Democracy Amendment Ballot Question (#4) wins big!!

79% of Voters in Swampscott agreed: We need to Seek an Amendment to the Constitution to address 'Corporate Personhood" and to assure We Can Regulate Spending in our Elections.

Voters in just under half of Massachusetts towns considered the Democracy Amendment ballot question supporting a constitutional amendment to overturn federal court decisions that give rights of persons to Corporations. The most recent is the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 decision that said corporations and the wealthy can spend unlimited amounts to influence elections, and earlier court decisions that have given corporations constitutional rights.

As of today, voters in 30 state representative districts and 6 senatorial districts in MA have approved the measure by 79%.  In 8th Essex, the overall number was 75% positive, with Lynn, 75%, Swampscott, 79%, and Marblehead, 77%.  In Salem, 76% of voters supported a call for the Democracy Amendment.

The question called on Congress to send an amendment to the states stated that: 

"(1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and (2) both Congress and the States may place limits on political contributions and political spending"

“It is common sense to most people that corporations are powerful artificial entities that are not entitled to the constitutional protections granted to individual citizens in the Bill of Rights,” said Lee Ketelsen, spokesperson for Move to Amend. “We have spoken: The free speech rights of citizens must not be drowned out by a flood of political spending by just a few wealthy individuals or corporations.”

“With today’s vote, the people of Massachusetts have sent a strong message to our elected leaders to get to work on a constitutional amendment that restores a government of, by and for the people, not of, by, and for the corporations. We plan to build on this success by getting even more jurisdictions on record in support and continuing to press Congress to act,” concluded Pam Wilmot of Common Cause. 

Voters in Colorado, Montana, Chicago, San Francisco, and smaller cities including Eugene, Oregon, Ashland, Oregon, and Richmond, California, also overwhelmingly approved ballot measures calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United

"It is our hope that this will provide energy for us to proceed and obtain an amendment that will return control of our democracy to the people," said Kathy Lique of North Shore Move to Amend.

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hammergjh November 11, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Yeah, "Citizens United" worked out great for Rove and company. 400 million dollars spent and they have absolutely nothing to show for it. Don't really think Rove's monied minions will be so easily duped next time around.
Lenny November 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Well I think that is the point hammergjh. All the money from the Soros PAC and other PACs supporting democrats and Rove's PAC and other PACs supporting Republicans spent 2 billion dollars and delivered the status quo. A democrat in the White House and a House controlled by Boehner. The Citizens United ruling did not have the effect some people feared, but instead removed complicated, Rube Goldberg like collection of rules nearly impossible to manage, and restrictive of free speech for certain people.
Kathy Lique November 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM
The reason we are pursuing an amendment is that this cannot be corrected by the Congress. However, it CAN be corrected by the people. The people's vote still counts more than the Supreme Court.
Kathy Lique November 12, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Lenny, To your second comment, we can define what is a person. The courts have given certain HUMAN rights to corporations, but that does not have to stand. This election demonstrated, that you can't buy an election with your wallet against a less funded opponent working a smart ground game, but you can still buy the obligation of a politician, who won, using your money. This means that corporations and the wealthy can buy and run our country at which point we are no longer a democracy. I feel that that would be a great loss. Kathy
Lenny November 12, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Kathy, you are correct that you can buy a politician, but that can be done with or without your proposed amendment. Politicians have been bought with free plane rides to the Bahamas, a few hundred dollars stuffed into a bra, and free construction of an addition to their homes. Chris Dodd was bought by CountryWide through a lower than market rate loan. There is just no way you can stop such behavior by attempting to limit free speech which is what the Supreme Court recognized in its decision. Only a jail cell can accomplish a curtailment of such behavior. But hey, you are correct that you can change a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of a law by changing the constitution through the amendment process. But it was a process that was purposely made difficult so that a majority cannot so easily inflict its will against a minority. However it is not to say that I don't admire your pluck in trying to do so, even if I disagree with the change you seek. I think getting 2/3rds of both houses of Congress and 3/4ths of all state legislatures is a mighty tall order. The last one, the 27th, was passed 20 years ago in 1992, and that one took 203 years to pass! So, I guess all I can say is Good luck.


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