic human rights also described as political and civil rights and have courts overturn laws.
As this decision clearly demonstrates, corporate personhood is not an inconsequential legal technicality. Consider this-- the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation was a "legal person" with 14th Amendment protectionsbeforethey granted full personhood to African-Americans, immigrants, natives, and women.
And literally hundreds of laws perhaps thousands of local, state and federal laws that attempt to protect our environment, our elections, our safety and health, our right to organize have been overturned as a result of this erroneous doctrine.
The world is being destroyed, the federal government is engaged in unending war, and we live in an unjust, unsustainable and undemocratic country.
It's time to take ourselves seriously-- both about what is at stake and what it will require to actually assume and democratically exercise real power. Wemustaddress the reality that the federal courts have made real democracy impossible.
It's time to follow the lead of the American Revolutionaries, the abolitionists, the suffragists, the trade unionists, and the Civil Rights activists and to build a broad-based, multi-partisan democracy movement in the United States.
It's time to amend the U.S. Constitution to make it clear that only human beings can claim to be persons with constitutional rights.