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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/13/12

A clarion call for renewal of democracy

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This article cross-posted from The Capitol Times


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Vermonters went to their town meetings last week to settle questions about dump fees, snowplowing contracts and utility meters.

They also decided to take on the corrupt campaign system that is steering the republic toward catastrophe.

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And they have done so in a voice loud enough to be heard all the way to Washington.

By Thursday morning, 64 towns had moved to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling -- as well as the false construct that says, in the words of Mitt Romney, "Corporations are people, my friend."

"The resounding results will send a strong message that corporations and billionaires should not be allowed to buy candidates and elections with unlimited, undisclosed spending on political campaigns," declared U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

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Vermonters are not the first Americans to move to amend. Referendums have already passed in Madison and Dane County. Cities across the country, including Los Angeles, have urged Congress to begin the amendment process. State legislatures in Hawaii and New Mexico have too. (State Reps. Mark Pocan and Chris Taylor are proposing that Wisconsin join the call.)

But what has happened in Vermont is remarkable. Town meetings endorsed what once seemed a radical response.

It is not just liberals who are saying corporations are not people.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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