excerpts from “Abolish Corporate Personhood” blog; read the full text here.
There are many reasons why a principled conservative would want to have the Citizens United v FEC Supreme Court decision reversed by abolishing corporate personhood and ending the doctrine that money is a form of speech. Whereas an unprincipled conservative
will put the interests of corporations (property) ahead of the interests of citizens no matter what the consequences, a principled conservative would be concerned about the common good of the Republic
Conservative Reasons to Abolish Corporate Constitutional Rights
The word corporation does not occur in the Constitution. Corporations had to use unelected, unaccountable judges to give them rights.
According to Thomas Jefferson, judges, who grant corporations rights, are “playing God” because he claimed in the Declaration of Independence that men — not property — are “ordained by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”
Judge-made law is not democratic. We did not elect the Supreme Court justices, but they get to decide who does and does not count in our democratic order. Congress and the People should decide those issues.
This is not about opposing business or capitalism, and we recognize that corporations play an important role in society. Continue reading
“Money in politics is not a distraction from the economy, it is the economy.”
New poll, findings as summarized by CampaignMoney.org
- Money in politics is not a distraction from the economy, it is the economy. For ordinary Americans, this is not an either/or proposition; it is not question of addressing money in politics at the expense of talking about pocketbook problems. Voters believe that Washington is so corrupted by big banks, big donors, and corporate lobbyists that it no longer works for the middle class.
- Voters feel strongly about reducing the influence of big money in politics and there is broad-based support to alternatives to the current system. Voters are supportive of small-donor matching systems with limited public financing and support common sense restrictions on what corporations and wealthy donors can spend on politics.
- Voters will strongly support candidates — from both political parties — who seize this issue. Voters do not currently trust either party to tackle money in politics. All voters, and swing voters in particular, strongly support candidates who are willing to take on money in politics as a serious campaign issue. In fact, more than a third of all voters make this a litmus test for their support.
See more here.
Many people look on successful candidates as being bought and paid for by whomever gave the most money.
To make representative government work the way the framers designed it, elected officials must owe their allegiance to the people,
not to the wealth of groups who speak only for selfish fringes of the whole community.
The public does not have any doubt about the power of money.
Every poll taken shows that the vast majority of Americans believe campaign spending is a very serious problem and that those who contribute large sums of money have too much influence over the government.
Our nation is facing a crisis of liberty if we do not control campaign expenditures.
We must prove that elective office is not for sale.
We must convince the public that elected officials are what James Madison intended us to be, agents of the sovereign people, not the hired hands of rich givers.
A Conservative Voice for Reform from Battles Past
A constitutional amendment of some kind or another is thus necessary to address campaign finance reform and allow the Republican Party to elect conservatives to national office.
…The need to pass such an amendment is more than a left or right-wing issue–
both Democrats and Republicans are too cozy with big money and special interests.
Should politicians be accountable to their constituents and communicate honest principles, or to shady billionaires of varying political stripes?: corporations, church groups, and labor unions, as well as Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, the health insurance industry, the education privatization industry, the NRA, the military industrial complex, and various environmental groups, flooding the airwaves with commercials that distort their opponents’ records or grossly oversimplify the issues.
The current system of campaign finance has so weakened the ability of the Republican Party to elect conservatives to political office that perhaps a more radical approach to a constitutional amendment regarding this issue is necessary. If the Republican Party wishes to elect conservatives in all parts of the country, not just in “red states” or rural areas, a constitutional amendment that empowers the FCC to prohibit the broadcasting of political commercials on television and on radio must be passed.
—To elect Conservatives, the GOP needs Campaign Finance Reform
As president of the Union College Republicans, I’m proud to put forward a right-wing argument for the necessity of this type of reform. First, disclosure of funds should be a fundamental part of fostering an open democratic process. Second, labor unions remain a larger part of the problem than even corporations.
For the better part of the decade, it was the Republican Party who led the charge to provide full disclosure of campaign donations.
Even during the 2012 primary campaign, candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have expressed mixed feelings about the role of super PACs, campaign fundraisers that are separate from candidates’ personal organizations, stating that the superPACs limit the control they have over their own campaigns.
–Nick D’Angelo, “A Conservative Case for Campaign Finance Reform“
68% of Republicans
82% of Independents
87% of Democrats
—would support a Constitutional Amendment that would overturn the Citizens United decision and make clear that corporations do not have the same rights as people.
Addressing these key questions of our democracy is not a partisan issue. It’s a “We the People” issue.