Washington Bought and Sold Like a Sack of Potatoes

So says Buddy Roemer. Who is Buddy Roemer? He's the Republican presidential candidate getting a 100%, complete media black out and is denied a seat in the GOP Presidential debates. Why? Probably because he's challenging the bought and paid for pre-ordained corporate select fest called elections.

 

 

Pretty astounding isn't it? Here's a qualified candidate running for President and you won't even hear his named mentioned on CNN, FOX, from all of those other blathering political pundits rambling on about the latest non-event political news.

To wit, Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced a constitutional amendment to get corporate money out of politics. It's called Save Our Democracy and Sanders has put up a petition for you to sign and try to get this passed.

 

 

Sanders' Saving American Democracy Amendment would make clear that corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as people and that corporations may be regulated by Congress and state legislatures. It also would preserve the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press. It would incorporate a century-old ban on corporate campaign donations to candidates, and establish broad authority for Congress and states to regulate spending in elections.

Sanders proposal in the Senate is a companion measure to a constitutional amendment introduced in the House by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.). "The dominance of corporations in Washington has imperiled the economic security of the American people and left our citizens profoundly disenchanted with our democracy," the congressman said. "I look forward to working with Sen. Sanders to save American democracy by banning all corporate spending in our elections and cracking down on secret front groups using anonymous corporate cash to undermine the public interest."

Sanders amendment is actually a key critical agenda. It ends corporate personhood. Assigning human rights to a corporation is an oxymoron. Corporations are simply business entities from which to maximize profits, or in real human terms, sociopaths. They have no loyalty, no sense of nationality, and especially no morality and ethics. Clearly corporations are not human beings and therefore should not be afforded the rights of human beings. Corporations also have way more money and power than single individuals for the most part.

Dylan Ratigan has also been on the soapbox to get money out of politics and also has a constitutional amendment to ban corporate money from elections. Senator Sanders is a bit more subtle, in that it tackles that Supreme court 1819 bad decision giving corporations rights as if they were natural persons.

Constitutional amendments are tough to pass, but once they are, except for prohibition, have not been undone, which is why we're seeing constitutional amendments instead of regular legislative bills appear in Congress. They know, corporate lobbyists will undo anything but a constitutional amendment. It does take a Populist ground swell to get a constitutional amendment passed and ratified by the States.

Notice when it comes to anyone or anything which challenges corporate power, you....never hear about it? That's how powerful corporations have become, they literally can black out candidates and news from most media.

Meta: 

Comments

Corporate personhood and foreclosure relief

"Sanders' amendment is actually a key critical agenda. It ends corporate personhood. ...  it tackles that Supreme court 1819 bad decision giving corporations rights as if they were natural persons." -- Robert Oak

There are five key decisions of the SCOTUS to be considered here.

1. The 1819 case (Dartmouth College v. Woodward) did depart from warnings of Thomas Jefferson, creating a key precedent in that it elevated corporations to some degree of personhood. However, this precedent applied only respecting the right to contract and to enforce contracts. Of course, that was before the XIVth Amendment.

2. Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), did not create any precedent. That was all about an insertion into the decision's headnotes by the clerk, J.C. Bancroft Davis, which mistakenly led many to believe the Supreme Court had recognized corporations as persons for purposes of the XIVth Amendment.

3. Of greater interest today is the Blaisdell decision, concerning foreclosure.

From Wiki article Contract_Clause, at heading 'The Contract Clause Since Blaisdell' --

During the New Deal Era, the Supreme Court began to depart from the Lochner era constitutional interpretation of the Commerce Clause, Due Process, and the Contract Clause.

In Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell 290 U.S. 398 (1934) , the Supreme Court upheld a Minnesota law that temporarily restricted the ability of mortgage holders to foreclose. The law was enacted to prevent mass foreclosures during a time of economic hardship in America. The kind of contract modification performed by the law in question was arguably similar to the kind that the Framers intended to prohibit. The Supreme Court held that this law was a valid exercise of the state's Police Power. It found that the temporary nature of the contract modification and the emergency of the situation justified the law.

Further cases have refined this holding, differentiating between governmental interference with private contracts and interference with contracts entered into by the government. Succinctly, there is more scrutiny when the government modifies a contract to alter its own obligations. (See United States Trust Co. v. New Jersey, 431 U.S. 1 (1977).

Here's a question: if a State were to cite Blaidell in defense of the constitutionality of a law seeking widespread relief from a foreclosure crisis, would the 5-4 Supremes hesitate to reverse Blaisdell?

4. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), is the source of the original "money is speech" holding of the Court. The Court ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech, and struck down portions of law that they found would limit that right. This is the precedent that has sunk virtually all meaningful campaign finance reform for more than a third of a century, resulting in what we have today.

5. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 08-205 (2010), 558 U.S. ––––, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010), torpedoed the last great effort at campaign finance reform  -- the McCain–Feingold Act (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002). In Citizens United, the Court struck down those provisions of McCain–Feingold that prohibited corporations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, and unions from broadcasting “electioneering communications.” Worse yet, the Citizens United 5-4 majority reversed pre-existing case law to an unprecedented extent, effectively allowing unlimited secrecy even for foreign interests. (The DISCLOSE Act, designed to limit secrecy in corporate donations, was defeated through GOP party-line use of the filibuster or cloture rule.)

See, dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Stevens in Citizens United. There has perhaps never been a more activist court than the Roberts court, legislating rather than interpreting statute! See also, dissenting opinion of Justice Stevens in Bush v. Gore (2000).
_________

The country needs campaign finance reform! The country needs financial and monetary reform! The country needs election, media and judicial reform!

"The American dream will die and our children will suffer if the people do not know what their government leaders are doing, if the people are not able to vote ineffective or corrupt leaders out of office, or if judges can ignore the law and the facts with no repercussions!" -- Mark A. Adams (The Daily Censored)

The country needs the DISCLOSE Act!

The country needs the OCCUPIED Amendment as introduced in the House by Rep. Deutch -- and/or as introduced by Sen. Sanders in the Senate!

The country needs Rep. Kucinich's NEEDS Act!

If we are to save American free enterprise from more raids by kleptocrats of finance globalism, Supreme Court decisions granting corporate personhood must be reversed!

 

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

very good summary and history thanks

This adds to the post greatly. It's been the bane of law and now a 200 year legal precedent history, so I don't see how all of that can be overridden without a constitutional amendment, but then, I am not a constitutional scholar, be nice to see what the opinions are. I just assumed this is why they introduced them and at the opportune time when we have a corporate sponsored "wag the dog" event called elections 2012.

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.