Friday, August 31, 2012

President Obama Calls for Overturning Citizens United

You may have heard the news. President Obama has called for a Constitutonal Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010.

This is good but is not what the national Move to Amend campaign is proposing as a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Move to Amend is calling for an amendment which says:

- Only human beings, not corporations, possess constitutional rights
- Money is not equivalent to speech and, therefore, campaign contributions and spending can be regulated.

Simply to overturn Citizens United would return us politically to January 20, 2010 — the day before the Supreme Court decision. Remember those "glorious" days?

- When banking corporations through lobbying, political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments  and re-writing regulations created financial conditions that resulted in a global financial implosion?
- When oil corporations through through lobbying, political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments  and re-writing regulations gutted environmental standards concerning drilling in the Gulf that resulted in one of the worst (and ongoing) environmental catastrophes in our nation's history
- When multinational corporations through lobbying, and political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments pushed through so-called "trade agreements" making it easier to ship jobs and factories overseas
- When dairy corporations could shield themselves through their right "not to speak" from disclosing genetically modified organisms in food?
- When major corporationss shielding by the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment could threaten to sue communities which had the audacity to give preferential treatment to local businesses over big box chains?
- When wealthy individuals through lobbying and political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments pushed through massive tax cuts for themselves, which has resulted in one of the major causes of the spike in the national debt over the last 10 years?
- When…the list goes on and on and on…

The inside-the-beltway nonprofits begin and end by focusing on overturning Citizens United. More and more people at the grassroots, however (more than 250,000 and counting), are focusing on Citizens United as simply the poster child for what has been so wrong with our democratic republic for generations — corporations and wealthy possess too much political power that drowns out the voices and inhibits the ability of the vast majority of people (of all political parties) to have an authentic voice in the shaping of public policy.

Move to Amend is part of a growing national movement for nonviolent political social change. We must be aware of efforts to coopt the movement or "bait and switch" efforts that profess one thing (i.e. ending all never intended constitutional rights) but propose only a partial solution (i.e. overturning Citizens United). We have to become educated, sophisticated and agitated to ensure that the considerable effort required to amendment is worth the while.

There are hundreds of communities which all ready have or are in the process of passing city council resolutions and or citizen initiatives calling for this more fundamental approach. I invite you all to join the cause.

Corporations are not people. Money is not speech. Move to Amend.


  1. Thanks Greg!

    Here's MTA National's response: