I am forwarding a copy of a petition sent to me and other signatories, urging (insisting) that the Supreme Court reverse their so called "Citizens United" law, which makes it possible for corporations to contribute to political campaigns as though they were individual human beings, instead of entities in perpetuity.
Below is my cover letter, the link to the petition, and an article from the online publication, Reader Supported News. Read it, sign the petition, pass it on to all your contacts. The rights you save will be your own:
2012 is the first presidential election year since Citizen United. So for the first time, Exxon, the Koch brothers, and all of Wall Street
can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our democracy during a presidential election.
Because the limitless spending has been protected by Supreme Court, the only way we can stop it is by amending the Constitution to both reverse Citizens United and get big money out of politics for good.
The Citizens United law has to be reversed. For anyone to try to equate a corporation which exists in perpetuity, with that of human beings, who are finite, having a short lifespan, is an egregious affront to our intelligence, and shows a total disregard to American citizens. It must be repealed.
The reasoning behind such an edict is a clear political attempt to usurp the rights we have so long fought and died for. It also calls into question the motives and the agenda of anyone, or any body, that would sanction such a concept. As human beings, as Americans, as the people by, for, and whom this country was fashioned, I strongly urge you to sign the petition and pass it on to all of your friends, relatives, acquaintances - this has to go viral across the board - Facebook, Twitter, etc. - NOW.
Any elected official, who does not work for the reversal of this affront to our liberties, should either be defeated in the nearest upcoming election, or re-called and replaced; for they clearly do not represent the welfare of the people of the United States.
In the face of this affront Americans must resolve and declare that money doesn't vote, people do! So where ever and whenever you see the backing of large corporate conglomerates, make it your business to not support that candidate. Particularly if they stand for big pharma, and other entities that would circumvent our rights to a decent, affordable standard of living, and full employment. For he will have already been bought and paid for, and not have your best interest in mind - but that of the corporation who clearly already owns him.
Thus far, 22 states, including New York, have stepped up to argue for limits on corporate campaign spending. It takes 38 states to pass a constitutional amendment. Only 34 state legislatures are required to call a convention for proposing amendments.
Remember, dollars don't vote - people do. Sign the petition and pass it on so that it can be sent forward urging every state legislator, governor, and member of congress to declare their support for a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations aren't people and permanently get big money out of politics. Join me by clicking on or cutting and pasting the link below into your browser!
Stay Blessed &
States Unite Against Citizens United
By Matt Gouras, Associated Press 20 May 12
The Supreme Court is being asked to reverse a state court's decision to uphold a Montana law, which restricts corporate campaign spending. (photo: Adbusters)
Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are backing Montana in its fight to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending.
The states led by New York are asking the high court to preserve Montana's state-level regulations on corporate political expenditures, according to a copy of a brief written by New York's attorney general's office and obtained by The Associated Press. The brief will be publicly released Monday.
The Supreme Court is being asked to reverse a state court's decision to uphold the Montana law. Virginia-based American Tradition Partnership is asking the nation's high court to rule without a hearing because the group says the state law conflicts directly with the Citizens United decision that removed the federal ban on corporate campaign spending.
The Supreme Court has blocked the Montana law until it can look at the case.
The Montana case has prompted critics to hope the court will reverse itself on the controversial Citizens United ruling. The 22 states and D.C. say the Montana law is sharply different from the federal issues in the Citizens United case, so the ruling shouldn't apply to Montana's or other state laws regulating corporate campaign spending.
But the states also said they would support a Supreme Court decision to reconsider portions of the Citizens United ruling either in a future case or in the Montana case, if the justices decide to take it on.
Legal observers say don't count on the Supreme Court reconsidering its decision.
"It is highly unlikely that the Court would reverse its decision in Citizens United," said law professor Richard L. Hasen of the University of California-Irvine.
At best, the court would listen to arguments and might agree a clarification is needed to allow the Montana law to stand. But even that is a long shot, Hasen said.
Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock argues that political corruption in the Copper King era led to the state ban on corporate campaign spending. A clarification of Citizens United is needed to make clear that states can block certain political spending in the interest of limiting corruption, he said.
American Tradition Partnership argues that the state bans unfairly restrict the ability of corporations to engage in the political process that also affects them.
Bullock wrote in a brief to be released Monday that the state does not "ban" corporate political speech, rather, it regulates that speech by requiring the formation of political action committees.
The Democrat, who is running for governor, said the upstart political corporations hoping to take advantage of unfettered spending are merely "an anonymous conduit of unaccountable campaign spending."
Montana and the other states are asking the court to either let the Montana Supreme Court decision stand or to hold a full hearing. They argue laws like the one in Montana that bans political spending straight from corporate treasuries are needed to prevent corruption.
The other states, many with their own type of restrictions hanging in the balance, argue local restrictions are far different than the federal ban the court decided unconstitutionally restricted free speech. Further, state elections are at much greater risk than federal elections of being dominated by corporate money, requiring tailored regulation, the states' court filing says.
"The federal law struck down in Citizens United applied only to elections for President and U.S. Congress," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote on behalf of the states.
"By contrast, Montana's law applies to a wide range of state and local offices, including judgeships and law enforcement positions such as sheriff and county prosecutor."
The joining states, unlike Montana, ask the court to go further and reconsider core findings in Citizens United. They argue, for instance, it was wrong for the court to say unlimited independent expenditures rarely cause corruption or the appearance of corruption.
And other critics of the Citizens United decision who believe the court was wrong to grant corporations constitutional rights, have intervened and asked the court to reverse itself.
"There is a growing bipartisan consensus that Citizens United needs to be overturned, and Montana is leading the way," said Peter Schurman, spokesman for a group called Free Speech For People. "The Supreme Court has an opportunity to revisit Citizens United here. That is important because there is evidence everywhere that unlimited spending in our elections creates both corruption and the appearance for corruption."
If you agree, click on or cut and paste the link below:
On Friday, Montana's case was given a boost when U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-D-R.I., signed on in support. The senators argue evidence following the Citizens United decision, where millions in unregulated money has poured into presidential elections, shows that large independent expenditures can lead to corruption.
The states who filed the brief in support of Montana are New York, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Many Americans are wondering what age and decade we're living in. It's hard to believe that the Supreme Court has been so consistently wrong in their decisions over the past 20 years:
Some of the comments following this article, show that Americans are not closing their eyes to the threat this ruling imposes: Per one statement: "It is wrong for the court to say unlimited independent expenditures rarely cause corruption or the appearance of corruption. The Supreme Court is completely divorced from reality!"
Another statement: This is a test of whether we have a democracy or a plutocracy. Are you kidding. since bush vs gore democracy in the USA is history. "
Another comment stated: "Under current "Citizens United" superpac rules, ANY foreign country can either hook up with a quasi-legitimate U S corporation OR form a bogus corporation ... in both cases for the purpose of pouring unlimited funds into our presidential elections. Do we REALLY want Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Israel ... or any other foreign countries monkeying around in our political machinations? For that matter, what sane American wants to give Corporate America such an inordinately unfair electoral advantage over We The People? Citizens United has transformed our previously democratic (sic) election process into a bona fide cluster-f**k in which---this year--- $10 billion dollars will be "invested" by person or persons unknown and for reasons known only to themselves!"
Still another reader stated: "The us supreme court justices are not divorced from reality. they know who is paying. and how much they're making."
Again, the rights you save will be your own: click on or cut and paste the link below:
"Let us remember the lesson of Bush v. Gore: once the Supreme Court veers, it is all but impossible to get it back on track. We should have thus learned that our Supreme Court can and likely has or will gut and destroy our nation. But in Citizens United the Court (5/9 thereof) upended nearly a century of prior actions -- no "stare` decisis" for those 5. It backtracks when it's "reached" by interests other than the parties of record in a case."
"Citizens United is the best Supreme Court ruling money could buy. The justices will not prosper while sitting, but think they will ever go wanting for something down retirement road? Or their families or however else money can be funneled to them? Now just imagine a President Romney nominating either one or two new justices to the court. This is one of the most frightening possible futures in American history. One or two more Scalias or Thomases and Citizens United will seem tame by comparison to the bizarre rulings capable of coming out of that potential court. For the sake of this country's future as a Republic and a Democracy of and for the people (minus Citizens United), President Obama must be reelected in November."
More to the point were comments made by this reader in regards to the Citizens United issue: "Just recently I heard a mouthpiece for the WSJ opine that Citizens United gives corporations the opportunity to compete with “big union” money. Forget that even prior to CU, corporations outspent unions 20-1 on political campaigns and lobbying. Now they’ll outspend labor even more.
Unions offer their members the right to “opt out” of having any portion of their dues used for political campaigns. (Only a tiny, tiny fraction do so. It seems all the bellyaching about union dues comes from anti-union, non-union crowd.)
Here is a question the righties need to be asked: Why isn’t Main Street afforded the opportunity to “opt out” of any portion of any payment they pay for their mortgage, auto, gas, health care, clothing, energy, etc., etc.. etc., that the corporations then use to lobby or fund political campaigns?
The righties like to talk about tax breaks. Just think of the huge sum we’d all qualify for if we had the right to notify the banks, health insurers, gas companies, and so on of our desire to opt out of any portion of our payments used for politics, and to have that money refunded to us. Merry Christmas!"
"This particular supreme Corporate Court should be struck down, struck off and struck out! There is surely evidentiary records enough to use in bringing suit against some of them for any lawyer worth their salt and with the courage to stand against them. Lifetime appointments such as these are ludicrous (signs of senility or smugness already??) and should also be eliminated by statute.
Conditions of overseeing and maintaining judicial status based on their behavior and written decisions should be set up, like the UK Court of Appeals made up of senior Judges with the experience to examine and re-hear dubious decisions AND censor or even remove a judge from office (By a declaration through both houses of Parliament) who'se actions and decisions discredit the judiciary in general.
Isn't that a bit more democratic and responsible to the people who put them there?
I mean, has anybody even seen an opinion in writing on the "Corporate Personhood"/Citizens United decision? I haven't and have looked all over the place but would be glad to be pointed to it by one of y'all.
It's all becoming a bit like Hitler's People's Court presided over by "Blood Judge (not my expression but history's)" Roland Freisler who's every decision was a foregone conclusion for any poor bastard hauled up before him on any trumped-up charge and sent to the chopping-block. Except that these pieces of judicial flatulence are doing it to a whole submerged nation."
"All it takes to stop the Senate is to threaten a filibuster, without even having to filibuster. What can you do to put the brakes on a deranged and extremist Supreme Court? Pass a Constitutional Amendment? The SC Justices are virtual kings, with minimal checks upon their increasingly fascist behavior. With a stroke of the pen, these people could overturn the Health Care Act, passed by both houses of Congress and supported by the President. How come just five people can so easily stop the work of the other two branches of our government? They can just swoop in, with no Constitutional authority whatsoever, and select the President. "Get over it!" Scalia said. The Supreme Court is the weak link in our so-called democracy. I think two of them ought to be impeached (Roberts and Thomas), and I think the Republican Party needs to be crushed for the next several elections."
And a last (but not least) warning to those of you who may be vacillating about the petition: "Thomas Jefferson warned the people in 1816 about the SCOTUS. "To consider the Judges as the ultimate arbitraters of all Constitutional questions (IS) a very DANGEROUS doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the dispotism of an OLIGARCHY". People this country is in deep trouble!!"
I recently wrote an article, which appeared in Our Times Press (Brooklyn, NY), in reference to the rather odd decisions being handed down by the rep-ugh-blican-dominated Supreme Court, and the fact that they don't have term limits. Not only that, it's truly interesting and ironic that the Supreme Court allows corporations to donate to political campaigns, but non-profit organizations are not only not allowed to contribute, they are not allowed to endorse or advertise in the behalf of the President, or other candidates! Fearful of losing their funding, organizations have been stymied - walking on eggs. They are being bullied into science, under the guise of ethical practices, exacted against them via the most unethical means possible - the threat of punitiv, pseudo legal reprisals leveled against them. Americans are being held hostage by the very people who were supposed to be the protectors of their rights and liberties. What then does one need to do in order to be liberated from this tyranny? Frankly, the petition should have included a demand for term limits on the Supreme Court Justices, starting with the current incumbents - no more that 12 years for any one term.
Interestingly enough, no one has come up with the idea of occupying the Supreme Court; but perhaps this is the time to take them off the sacred cow list, since it is evident that they don't hold Americans' lives and wellbeing sacred or important. In the interim, if you want to prevent big corporations from disenfranchising you and your neighbors, sign the petition, and pass it on.
Stay Blessed &