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My name is Ted Deutch, and I am running in the nation's next special congressional election. Election day is just 5 days away.  Like most Americans, I believe the Supreme Court's recent decision to allow more corporate influence in our elections threatens the fabric of our democracy.

As such, I pledge today that if I win election to Congress in the special election on April 13th, my first act will be to introduce a Constitutional Amendment restoring the right of Congress to eliminate and regulate direct corporate expenditures in our elections.

It is no secret that corporations wield too much power in Washington. From drug companies that lobby against negotiated prices for seniors, to oil companies standing in the way of green energy legislation, far too often, the voices of the American people are drowned out by special interests.

Unfortunately, this problem is only slated to get worse. The Supreme Court's recent Citizens United decision gives corporations a blank check to spend during every election cycle. This ruling threatens to undermine the rights of Americans to have influence over their own elections by opening the doors to campaigns run by corporations.

My name is Ted Deutch, and I am running in the nation's next special congressional election in less than a week. Like most Americans, I believe the Supreme Court's recent decision to allow more corporate influence in our elections threatens the fabric of our democracy.

As such, I pledge today that if I win election to Congress in the special election on April 13th, my first act will be to introduce a Constitutional Amendment restoring the right of Congress to eliminate and regulate direct corporate expenditures in our elections.

The Supreme Court's ruling was not a victory for free speech; it was a blow to the American people and those elected to represent them. Individuals candidates could find their messages drowned out by corporate-backed campaigns with unlimited budgets. We must draw a sharp distinction between free speech made by individuals (and groups of individuals) versus corporate entities seeking to influence elections for the purpose of growing their profit margins. We must also protect the integrity of American elections by preventing foreign-owned or multinational corporations from influencing our democracy.  Our government must function in a way that supports our domestic needs, not the whims of foreign-owned conglomerates that may not put our nation's interests first.

I will take the lead on this vital issue in Congress, but I need your help getting there. Tea Party activists are mobilizing to replicate their success in Massachusetts with the upset victory of Scott Brown. Donate today at http://www.tedforcongress.com/...

In the Florida State Senate, I have seen firsthand the corrupting influence special interest money has on the legislative process. Just a week ago, the Republican majority voted to reopen our legislature's doors to the flow of corporate money. My local paper covered my opposition to the legislation:

"The bill creates "affiliated party committees," or APCs, much like the old leadership funds lawmakers outlawed 20 years ago because they gave lobbyists too much influence in the legislature... Sen. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat who is running for Congress, and other Democrats objected to that portion of the election reform (HB 1207) because they don’t want “to [just] let people see the six figure contributions that are coming in from special interests. We should ban them.”

Bills like the one mentioned above highlight how special interests are already taking advantage of the Citizens United decision to regain their influence in state legislatures. It is clear that our very system of elections is threatened by this ruling, and it will take federation action to fix this problem.

This is exactly the reason why our Constitutional amendment process exists, and it is time we used it again.

Thank you for supporting me in this effort.

Yours truly,

Ted Deutch
Democrat for Congress

PS - In a special election, voter turnout is everything. Please help me fund an aggressive GOTV effort for April 13th with a contribution today at http://www.tedforcongress.com/...

Originally posted to Ted Deutch for Congress on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:05 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Ted, if you are reading this, (0+ / 0-)

      You should edit your diary to include your name and the district you are running in to your title. You should put a link to your campaign and donation websites along with a photograph of yourself in the introduction.

    •  Ted hasn't this already been done? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aoeu

      I think a constitutional amendment on the issue has already been introduced in the House. Also, two paragraphs in your diary are repeated.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:40:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for coming. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Relevant Rhino

    Do you have any particular constitutional text in mind, and what do you think of other proposed constitutional amendments and legislative fixes?

    Prof. Lawrence Lessig has proposed the following amendment:

    Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to restrict the power to limit, though not to ban, campaign expenditures of non-citizens of the United States during the last 60 days before an election.

  •  please keep in mind that there has NEVER been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, NorthlandLiberal

    any judicial decision that permits 'persons' status to corporations! NEVER !
    the entire construct is based on an addition made by a law cleric on a state (cant remember which one, but i think in the new-england zone) supreme-court that actually came on the other side of that sentiment.
    we are all operating under a 'emperor has new clothes on' , when in fact there are no clothes.

    this entire saga is FARCE !  and should be completely exposed as such.
    i wish i had the case in memory so i could cite it, maybe others can assist.

    •  It was a US Supreme Court decision, I believe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoEcoCe

      Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad.

    •  CoEcoCe - I am not a lawyer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aoeu

      But I think your statement is incorrect that there has "NEVER" been a judicial decision that permits "person" status to corporations. While the clerks annotation in the Southern Pacific case is certainly questionable it has stood as precedent and hundreds of cases have been decided that have reaffirmed and broadened the rights of corporations both at the federal level and in Delaware where about half of all public companies are chartered. The only way to deal with the issue now is, as Ted has suggested, through a Constitutional Amendment. Given the large body of law, and the reliance on corporate personhood in thousands of legal arrangements, I don't think that even a more progressive SCOTUS (if we ever have one) would change the basic foundation of the law as it is now stands.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:49:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From teh wiki (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CoEcoCe

        Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad

        Just what it looks like, and

        Corporate personhood debate

        which is more free ranging.

      •  isnt it also clear that if corporations are given (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aoeu

        personhood status and free speech protection as such, then in reality that gives humans associated with that corporation double free speech rights, once as themselves, and second as the corporation ?  in contrast with other humans who are not associated with that corporation, and thus only have one free speech ?

        the right for free speech is given to any human, why should it apply to those same humans again when they form a group ?? that doesnt make any sense ..

        •  CoEcoCe- I wasn't agruing the merits (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CoEcoCe

          I wasn't arguing the merits of corporate personhood, or the CE decision. I was just commenting on your statement that there had never been a court upholding certain rights of corporations. My point was that corporate personhood is so ingrained in civil law, both at the federal and state level, that is is not going away and will be limited only by Constitutional Amendment.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:49:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i understand that... (0+ / 0-)

            i was trying to say that if there wasnt an initial court decision, then arent subsequent references to that (supposed) decision moot ?
            and the double free speech implications (equal protection ?) that citizens united creates..

            •  No they are not moot (0+ / 0-)

              The decision stands and has been relied on. No court is going to go back and say this was a mistake and all subsequent rulings that relied on this are now overturned. That will never happen. It would take a case on the issue of corporate personhood and a new ruling by the SCOTUS to change the law. I don't think that even a more progressive SCOTUS would change the basic finding. What they might do is tweak the law. However, corporations are state chartered institutions so how the changes were handled in Delaware would also have a big impact on how broad or narrow a new decision would be in practice. The speech rights of corporations are now what they were prior to McCain-Feingold. What the majority in CU said was that the 60 day closed window was not constitutional. CU actually had nothing to do with basic concept of corporate personhood.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 11:35:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Right on Mr. Deutch. Agreed! (0+ / 0-)

    Good luck. Don't have money to donate. With you in spirit tho.

    tipped and rec'ed of course.

    To paraphrase Warren Ballentine: "We may have come here in separate boats but we're in the same one now"

    by OHknighty on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 08:19:18 AM PDT

  •  Corporations fund sites like Daily Kos too n/t (0+ / 0-)

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