Ruling Opens Floodgates to Corporate Spending and Strikes Another Nail in the Democracy Coffin
URGENT CALL TO ACTION FROM HOWARD ZINN, THOM HARTMANN, MEDEA BENJAMIN, FRAN & DAVID KORTEN, BILL MCKIBBEN, BILL FLETCHER, JIM HIGHTOWER, TOM HAYDEN, REV. YEARWOOD, & MORE . . .
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 to 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
Corporate personhood is the notion that a corporation can claim to be a person, and therefore 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 protections before they 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. We must address 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!
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:
* Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.
Are you with us?
Adrienne Maree Brown, Ruckus Society
Alec Loorz, Kids vs Global Warming
Andrew Kimbrell, International Center for Technology Assessment
Andy Gussert, National Trade Activist
Anne Feeney, musician
Baldemar Velasquez, President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee
Ben Manski, attorney, Exec. Director, Liberty Tree
Benno Friedman, photographer
Benson Scotch, former Staff Counsel to Sen. Leahy, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
Bill Fletcher, Exec. Editor, BlackCommentator.com
Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org
Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign
Brad Friedman, Publisher, The BRAD BLOG
Brad Thacker, Be The Change USA
Brett Bursey, Exec. Director, South Carolina Progressive Network
Brett Kimberlin, Director, Justice Through Music
Brian McLaren, Christian activist & author
Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Carl Davidson, Progressive America Rising
Carolyn Oppenheim, Shays 2
Charlie Cray, Center for Corporate Policy
Chris Kromm, Executive Director, Institute for Southern Studies
Dal LaMagna, founder, Tweezerman, Inc.
Dave Wells, formerly Board of Directors, Sierra Club
David Cobb, initiator of 2004 Ohio Recount
David Gespass, president, National Lawyers Guild
David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World
David Rovics, musician
David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org
David Wells, Jr., Nashville Urban Harvest
Dean Myerson, Executive Director, Green Institute
Deborah Mokma, Publisher of Sentient Times
Diane Wittner & Margaret Flowers, Chesapeake Citizens
Dr. Jill Stein, candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Ed Garvey, attorney at law, editor, FightingBob.com
Emily Levy, Velvet Revolution
Fran Korten, Editor, YES! Magazine
Frank Arundel, activist
Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action
George Friday, National Coordinator, IPPN
George Martin, United for Peace & Justice
Georgia Kelly, Praxis Peace Institute
Glen Ford, Executive Editor, BlackAgendaReport.com
Greg Coleridge, NE OH American Friends Service Committee
Howard Zinn, historian
Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation
James Gustave Speth, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos
Jan Edwards, writer
Jane Anne Morris, author, Gaveling Down The Rabble
Jeff Cohen, founder, FAIR
Jeff Milchen, founder, ReclaimDemocracy.org
Jeffrey Short, Ph.D., Pacific Science Director, OCEANA
Jerome Scott, League of Revolutionaries for a New America
Jill Bussiere & Sanda Everette, Co-Chairs, Green Party of the U.S.
James M. Cullen, editor of The Progressive Populist
Jim Hightower, author, columnist, and radio commentator
Joan Russow, PhD Global Compliance Research Project
Joel Bleifuss, Editor & Publisher, In These Times
John E. Peck, Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders
John Nichols, Washington Correspondent, The Nation
John Rensenbrink, President, Green Horizon Foundation
John Stauber, author, Weapons of Mass Deception
Jonathan Frieman, Co-founder, Center for Corporate Policy
Jonathan Tasini, candidate, U.S. Senate, NY
Josh Healey, Youth Speaks
Josh Lerner, The New School for Social Research
Josh Silver, Executive Director, Free Press
Judith Pedersen-Benn, Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
Kai Huschke, Envision Spokane
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County
Karen Dolan, Cities for Progress
Katherine Forrest, MD; Co-Founder, Commonweal Institute
Ken Reiner, inventor and founder, Kaynar Corp.
Kevin Danaher, Executive Co-Producer, Green Festivals
Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, TrueVote.US
Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), Bring the Guard Home! It's the Law.
Lewis Pitts, Lawyer, Legal Aid of NC
Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy
Lori Price, Managing Editor, Citizens for Legitimate Government
Luis A. Cuevas, National Director, Progressive Push
Makani Themba-Nixon, Executive Director, The Praxis Project
Margo Baldwin, Publisher, Chelsea Green
Mark Crispin Miller, author, Fooled Again
Mary Zepernick, Program on Corporations Law and Democracy
Marybeth Gardam, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Matt Nelson, Just Cause
Matt Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive
Maya Schenwar & Matt Renner, Truthout
Medea Benjamin, co-founder, Code Pink
Michael Albert, Z Communications
Michael Bonnano, OpEdNews
Michael Marx, Corporate Ethics International
Michael Shuman, attorney, economic, author of "The Small-Mart Revolution"
Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace
Mike McCabe, Executive Director, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Mimi Kennedy, actress, activist
Miriam Simos, Starhawk, activist and writer
Nancy Price, co-chair, Alliance for Democracy
Nick Pavloff, Jr., Gulf of Alaska Aleut from Kodiak Island
Norman Solomon, author, co-chair, Healthcare Not Warfare campaign
Patrick Reinsborough, SmartMeme
Paul Saginaw, founder, Zingerman's, Inc.
Prof. Peter Gabel, School of Law, New College of California
Prof. Victor Wallis, Managing Editor, Socialism & Democracy
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Rabbi Michael Lerner
Rep. Michael Fisher, House of Representatives, Vermont
Rev. Edward Pinkney, Black Autonomy Network Community Organization
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President, Hip Hop Caucus
Richard Mazess, Prof. Medical Physics, UW-Madison, CEO of Lunar Corp & Bone Care Intl.
Riki Ott, Executive Director, Ultimate Civics
Robert McChesney, professor, co-author, The Death and Life of American Journalism
Ronnie Cummins, founder, Grassroots Netroots Alliance
Sally Castleman, Election Defense Alliance
Sam Smith, Editor, Progressive Review
Sarah Manski, CEO, PosiPair.com
Shahid Buttar, Rule of Law Institute
Ted Glick, climate change activist
Ted Nace, author, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power
Theo Yang Copey, activist
Thom Hartmann, nation's #1 nationally syndicated progressive talk show host
Tia Oros & Christopher Peters, Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development
Tiffiniy Cheng, Executive Director, A New Way Forward
Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America
Tom Hayden, activist
Ward Morehouse, chair, National Lawyers Guild's Committee on Corporations
* organizations listed for identification purposes only