So we’ve discussed before the problems with corporations having the power to manipulate politicians via campaign contributions, we’ve also discussed the fact that corporations are afforded the same rights as a regular citizen (something that definitely shouldn’t be). Well, a story was released on the sixth on WisPolitics.com stating that Wisconsin voters approved two referenda that propose to fix these problems.
These referenda demand a constitutional amendment in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. FEC decision. This case in question, from 2010, declared that limiting the amount corporations can spend to influence elections would violate the “free speech rights” of corporate “people” under the First Amendment. The awesome thing is that across all political stances, these changes are supported by the majority, the story indicates that national polls found the opposition to the decision on the Citizens United case to 85% D, 81% I, and 76% R. Equally as encouraging was the support for a constiutional amendment to undo it at 87% D, 82% I and 68% R.
Now here’s the kicker, the referenda does nothing more than indicate to our government that a majority wish to see changes made. Obviously only the government can make those changes. Let’s suppose for a moment that similar referenda pass throughout the United States indicating to the government that its citizens want and encourage change. The problem is that those with the power to make the change, stand to lose money from that change. Will they listen to the demands of the citizens, the ones that actually voted them into office? Or will they continue to support the corporate person because their money is apparently more powerful than our votes? Let’s hope for the former.
- Jeffrey Toobin: Campaign-finance reform and the Supreme Court. (newyorker.com)
- Ben & Jerry on the “Personhood” of Citizens United: (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Highly desirable (White) House for sale. Price tag: one billion, or more. Obama says, ‘I’ll take it!’ (hessman46.wordpress.com)