On Anniversary of Citizens United Ruling, Common Cause Calls on Justice Dept. to Investigate Scalia and Thomas over Conflicts of Interest January 21, 2011 by Democracy Now!
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate spending on election campaigns. We speak with Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause, which has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Justice urging it to investigate whether Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas should have recused themselves from the case last year because of a conflict of interest.
Critical Mass Wakes Up
David DeGraw, Alternet, writes: “It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us. Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep… and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle class.”
At the center of this group is the Business Roundtable, an organization representing Fortune 500 CEOs that is also interlocked with several lead elite organizations. Most Americans have never heard of the Business Roundtable. However, it is the most influential and powerful Economic Elite organization. READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/economy/145996/the_business_roundtable%3A_the_most_powerful_corporate_business_club_most_americans_have_never_heard_of
Corporatists declared war on the rest of us. Time to fight back with full vigor and from every side, Let Freedom Ring!
Ways to fight back and unplug from the corporatist state.(Adapted abstract from Fran Korten, YES! Magazine).
1. Amend U.S. Constitution to declare that corporations are not persons and do not have the rights of human beings. Congresswoman Donna Edwards and constitutional law professor Jamie Raskin speak out against the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and call for a mass movement of people to support a constitutional amendment.
We Move to Amend.
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.
Signed by 220,783 and counting . . . CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/Loads of useful information and contact links.
2. Require shareholders to approve political spending by their corporations. Britain has required shareholder approval since 2000.
Thomas Paine, American patriot and author warned us to watch, guide, and stop the powerful elite if we want humanity in general to succeed. Paine proposed that any bill that enriches a corporation or grants a corporate charter should be enacted in one session of the legislature, and confirmed in a second, AFTER A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE, to stop corporate raids on the public treasury.
3. Pass Fair Elections Now Act for federal financing for Congressional elections.
4. Give qualified candidates equal amounts of free broadcast air time.
We need a reformed public ownership of uncensored airwaves, subject to strong democratic citizen oversight. Free PBS and the Wilson Center too!
5. Ban political advertising by corporations that receive government money, hire lobbyists, or collect most of their revenue abroad.
6. Impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. Representative Alan Grayson (D-Florida) proposed this, calling it “The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act.”
7. Prohibit companies from trading their stock on national exchanges if they make political contributions and expenditures. Another Grayson, which he calls “The Public Company Responsibility Act.”
8. Require publicly traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used to influence public opinion. Grayson calls this “The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act.”
9. Require the corporate CEO to appear as sponsor of political commercials that his or her company pays for. A personal favorite: let’s see these sleezebags shill their own dirty work.
10. Publicize reform options, inform the public of who is making contributions to whom, and activate the citizenry. Citizens must act. Grassroots anger at corporate power is high, and when the public is angry, action is inevitable.
** READ MORE: Fran Korten, YES! Magazine
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