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This week, I introduced a Constitutional Amendment to repeal the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and to restore the Founding Fathers’ intent to grant rights to people, not corporations.

I did this for a simple reason: Corporations are not people. They do not breathe. They do not have children. They do not die in war. They are artificial entities which we the people create and, as such, we govern them, not the other way around.

We must put a stop to the overreaching 'corporate rights' movement that threatens the  basic principle of "We, the people."

I believe in "We, the People," not in "We, the corporations," or "We, the special interests."

I hope you'll sign on to support our amendment today, and tell the world that it's time for a 28th Amendment that lifts up the promise of American self-government: of, for, and by the people.

Sign the petition

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  •  Tip Jar (315+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, roseeriter, Pinto Pony, JekyllnHyde, Trix, tonyahky, Statusquomustgo, cyeko, camlbacker, historys mysteries, J M F, Steveningen, superfly, blue jersey mom, jennyp, glendaw271, SpecialKinFlag, Spaghetti Western, ssmt, TFinSF, zenox, Kinak, Gowrie Gal, marina, beforedawn, mofembot, NBBooks, Snud, blonde moment, blueoasis, bloomer 101, Terminus, Marjmar, juca, BlueInRedCincy, joe wobblie, Oh The Huge Manatee, Kamakhya, Norm in Chicago, Haf2Read, Fracturedchaos, middleagedhousewife, marleycat, LI Mike, sunbro, divineorder, Matt Z, joliberal, greenbastard, Naranjadia, Pescadero Bill, DarienComp, NearlyNormal, allie123, myeye, Quasimodal, where4art, Timothy J, Clues, itsbenj, Answer Guy, PhilW, DiegoUK, SaraBeth, naperken, concernedamerican, SCFrog, MadMs, randallt, northern spy, ClutchCargo, Cronesense, operculum, BlackSheep1, unclejohn, 313to212, Hillbilly Dem, ZZZzzz, doroma, Hkpa, dansk47, Bluesee, p gorden lippy, BlueInARedState, cybersaur, MKinTN, drnononono, filkertom, burnt out, LeoQ, Odysseus, bula, Isara, Betty Pinson, no way lack of brain, Shockwave, Simian, News Corpse, Apost8, doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers, Mislead, Words In Action, DEMonrat ankle biter, mithra, mortje, jediwashuu, dsb, Joieau, Libby Shaw, UtahLibrul, smokem2271, nervousnellie, Brooke In Seattle, jjellin, Yohannon, MagentaMN, tiponeill, Jersey Girl, uniqity, chimpy, blackjackal, profh, Quicksilver2723, emal, markthshark, Ellinorianne, PurpleMyst, Flint, whyvee, monkeybrainpolitics, ObsidianTK, eeff, Nica24, missLotus, GeorgeXVIII, carpunder, Medium Head Boy, kck, tomjones, hester, sailmaker, deviant24x, chuckvw, Unenergy, asym, bythesea, blueoregon, catly, wayoutinthestix, UncleCharlie, rapala, tgypsy, Mr Bojangles, JR, forrest, kurt, science nerd, Chi, GrannyOPhilly, jennybravo, trumpeter, cocinero, rsie, Mithras Angel, bronte17, lunachickie, citizenx, DamselleFly, zedaker, Angie in WA State, John DiFool, volleyboy1, cacamp, LSmith, signals, roadbear, randomfacts, NMRed, carver, miracle11, freesia, psnyder, COwoman, Dvalkure, bread, Quilldriver, Fiona West, annieli, owlbear1, SeaTurtle, clananderson, DSWright, Voodoo, davehouck, antiapollon, shaharazade, Jim R, vigilant meerkat, corvaire, YsosadisticGOP, Amor Y Risa, poliwrangler, Lujane, meg, DontTaseMeBro, GANJA, Mother Mags, Liberal Thinking, politik, Flying Goat, geebeebee, Jakkalbessie, SmartAleq, revsue, bgblcklab1, too many people, dotsright, RepackRider, journeyman, murasaki, BYw, lcrp, Leftcandid, bozepravde15, CA Nana, Alise, bnasley, gooderservice, jamess, mic check oakland, KateG, PrometheusUnbound, sherlyle, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, GenXBadger, Bob Duck, yuriwho, tung sol, Clytemnestra, healthy, Jake Williams, Revy, SoCalSal, trueblueliberal, Debs2, barbwires, nonnie9999, martini, zerelda, petulans, MrHinkyDink, Jim in Chicago, Ms Citizen, DawnN, foolknot, yawnimawke, Funkygal, greengemini, frisco, Jimdotz, anyname, electric meatball, Jeff Y, ask, Purple Priestess, Siri, aggieric, la urracca, Nulwee, Executive Odor, Pinko Elephant, FarmerG, bostonjay, h bridges, Pacifist, litoralis, vacantlook, Hirodog, ChemBob, Pohjola, Showman, Spoc42, DWG, ewmorr, molecularlevel, The Wizard, noemie maxwell, redlum jak, Mike08, Crashing Vor, Ohiodem1, multilee, Limelite, RagingGurrl, LynChi, yellow cosmic seed, JamieG from Md, nailbender, rambler american, mkfarkus, barkingcat, Alma, Xapulin, Cordyc, Scioto, flygrrl, sebastianguy99, mikeconwell, emmasnacker, kimoconnor, ButteDem, dibsa, terabytes, DSPS owl, PeggyD
  •  Do you have a link to the petition to sign? (31+ / 0-)

    I absolutely support this effort!!

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:59:37 AM PST

    •  He just did- we were (18+ / 0-)

      "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

      "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

      by roseeriter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:04:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The above link is to the petition (18+ / 0-)

      Here's a link to the Joint Resolution (.pdf document only two pages, double-spaced) with the proposed wording of the Amendment.

      It is brief and concise, something I always liked about the original wording of the Constitution and Bill of Rights as written by the Founding Fathers.

      I signed the petition after reading the proposed Joint Resolution for the Amendment.

      Here's the web page with biographical info about Rep. McGovern.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:00:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  By the wording of the amendment, (7+ / 0-)

        you might no longer be able to sue out-of-state corporations in federal court on a large number of claims.  For any other purposes, unless 1 U.S.C. 1 is also repealed, it wouldn't matter.

        Based on the biographical info on Rep. McGovern, he should do better at writing bills, unless it's for show.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:08:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not clear from the wording (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, Onomastic

        if unions, non-profit corporations, not-for profit corporations, public or private universities, corporations that have media businesses, or loosely formed entities such as OWS would be included.  

        If any of the above are excluded, then they should be listed in the amendment, otherwise courts may rule unions are corporations under this amendment.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:51:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Badly drafted (7+ / 0-)

        1.  Citizens United did not turn on whether corporations are people (or persons or anything else).  It turned on the language of the 1st amendment that says "Congress shall make no law..."  So in a weighing of 1st amendment rights and this amendment, which would prevail?

        2.  The proposed amendment allows regulation of corporations, limited liability companies, and other "corporate entities."  By its terms, it would not allow regulation of unincorporated associations, trusts (including business trusts), partnerships, limited liablity partnerships, limited liablity limited partnerships, cooperatives, mutual insurance companies, ditch companies, etc., any of which could take the place of a corporation or LLC.

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 05:22:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Something on my computer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        has made it impossible to use adobe reader. Sorry to go off topic here but it's really restricting my ability to read important documents. Does anyone have a solution to this? I use Firefox as a browser and used to be able to use Adobe Reader but no longer. what's up with this?

        •  Sorry, but I'm not a techie... (0+ / 0-)

          I have three browsers, usually use Firefox.  .pdf documents open for me (Adobe auto-updates because I set it that way; otherwise I never remember to check for updates).

          I download a lot of old out-of-copyright history and genealogy books that mention my ancestors, so I use it often..., altho, truth to tell, I detest the .pdf format because I can't copy-paste text.  Grrrr...

          However, for a single page .pdf conversion to .jpg, someone referred me to GIMP 2 (free download).  For .pdf documents depicting images of old genealogy records, I open the .pdf, then save it as a .jpg.  Doesn't take long.

          I still have no idea how I could convert an entire book to .jpg pages.  As long as the images are straight .jpg isn't bad for a printout..., but it's back to "I can't copy-paste!" from .pdf.  Documenting my ancestors from 400+/- years ago would be ever so much easier if I could copy-paste those old texts with old spelling, etc., for a straight transcription, complete with phonetic and other misspellings.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:36:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can you download and then open a PDF? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            IF so, you need to check the preferences to tell Firefox to open PDFs in a new window with Adobe reader. Look under TOOLS / Options/

            I do this all the time at work on some antiquated equipment and Direfox 8. (oops, Firefox).

            Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

            by dadadata on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 03:28:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I only download .pdfs I want to save (0+ / 0-)

              Google books for genealogy research & early New England history (copyrights long ago expired), and one web site in Norway had a bunch of .pdfs with transcriptions of records for the last almost four hundred years I needed (when I have a date it's easier to find the microfilm image of the actual document and download those as .jpgs from the other web site - that sort of thing.

              The other .pdfs open in a new window.  When I'm done reading them, I close it.

              One person sent me images of old baptism records from a Swedish church book all in .pdfs with a nice high resolution.  On screen all the black areas were around the outer edges which take up a humongous amount of ink if they're printed out as full .pdf pages.  Those single-page .pdfs I open in GIMP, re-save as .jpgs, open them the normal way, then straighten and crop the images before printing to a full letter-sized page.

              Now, if I could only figure out how to save these lovely colored digital images from another site that uses some kind of Java program to run it in a high enough resolution that they could be enlarged and printed out as nicely as the other web site from a different country.  Instead, I can enlarge it all I want, save the image in .jpg..., but I lose the image at the top of the page that refers to the year and what kind of record book it is.  I can make the image smaller, then save, but it doesn't enlarge much before the pixels start immediately separating into a blur.  So, I usually save two images: the one of the whole page which gives me a reference, and one of the selected person/ancestor or sibling of my ancestor, etc. so that when I open it in the usual way I can read it clearly.

              All these little adjustments one has to make just to download an image of a record that is usable....


              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 04:27:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Copying from PDFs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I don't know if this will help in your case, but Adobe Acrobat Pro has an OCR option that will allow you to use the standard functions (search, cut and paste) with a pdf.

            •  It could... (0+ / 0-)

              ... but when I've tried to copy... it gets put on a clipboard somewhere..., and in the maze of hidden files I've never managed to find a 'clipboard.'

              On my old PC (with Office 2000) I had an OCR program installed that came with one of my scanners, but the hard drive went wonky and I haven't gotten back to it.  I hadn't worked with it long enough to figure out how it worked.  I just type the info from those old books into my genealogy program.  I am too impatient in the middle of research to mess around for hours getting something into an OCR program, then editing and correcting info that I can type in a very short time.  The OCR crap on web site (and on Google Books sometimes) is impossible to look at and comprehend.  No one has edited it to make sense.  Ick.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:00:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, wait.... (0+ / 0-)

              I only have whatever the Adobe program is that opens .pdf files.  I know there is some sort of 'copy-paste' thing in the menus, and that's where I got lost.  It wouldn't do any good unless it pastes as text into my genealogy program which is on my Mac iBook..., where my genie program works on 9.2.

              I don't have an Adobe Acrobat Pro type of program on my old PC or on my laptop with Windows 7 (home premium) program, as far as I know.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 06:04:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Either corporations are people or the 1% aren't. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheUnknown285, zedaker

      Because your statement that they don't fear death or imprisonment, nor feel remorse or compasion applies to both corporations AND the 1%.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:41:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'd bet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hillbilly Dem

        on the latter.

        blink-- pale cold

        by zedaker on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 03:59:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  sociopaths are not unique to (0+ / 0-)

        corporations or the top 1%. Since many of the top 1% are doctors, philanthropists, and others who have compassion for their fellow humans, I wouldn't describe them this way either.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:53:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not all of the 1% are sociopaths (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie

          And not all sociopaths are among the 1%. Many sociopaths work at Fox News and for various Murdoch inspired organizations for wages that put them well outside the 1%.

          Many sociopaths are enablers of, and toadies for the 1%.

          The frightening thing is the sheer number of people who are clearly sociopathic who are climbing out of the woodwork these days: Politicians, writers on right-wing blogs, etc. Is any of the current republican presidential candidates NOT a sociopath?

          At this point, I would estimate that roughly 25-30% of the population is clinically sociopathic, based on observation of American public discourse. Far higher than most clinicians would allow based on standard models.

          There have been clinical studies of various biological anomalies associated with pollutants (lowering sperm counts, etc.). I wonder if damage to the amygdala and resulting sociopathy is an as-yet un-observed outcome of chemical pollutants?

      •  Corporations are not people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        The vast majority of the 1% and those who worship them, are simply narcissistic sociopaths, incapable of basic human emotions like compassion, love and decency.

    •  I supported this with my vote in Boulder (0+ / 0-)

      We were the 2nd city to call for this Amendment and it passed with over 18,000 votes out of just under 25K votes cast, a 3-1 margin. I really do love my town!

    •  Corporations are avatars for the 1% (0+ / 0-)


      Hyperbole will be the death of us all!

      by MrHinkyDink on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:41:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And now they are so twisted that they don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      return profit to shareholders  nor give shareholders a vote in how the corporation is run.  The Board of Directors and Executive would rather send the profits to their bought off politicians.

  •  While you are doing this... (24+ / 0-)

    ... how about pursuing the failure of Thomas and Scalia to recuse themselves from this decision?

    If either one of them can be shown to have FAILED to recuse themselves, because of their conflict of interest, the ruling could possibly be nullified and voided.

    Seems a LOT faster than going after an amendment.. but I applaud your action, regardless...

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:12:49 AM PST

  •  Why don't you Democratic Reps get out there (29+ / 0-)

    and start denouncing the police brutality and violence happening throughout this country today?   Why don't you sponsor a petition for that?

    "Repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed." --J. Steinbeck

    by livjack on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:12:56 AM PST

  •  Citizens United already violates the Constitution (37+ / 0-)

    Specifically, the 13th Amendment as we now have a federally regulated system in which people (stock brokers) sell people (corporations) to people (investors).

  •  Please post the actual proposed amendment (15+ / 0-)

    While I support your idea, I will not sign a petition for an amendment without knowing the text of the actual proposed amendment. This amendment would have to reverse Citizens United without taking away the free speech rights or organizations like unions. The language is essential.

    •  I think it's all or none (5+ / 0-)

      As I read it, Citizens United isn't based on some notion of corporate personhood, but on the idea that corporations are associations of citizens and that citizens don't give up their free speech rights when they act in concert, whether those associations or organizations are corporations or unions or other groups.  These efforts can be restricted somewhat, but not outright banned, in the way that forms of protest may be restricted, but protest itself not banned.

      I prefer an amendment giving the federal government a greater power to regulate elections, campaigning, and electioneering.  This would give government the power to regulate corporate speech with respect to elections as well as overturn Buckley v Valeo, which allowed candidates unlimited expenditures on their own campaigns.  It could also legalize public funding of campaigns, if Congress should choose to do so, without explicitly mandating that course.

      •  Recced for the first paragraph (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jim M

        I'm not sure about the effects of giving the federal government greater power to regulate campaigning, though.  

        26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

        by Xenocrypt on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:14:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me give several options (0+ / 0-)

          1. Campaigns are unregulated.
          2. Campaigns are regulated primarily at the state level.
          3. Campaigns are regulated primarily at the federal level.
          4. Campaigns are regulated jointly by state and federal government.

          I would argue that option 1 is ridiculous and I am willing to make the case that history shows option 2 to be a bad choice.  The other two options would, in my opinion, require a constitutional amendment granting additional power to the federal government.  This is not something to do be done lightly and should follow at least a couple of years of debate as to the extent of regulatory power and how it should be phrased.

          I would say that giving federal government more power provides what I believe to be the best avenue for fixing the presidential primary calendar mess and for making voter registration an easier task.

    •  Above and below your comment... (0+ / 0-)

      ... links to the .pdf file with the proposed wording of the Joint Resolution for an amendment.  It's only two double-spaced pages long, an easy read.


      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:20:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about you just do it without my signature? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marleycat, NonnyO, Rob Dapore

    "Nothing preserves Democracy better than the stupidity of its opponents" - KO

    by buckshot face on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:42:01 AM PST

    •  That's a good idea, too... (7+ / 0-)

      After the "health insurance" debacle where so FEW Reps and Senators listened to We The People who phoned, emailed, and faxed first suggesting, then begging, then demanding a single-payer health insurance program that could be easily administered by Medicare (thus, cheaper than a corporation could run it) and being totally ignored with excuses like "we don't have enough votes," I'm danged tired of signing petitions suggesting doing something that makes sense for a change.

      I don't want to be ignored again.

      True, Rep. McGovern isn't my rep (I live in MN where a formerly solid Dem district elected a 'Puke for the first time in something like over 25 years), but - in general - we elected these people to represent US, not corporations, big banks, stock brokers, big oil, big pharma, et cetera and so on and so forth.

      Since the 2000 election was given to the single most unintelligent and unqualified moron ever to be given the title "president," and his resulting eight-year debacle, illegal and unconstitutional wars, torture (!!! - I'm still hanging my head in shame over that one since the prisoners who can't be tried haven't been sent back to their home countries), and the like, I've developed quite a PTSD tic every time some kind of good legislation is talked about..., only to have everything shot down with lame excuses (which I can now predict with definitive accuracy)..., and all that under Obama and the first two years of a Democratically-controlled Congress!  No wonder so many Dems were ousted: they voted with the 'Pukes!

      Adding insult to injury, there's also the matter of extending the unconstitutional and illegal Patriot Act, MCA '06, and the FISA fiasco of '08 that all need repealing in their entirety, NOT extended!!!  Not one Rep or Senator has suggested repealing those POS legislation.

      ["We don't have the votes" my big fat arse!  Get the votes, then, or make sure those obstructionist politicians are lambasted in the media and shamed into doing something sensible and logical for a change!]

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:18:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You want Congress to step up and give you a pass? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks, Simian

      Democracy doesn't work that way, and shouldn't work that way.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

      by FischFry on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:26:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We do not have a Democracy... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We have a Republic.

        "I pledge allegiance to the flag
        of the United States of America,
        and to the Republic for which it stands...."

        A Republic is what our Founding Fathers designed, at any rate.  What our representatives and senators have done with the idiotic laws passed since 2000 has turned most of our government into a corporate entity (or, by Mussolini's definition, a fascist nation).

        How else can anyone explain the passage of the unconstitutional Patriot Act, MCA '06, the FISA fiasco '08, as well as AUMF (Congress is the only body that can authorize war and pay for war; why they gave that power to the Executive branch is beyond my ability to comprehend).

        Then there's the matter of the unconstitutional wars and breaking any number of treaties, especially the Geneva Conventions, forbidding torture (as well as US Code, Title 18, domestic laws pertaining to war crimes and torture).  The US executed people for using "water torture" [i.e., water-boarding] on people in WWII...!!!  The whole thing with torture during the Bushista years still horrifies me, and every once in a while I see whispers that torture is still going on.

        How illegal, immoral, unethical, and dishonorable will our leaders and our military have to get before we pay attention to heinous crimes and punish the torturers and those who ordered it...?  I wish the US was signed on to the ICC so our lying war criminals could be tried at The Hague.

        Watch Bill Moyers Journal from July 13, 2007 when he interviewed Bruce Fein and John Nichols.  The legal and philosophical discussion is fascinating (I could have listened to them pick apart impeachment clauses in the Constitution another couple of hours)..., and pay attention to the metaphorical cherry wood box with presidential powers that John Nichols talks about....  The Teahadists think Obama has hubris and too much power...?  Guess which executive branch officials claimed extra presidential powers never granted in the Constitution first... and passed those powers on to Obama?!?  [Hint: not a Democrat.]

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:42:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Petitions are not necessary for legislators to (0+ / 0-)

        pass laws.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 09:57:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Diary recc'd and petition signed.

    •  I would suggest (8+ / 0-)

      that that the good Congressman or a staff amend both this diary and the petition to include a link to the amendment language.

      While I'm sure most here support the theory - many (myself for instance) would very much read the details before jumping on board.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:02:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  also amenend the amendment language (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, kareylou

        for some purposes, it's in everyone's interest for corporations to be citizens of states and the united states.

        i maintain an amendment targeting buckley v. valeo makes more sense.  four justices recognized that corporate personhood can exist without it necessarily meaning that they can engage in unlimited candidate advocacy.  the alternative is abolishing corporations entirely.  if you're going to make a case for that, do so, but don't bootstrap on Anthony Kennedy's misperception of what it means.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:12:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Amendment does NOT do what you intend (16+ / 0-)

      It's badly drafted on a couple of points. What is a "corporate entity" and how does that differ from a corporation? You want it to cover business forms created by operation of law. "Corporate entity," to my mind, does not expand the definition beyond corporation.

      Secondly, while it allows for regulation of corporations it does not get to the fundamental language of the First Amendment and the powers of Congress at issue in Citizens United. The relevant language of the First Amendment is this:

      "Congress shall make no law....abridging the freedom of speech..."

      Your Amendment presumes that freedom of speech is a right given to persons, and thus one that can be restricted to natural persons. The First Amendment does not presume this. It is written differently than other Amendments. It goes only to the power of Congress, without even attempting to provide a right. The presumption of the First Amendment is that the right is a natural right, and the Amendment simply confirms that the Congress will have no power to restrict that right, whatever the natural boundaries of that natural right might be.

      You might disagree with my interpretation, but I assure you that  Scalia and anyone who shares his legal vision will make this argument. While the intent to regulate corporate speech is clear in the effort, I do not  believe the courts would agree that this language achieves that result. The only way to do that would be to change the First Amendment to give Congress the power to regulate corporate speech.

      Congressman, you need better lawyers. If you want one, I'm available for the job.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

      by FischFry on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:18:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with your analysis here (3+ / 0-)

        although I am not a lawyer myself, but there seems to be this misperception out there that the First Amendment only protects free speech for persons, when of course this is not true. It protects free speech, period, and this is a good thing -- don't a lot of us support incorporated entitites that rely on freedom of speech to make their case, like activist organizations like the ACLU, or even private platforms like Daily Kos?

        To me, Citizens United needs to be overcome by making it specifically clear that campaign spending should not be regarded as a form of protected speech. Period. So it can be regulated. Even if that does take a constitutional amendment. Otherwise, I think that corporations should, in fact, have their freedom of speech protected.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 03:12:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It would not cover partnerships, mutual insurance companies and  trusts...

        Further, it would allow states to invent new forms of entity, so long as they were neither "corporate entities" or limited liability companies, that would be beyond the reach of the amendment

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 05:26:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting take. IANAL so lemme ask a few (0+ / 0-)


        *If this Amendment specifies that no Constitutional rights apply to corporations, how does that fail?  Doesn't the text of this Amendment exclude corporations from claiming any protection under The Bill Of Rights?  

        This is really important because corporations must be stripped of all claims to such rights, such as 2nd Amendment rights to bear weapons, 4th Amendment privacy claims, 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination, etc.  I understand that the way the First is worded presents opportunity for bypass, so here's my follow-up:

        *Can't we specify that only natural persons can speak, and the equivalent action of any legal construct is not speech but advertising, subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause?   Does this Amendment need to specify that Money Is Not Speech in order to achieve this?

        The rich are eating the world. The Republicans are their teeth. The Democrats are dentists who refuse to pull those teeth because they are so beautiful and sharp.

        by Leftcandid on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:42:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a religious nation. (0+ / 0-)

          You'll never, ever, pass anything that gives Congress the power to prevent churches from buying bibles, which is exactly what this amendment would do.

          It's such a far-fetched, zany amendment that anyone w/ a modicum of intelligence - or shame - would have dismissed it on a minute of reading.

        •  Specify that only natural persons can speak? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sure what you mean by that, but we surely don't want to prevent businesses and charities and such from "speaking". Commercial speech has always been treated differently from public issues -- an entirely different line of caselaw -- but businesses ought to be able to to make both kinds of speech.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

          by FischFry on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 03:40:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  My signature wasn't needed when you bailed out the (2+ / 0-)


    "Nothing preserves Democracy better than the stupidity of its opponents" - KO

    by buckshot face on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:49:20 AM PST

  •  How do you "Repeal" a court ruling? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm just saying...

    It would also be helpful if we had some sample text.

  •  Gladly cosign, Congressman -- but... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, raincrow, kareylou, gecko

    I'd like to see the proposed language... and your petition and diary lacks it.

     Citizens United didn't start this -- it's actually the 1886 Santa Clara case that corrupted 'corporation' into a "person".

    I have no problem with the original intent of the idea of a 'corporation' -- a personal indemnification tool that allowed multiple people to pool capital without risk of being ruined by circumstances that they may not have individually had any knowledge or control over...

    But slash and burn amending of the Constitution is not something that I can just support based on noble ideas...  

    I need to see the language first.

    Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

    by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:00:23 PM PST

    •  Ahhh -- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J, raincrow

      I see someone linked to it above...

      Never mind... will read now.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:00:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the Santa Clara case did no such thing (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fizziks, MKinTN, Simian, kareylou

      the only issue in the Santa Clara case was whether real property held by a railroad could be taxed at a different rate from property held by others, and the answer was clearly no.  The EP clause arguments, which would include the issue of citizenship, were actually ruled on by the district court but not considered on appeal, so the famous headnote was actually explaining the cert denial.  Go back to the Dartmouth college case -- states can't repeal corporate charters at will.  That establishes federal constitutional protection of the notion that corporations are juridicially separate entities, but the concept itself is even older.  

      Even Justice Stevens' dissent recognizes there is a lot corporations can legally do to engage in political advocacy -- the sole issue in CU was whether they had to jump through the hoops of forming PACs and limiting those PACs funding sources to employee and shareholder donations.  The basic test applied to the question was the same.  As a result, the amendment wording should be much more specifically targeted to the specific issue of campaign financing, or the status of money as speech, than grand claims about what corporations are -- unless that's the separate goal, in which case it's not really an amendment about Citizens United.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:19:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Santa Clara was a taxation issue (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKinTN, raincrow, zedaker, gecko

        as I recall -- and setting aside the whole Bancroft Davis headnote -- I think it came down to paying for fences, which then became extending tax privileges enjoyed by citizens to a railroad that refused to pay them... and then the headnote gives us the whole underpinning of person = corporation.

        I'm saying - I don't think a corporation should enjoy ANY of the protections afforded to a citizen, at least, not automatically.

        I'm not saying that I'd legislatively oppose out of hand specific legislative decisions to grant these protections -- I'm simply saying that I want them specifically granted by the legislature (so we actual citizens have a chance to weigh in, etc).

        Like I said... I'd rather rip up every ounce of jurisprudence going back to Dartmouth and start fresh.

        If someone wants to lay out a list of obvious protections that ought to be in place immediately upon ratification - and I'm sure some exist (some weakened form of Dartmouth... maybe with a bar for public interests) - fine, we can pass and enroll in tandem.  

        Heck - you can make the SEC's job a whole easier if they're no longer bound by something approximating the same rules applied to individual liberties... Possible to abuse?  Sure - like I said - write up individual (weakened) exceptions.   But at the end of the day - shred it to the bone and rebuild only that specifically blessed, not granted by proxy.

        But I think there's a greater need here than simple campaign contributions.

        Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

        by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:29:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you'd make the SEC's job easier (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zedaker, johnny wurster

          because there wouldn't be any securities market in the United States.  

          Every state (though really just Delaware) has a general corporation law.  So i'm not sure i quite understand the objection.  A state could easily pass a law saying corporations can't make campaign donations.  Probably couldn't apply ex post facto, though.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:55:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Justice Stevens' (7+ / 0-)

    dissent acknowledged the fact of legal personhood, just not the consequences the majority drew from it.  If you don't have the text of the amendment, it's hard to take seriously the proposal or determine whether language is accurate.

    It seems a money-as-speech amendment would make more sense -- go back to Buckley v. Valeo, not just the outrage of the week.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:04:12 PM PST

    •  I think it depends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J, Odysseus

      on whether you solely are troubled by corporate personhood in regards to "speech" issues or if you think it extends beyond that.

      I tend towards the latter -- whittle corporate definitions down to the bare minimum personal indemnification -- and force congress to grant statutory additions from there.

      I think the amendment is pretty strong -- it basically eliminates the entire underpinning that goes back to Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific Railroad.

      It doesn't prevent mere legislative act from extending any equal protections -- but it does force legislatures to actually specifically grant those protections (and take them away, merely by statute).

      I think that's a perfectly fine and good idea... Strip it down to the minimum and we'll have a national discussion, case-by-case, on what protections a corporation is entitled.

      I signed... I think I could support this language.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:17:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i replied separately to that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, gecko

        the santa clara citation is off.  

        i'd worry this amendment actually limits the ability of corporations to sue and, more importantly, be sued.  limiting it to indemnification is just not feasible.  Once the liability shield is a separate entity, it has to be treated like one, so it necessarily takes on other attributes of "personhood," like having interests that are not merely coextensive with managers or single shareholders.  Ironically, using a corporation solely to shield liabilities can wind up in the corporate veil being disregarded.  

        There seems to be a fairly sound argument for a uniform federal corporate law, though.  In some respects, the prominence of Delaware means we have one.  Delaware law is a little bit too pro manager, but that means in some cases corporations do not simply have to be managed for short-term profit extraction.  Executives can knowingly lose money in the short term if there's a plausible business justification.  You'd never get a green energy start up, otherwise.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:25:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, sure -- go back to Dartmouth (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, raincrow

          Fine - I still maintain it should all be ripped up and start from scratch.

          I'm most certainly not a wild-eyed anti-capitalist... I'm not looking to eliminate corporations...

          I'm just saying that CU was just another step down a path started a long time ago -- and I think we need to clear that path and start at the beginning.

          When I say beginning - I'm not even talking about beginnings in the US - I'm talking about the very basic foundation of when the whole concept was devised and 'granted'.

          I have no problem with using what we've learned as a species in the intervening centuries -- but for example...

          Why should a "corporation" enjoy protections against say -- "unreasonable search and seizure"?   I can buy prohibitions on seizure (though not at the Dartmouth level or the same level enjoyed by individuals) -- but search?

          What's the argument there?  If a law enforcement entity -- be it the police, the SEC, the FBI, or whomever -- investigates a company for some crime... well... I honestly don't have a problem with granting them more investigative leeway than they would have in conducting a search against an individual.

          If the SEC thinks you're not on the up-and-up, I'm OK with eliminating hoops to get a warrant, etc...  

          Again - it all comes back to specifically granting those rights on a case-by-case basis.  In most cases, I'd be OK with weakened protections... I just don't like them being sort of magically conferred because SCOTUS has made some bad calls over the centuries.

          Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

          by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:40:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Corporations have no privacy. (0+ / 0-)

            They are chartered by the state.  There is an implicit subpoena power there.  All corporate acts can be investigated straightforwardly.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:11:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not so. The FBI can't just raid mosques; (0+ / 0-)

              it needs probable cause and a warrant. (a mosque, of course, is a religious corporation)

              •  "Should" is different than "is". (0+ / 0-)

                You may be correctly describing the law on the books.  You are most certainly not describing something that must be.

                We could eliminate all corporations tomorrow.  Go back to an economy where explicit partnerships and contracts are the basis for business.  Copyright assignment by durable power of attorney.

                The basis for requiring a warrant would then be the 4th amendment as applied to the owner and renter, not to the "religious corporation".

                Corporations are nothing more than a legal shorthand.  A convenient hitching post for contracts and some other artifacts.  They have no "rights".

                -7.75 -4.67

                "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

                There are no Christians in foxholes.

                by Odysseus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:35:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  having just read a description (0+ / 0-)

            of Dartmouth, i'm inclined to think that the Contracts clause needs to be modified prior to any other amendment succeeding.

            blink-- pale cold

            by zedaker on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:29:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Sigh. (10+ / 0-)

    I don't know if this is the way or not, but the last couple of proposed 'amendments' I have seen have been out and out terrible and unconstitutional in themselves.

    However, This amendment, from what I can read, is just a basic stipulation that we can't call corporations people.

    Which is fine I suppose, but doesn't actually address what Citizens United really encapsulates.

    So I'm at a loss at what this does besides adding some language to the constitution and interfering with previous case law about the 'corporations as people' that already exists and is not at all tied to Citizens United.

    •  As you say, this Amendment is not well drafted (6+ / 0-)

      If the intention is to empower Congress to restrict corporate speech or corporate political activity, this proposed language would not achieve that result.

      The Congressman needs better legal counsel, who actually understand this.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

      by FischFry on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:24:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly, (5+ / 0-)

        It's a bit of moot point as these amendments are really just political grandstanding and have no chance of every making it to the floor let alone become law.

        So, in that case, if you want to drive the discussion about Citizens United into the public eye I guess that his works.

        But the various Amendments have been pretty much universally ill thought out, badly written and frankly, in some case, unconstitutional themselves.


      •  But Citizens United is based (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheUnknown285, raincrow

        on the "fact" that corporations are people. This amendment doesn't just say corporations can't be "called" people; it says that they are not people.

        Seems like it would be pretty easy to challenge the Citizens United decision with this amendment in the Constitution.

        •  Oh, OK... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raincrow, trumpeter, FischFry

          I just saw another comment of yours above. I see what you're getting at now!

          I love this place... so many people here with so many areas of expertise :-)

        •  No, it isn't. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, johnny wurster, Loge

          And until we collectively get past this fundamental error, nothing that we propose will work.

          Citizens United is about the granted powers of Congress. What it says is that Congress simply does not have the power to control political speech, regardless of the identity of the speaker.

          If David Brin's "uplift" idea were ever implemented in the United States, (I have no doubt that it would work,) Congress would not have the power to control the political speech of chimpanzees and dolphins.

          The only way to undo Citizen's United would be to give Congress the explicit power to control political speech. Which I consider to be an astonishingly bad idea... some powers are too dangerous to be given away.


          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:03:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The concept is good, (0+ / 0-)

      but the execution is sorely lacking.

      Alas, while I appreciate members of Congress coming here and participating, drive by postings that seem to assume we'll go along and agree no matter what.  DKos readers are generally not as accepting as that, thank goodness - we want substance.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  amendments cannot be (0+ / 0-)

      unconstitutional in themselves simply because their adoption changes the Constitution to include them. they might conflict with other parts but that's a construction problem that is easily corrected with language concerning repeal or supremacy of the amendments concerned.

      all in all i think a single amendment is insufficient to address the problem, though. we'll probably need 2 or 3 minimum, and that has it's own specters.

      i suppose it could all be done with one amendment but it would have to be a long and detailed one.

      blink-- pale cold

      by zedaker on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:38:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rep. McGovern, your father would never approve of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    political pandering,  What influence do WE have?  

    Jerry Jeff Walker

    Seemed like only yesterday, we first drove up that road. Looking back, I see it's more like twenty odd years ago We were young and so in love, with a long long row to hoe We came and went and our lives were spent up a long old dusty road.

    When we first got married, we searched to find a home We found one at the end of a long old dusty road We fixed it up with love and watched our children grow

  •  Recommended, Tipped, And Petition Signed... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    And THANK YOU for getting this started...

  •  Public assembly, library, money (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheUnknown285, Betty Pinson, raincrow

    Only one of these is speech protected by the first amendment.


  •  It does seem that a constitutional amendment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, Odysseus

    is needed, but I'm having trouble figuring out exactly what language is needed.

    I do think the idea of corporate personhood is a problem, but it's not entirely clear to me that changing that concept would overturn Citizens United.

    The real problem is that the Supreme Court has struck down nearly all congressional efforts at campaign finance reform, partly by equating money with speech.  But of course, with such an enormous concentration of wealth in our nation, a few individuals get millions of times more speech than everyone else in this interpretation.

    Perhaps the most direct approach is to allow congress to limit and regulate campaign contributions, but I'm not sure I trust congress with their benefits of incumbency from doing the right thing if so empowered.

    After listening to Abramoff, I definitely think a ban on elected officials or congressional staffers ever working as lobbyists would be a help, although I don't know if that requires a constitutional amendment.

    I'm struggling with the solution here, but I'm supportive of efforts to try to solve the problem, because if we don't get these massive amounts of corporate money out of politics, we won't ever get our democracy back.

    Civil marriage is a civil right.

    by UU VIEW on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:48:10 PM PST

  •  Signed and FB'd (0+ / 0-)

    From Wikipedia...Turd Blossom> See also: Karl Rove

    by Mislead on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:22:15 PM PST

  •  Maybe his is a starting point?????? (0+ / 0-)

    or you have this from the Move to Amend Website

    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 vote and participation count.
    •Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments

    And amendement is what is needed.

  •  The Occupy movement should be demanding a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United.

    That demand's a no-brainer.

  •  First, corporations are not citizens. (0+ / 0-)

    I think this is more important than they are not people. Corporations and foreign governments do have a need to be involved in our national debates as their actions affect us but they should have regulated speech and regulated access to our process.

    There is a certain value for corporations to be separate entities – person-like entities – but they have no need to be citizens of the United States.

    Even a right-winger knows Shell or BP should not be a Citizen of the US.

    This is a simpler message to get broader appeal.

    "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." Ann Althouse, Conservative Thoughtmeister

    by Bill Section 147 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:27:10 PM PST

  •  Signed, tipped, rec'd, liked (0+ / 0-)

    and shared.  Thank you.

  •  Campaign Trolling not appreciated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    delver rootnose

    I went to his website and saw the following:

    Paid for and Authorized by the Re-elect McGovern Committee · 2011

    I don't believe this petition is sincere and is only a means of getting our names on a fundraising email list. Rep McGovern, we believe corporations are not people. That's a given. Go change the Constitution. You don't need me for that.

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert

    by Rob Dapore on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:36:01 PM PST

  •  This does not do the job. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Having read the proposed amendment, I can say it qualifies as a FAIL.

    It does not prevent political action committees, unions, or other unincorporated groups from aggregating funds and doing EXACTLY the same election-distorting things that corporations can now do directly.

    Elected officials will NEVER cut off their supply to their "drug" of choice:  money in huge chunks from a few large donors.

    In my opinion, only an amendment limiting contributions to natural persons -- and ONLY natural persons -- with no aggregation of funds -- would do the trick.

    Anything less is just smoke and mirrors.

    The only way to do this is through an constitutional convention (through the states, not the federal government) -- very risky, indeed.

    •  Do you really want PACs, unions and groups (0+ / 0-)

      to be unable to aggregate funds to promote policies, ideological causes, and candidates?  I think that's impossible to achieve, and if it were possible to achieve, I don't think I would want to achieve it.  

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

      by Xenocrypt on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:01:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you stop distortion of the process, then? (0+ / 0-)

        If aggregation of funds were permitted, then how could you stop corporations, unions, & whatnot from getting funds to candidates?

        Does this not distort the process, Citizens United or no?

        Let those who wish to promote policies, causes, etc., do it by convincing individuals to contribute money to certain candidates.

        I'm not talking about squelching ideologies here, just pooling of funds to give to candidates.

        •  It is a part of the process (0+ / 0-)

          Let's say I am a trusted and credible individual about a particular issue, for example, the environment.  

          Let's say that, as a result of my concern over this issue, I endorse slates of candidates in every election.

          Let's say that my credibility with some other people concerned with this issue is such that every time I endorse a candidate, that candidate tends to get more donations.

          Lets say that, after this happens a few times, I make it known, using my trust and credibility, that if people concerned about the environment send me money on PayPal--just as a gift--that I will donate that money to my endorsed candidates, so my fans and the people that trust me don't have to bother with the process themselves.  

          After all, people are free to send me money for whatever purpose they want, and I am then free to donate it as an individual.

          (And I make all the totals and donations public, so that there's no fear that I'm just embezzling the money.)

          Say I do all that.  What's the difference between me and the Sierra Club?  That they call themselves a club and I guess I used my own name?  At what point should the actions described above constitute a criminal offense for either me or my fans?  Why should any of them constitute a criminal offense?

          26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

          by Xenocrypt on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:34:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's actually something Congress SHOULD address (0+ / 0-)

            People will try to skirt ANY law they don't like.  That's why we have Congress (to make more specific laws based upon the Constitution) and courts (to interpret both the Constitution and the laws of Congress).

            I could ask something else, along a similar vein.  (I'm not quoting you almost directly to be a smarty-pants -- just to demonstrate that, without a ban on aggregating funds, we'd still have a Citizens United environment):

            Let's say I am a trusted and credible individual about a particular issue, for example, the business environment.  

            Let's say that, as a result of my concern over this issue, I endorse slates of candidates in every election.

            Let's say that my credibility with some other people concerned with this issue is such that every time I endorse a candidate, that candidate tends to get more donations.

            Lets say that, after this happens a few times, I make it known, using my trust and credibility, that if people concerned about the business environment send me money on PayPal--just as a gift--that I will donate that money to my endorsed candidates, so my fans and the people that trust me don't have to bother with the process themselves.  

            After all, people are free to send me money for whatever purpose they want, and I am then free to donate it as an individual.

            (And I make all the totals and donations public, so that there's no fear that I'm just embezzling the money.)

            Say I do all that.  What's the difference between me and the Chamber of Commerce?  That they call themselves a chamber and I used my own name?  

            At what point should the actions described above constitute a criminal offense for either me or my fans?  

            Why should any of them constitute a criminal offense?


            My answer:  it should be a criminal offense because it distorts elections -- fosters corruption -- and is no different from the Banksters (except in your example, a purer motive).

            Plus, given this part of your argument, I'd say you could accomplish your goals without aggregation:

            "every time I endorse a candidate, that candidate tends to get more donations."

            Also, given the state of the law after my imaginary amendment passes, this part of your argument would NOT be true:

            "After all, people are free to send me money for whatever purpose they want, and I am then free to donate it as an individual."

            This would be aggregation of funds, and it would be illegal.

            •  Why is it illegal for people to send me money? (0+ / 0-)

              I'm an individual, they're individuals.  People solicit donations on PayPal all the time for their blogs or for their bands or whatever.  Those people can then donate their own money however they want.  So this becomes illegal because I say ahead of time that I'm donating it to candidates?  What if they just send me money as a gift, and I decide to donate it to candidates?

              And I agree that there'd be no difference with the Chamber of Commerce, either.  I don't think it should be illegal for any group to spend money in ways that would be legal for individuals.

              26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

              by Xenocrypt on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 03:03:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  PAC is the word... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and the amendment doesn't address what really sticks in the craw of CU critics--no caps on contributions.

        A quant and damned proud of it.

        by Cera on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:51:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Limiting donations to individuals (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xenocrypt, johnny wurster

      ...cutting out unions, etc.?

      Wouldn't that give an advantage to rich people like Romney who can simply draw from their own funds?

      •  And you could never really ban aggregation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Since you could always have something like ActBlue which allows for coordination of individual donations without necessarily forming a separate entity.

        Nor should you, in my opinion, ban aggregation of acts which are individually legal--that runs up against at least my personal concept of freedom of assembly.

        26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

        by Xenocrypt on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:05:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Remember, this would be a Constitutional Amendment (0+ / 0-)

          Therefore, given its specificity, it would trump such a broad definition of freedom of assembly.

          People could assemble anywhere and everywhere they choose -- but could not aggregate their funds and give to a certain candidate.

          Again, I don't see how the proposed amendment from the diary would stop distortions in the election process.

          I'm not saying my idea is the best one -- just the best one I've come up with so far.

          I'm certainly open to other ideas -- from any quarter -- to put an end to the distortion of the election process by a privileged few.

          •  Even if it would trump the First Amendment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            johnny wurster

            as a legal matter, it would still run up against, as I said, my personal concept of freedom of assembly.  I'm not a lawyer.

            26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

            by Xenocrypt on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:36:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Xenocrypt, you've hit on the real problem. (0+ / 0-)

              How can you limit the influence of the privileged few -- without also affecting us regular folks?

              This is my imperfect solution (so far).

              I haven't found any other way to REALLY limit the oversized influence of the 1%.

              You have a really cool handle, by the way.

      •  An advantage, yes, but not insurmountable. (0+ / 0-)

        In any political or economic system, the wealthy and well-connected will have SOME advantage.

        Fair or unfair, that is a truth you can count on.

        In my proposed system (for which I welcome ideas and criticism), that advantage will be exposed through the reporting system.  Generally speaking, individual fortunes are less common (and lesser amounts) than corporate fortunes.  I'm not discounting them, only saying they are the lesser of two evils.

        People would be able to support whom they choose, but everyone's donations would be visible to everyone else.  Again, transparency that would expose potential bias of the elected official.

        Aggregation of funds simply invites abuse of those aggregate funds -- and would be no different than the direct donations of corporations.

  •  so you finally get around... (0+ / 0-) doing something about corporate overreach when they imperil your ability to get reelected.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:12:22 PM PST

  •  How does this address Citizens United? (4+ / 0-)

    Citizens United was about Congress' ability to regulate speech. This amendment basically says that no reference to 'people' includes corporations. The first amendment, however, does not refer to 'people' with regards to free speech.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    So the primary question is only whether or not corporations can generate speech. The answer was 'Yes' both in common sense and court precedent long before Citizens United. It is irrelevant whether or not they are people, and that was pointed out in Citizens United (which did not create the concept of Corporate Personhood).

    This protection has been extended by explicit holdings to
    the context of political speech.  See, e.g., Button, 371 U. S.,
    at 428–429; Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U. S. 233,
    244 (1936).  Under the rationale of these precedents,
    political speech does not lose First Amendment protection
    “simply because its source is a corporation.”  Bellotti,
    supra, at 784; see Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. Public Util.
    Comm’n of Cal., 475 U. S. 1, 8 (1986) (plurality opinion)
    (“The identity of the speaker is not decisive in determining
    whether speech is protected. Corporations and other
    associations, like individuals, contribute to the ‘discussion,
    debate, and the dissemination of information and ideas’
    that the First Amendment seeks to foster” (quoting  Bellotti, 435 U. S., at 783)).  The Court has thus rejected the
    argument that political speech of corporations or other
    associations should be treated differently under the First
    Amendment simply because such associations are not
    “natural persons.”  
    Id., at 776; see id.

    Once you realize that corporations can create speech, the first amendment applies and this amendment would not change that.

    There are of course ways in which Congress can create reasonable restrictions within the first amendment, which the court ruled this law did not do

    •  Good catch. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's pretty comical that the amendment doesn't even solve the problem it purports to address.  It's a fail on many levels, and this is probably the funniest level of fail.

    •  the CItizen's United case didn't invent the (0+ / 0-)

      concept of corporate "personhood," but it expanded it in an unwarranted way, to please the Federalist Society and others who wish the power of BIg Money, and the corporations through which it works, to be unassailable.

      The concept of incorporation means that an association of entrepreneurs has been, by a deliberate legal fiction, "embodied" -- "incorporated" -- so that the association can act in ways that are to some extent separate from any member of the association.  Act as a separate person.  This very useful legal fiction helped capitalism to grow and thrive, allowing merchants (for instance) to take risks in exploration and trade without risking their entire accumulaation of property.  Great. But there has never been a point where any system of laws assumed that a corporation automatically has all the rights and privileges of human beings. THat's why they don't vote, for instance.

      You can't build on an accident of grammer, the way a paragraph was phrased, to blanketly assign human rights to a legal fiction constructed to make commerce easier.

      For nearly a hundred years, the Court has held that laws could validly regulate the role of money in elections.  "Conservative" justices are suddenly willing to overthrow precedent wholesale, just because they damned well want to.  "Well," they say to excuse themselves," the first amendment is about SPEECH."  No, it's about speech by human beings, as a manifestation of human freedom -- as would have been perfectly obvious in that era.  The Bill of Rights was written to protect individual freedom -- the freedom of all those men who are created equal -- from potential tyranny by the new federal government.  What happened to all those conservatives on the Supreme Court who are always ranting about original intent?

      A corporation is not an individual, a person, one of "all men" who (as another document puts it) are created equal and endowned with inalienable rights.  Corporations don't have inalienable rights. They aren't "men."  They are useful legal fictions that make commerce easier.  They have the rights that the legal system gives them so that they can serve their purposes.

      Being used as a tool to dominate elections and corrupt our democratic process beyond repair is NOT one of their intended or legitimate purposes.

  •  you don't need to get us to sign your petition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you need your colleagues to sign your bill. we're already convinced.

    •  The people that can't think through issues are (0+ / 0-)

      convinced.  But this is a terrible amendment.

    •  But whether his colleagues sign will depend a lot (0+ / 0-)

      on how much they think people care.  If they're going to infuriate the rich people who dominate the major corporations, they need to know that there's a substantial push-back force on the other side.  Otherwise, their actions will be futile, doomed to defeat; so why bother.

      •  i don't buy it anymore (0+ / 0-)

        i've signed too damn many of these breathless "help us pass this bill that we won't pass" things to be sold on it anymore. it's not as if elected democrats actually give a fuck what their constituents think on policy. it's a email-harvesting tool.

        i think ending corporate personhood's a great idea, and would certainly help work to get it passed through whatever state i lived in at the time, should it ever get that far. i just don't think that that's what's going on here.

  •  You mean "corporations are persons" (0+ / 0-)

    wasn't part of the original intent of the Framers? But I thought our conservative justices were advocates of the hermeneutics of "Original Intent." Shocking hypocrisy, no?

    "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

    by psnyder on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:39:20 PM PST

  •  Your amendment is moronic. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    First, it doesn't do anything; it just provides the Congress to do stuff.  Second, and more importantly, it permits Congress to pass laws banning op-eds by the NY Times (which is a corporation) since it contains no media exception), or to ban mosques from buying Korans (since it has no religion exception).

    In short: it's a POS.  Hire some research assistants, since you're obviously not capable of thinking through complex issues by yourself.

  •  Ain't that something... (0+ / 0-)'s almost as if McGovern here has never even heard of a PAC.

    A quant and damned proud of it.

    by Cera on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:49:44 PM PST

  •  Now we're talking. Forward n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  What are the chances that this will pass both (0+ / 0-)

    houses and be ratified by the requisite number of states, at least in the next 20 years?  

    Please, try proposing something in Congress that will create jobs before you are up for re-election.  

    If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? - Psalms 11:3

    by SpamNunn on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 05:17:11 PM PST

  •  Sounds good (0+ / 0-)

    I signed it but fat lot of good it will do. Sorry but my patience has run out as far as the august bodies of 'our' government goes. Why are my supposed representatives sitting around with the cat food commission 2 figuring out how to screw the people while people are being sprayed with chemicals and Democrat's are silent or as Obama said feel it's up to the cities to apply whatever force is necessary to quell the people who are rebelling against this corrupt beyond redemption government? This is so feeble and useless it makes me weep. Were lucky if  congress doesn't  just decide to declare us all by virtue of the Patriotic Act, terrists and a danger and haul us all off. Did you vote for it's renewal? Get real stop this kabuki and do something that is real to stop this shit.        

  •  Corporations aren't in the Constitution (0+ / 0-)

    Corporations are simply legal devices for aggregating capital and shielding assets from liability.  The fiction of personhood is so bogus, why not consider just passing a law asserting that the privileges and immunities of corporations are defined by charter, and the conditions and limits of corporate charter is a matter for legislative determination?

    There has never been a truly front-door determination of this doctrine.  Let it be argued directly so that Justices have to defend the full nature of the legal theory behind it.  That is nothing that the right wouldn't do to take a shot at Roe v. Wade.

  •  An Argument Against Corporate Personhood. (0+ / 0-)

    A person comes from a woman's womb.
    A corporation comes from a lawyer's office.
    They are definitely NOT the same thing!

  •  I'll absolutely support this (0+ / 0-)

    corporations most certainly are not people.  they are legal constructs.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:50:13 PM PST

  •  Citizens United didn't depend on corporate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    begone, johnny wurster


    It would inspire more confidence if our representatives were as up on these things as we bloggers are. Really.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 06:51:51 PM PST

  •  Democratic Legislators Only Feel Empowered To (0+ / 0-)

    propose amendments when they know that they can never pass the House or Senate.

    It's great politics.

    It helps them to appear to do what a Democrat should be doing but not have to do anything to try to get it passed.  They simply say, "We couldn't get it passed because of those darn Republicans are mean".  "We need 60 votes".  Darn it we just don't have the votes.

    They wouldn't dare propose any meaningful legislation when they have a majority, especially when they have a Democrat in the Whitehouse.

    When will the 99% get tired of these games by the Democrats?

    Their allegiance is to the 1%.

    Why do we fall for these false "feel good" proposals by Democrats?

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:00:00 PM PST

  •  Congressman, I just missed you in redistricting! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm in Milford, and it looks like I'll end up in the 4th CD with Barney Frank, while your district has taken over several towns to my west.  While I would have loved to have you representing me, Barney Frank will be pretty awesome as well!

    Thank you for offering up this very important amendment - now let's work to get it passed and ratified!

    Beta testers wanted: get a free copy of ORGANIZE!

    by AnotherMassachusettsLiberal on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 07:09:00 PM PST

  •  Uh (0+ / 0-)

    is there a link to the actual language of your proposed amendment, Rep. McGovern?

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:27:35 PM PST

  •  Citizens United (0+ / 0-)

    A complementary idea: if corporations are now "people", then we human people should enjoy the same privileges that corporate people have:  deducting ALL of the cost of operating as a "person":  food, clothing, beer, movie tickets, vacations, etc., in the same way that "Mr. Exxon" or "Mr. Pfizer", or "Mr. Halliburton" do.  Thus, we human persons would have zero federal tax liabilities.  

    I think you would see "Citizens United" reversed in a nano-second.

  •  Thank you, Sir. (0+ / 0-)

    I will absolutely sign and support you.

    Keep holding on so long, 'cause there's a chance that we might not be so wrong. We could be down and gone but we hold on...

    by Purple Priestess on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:39:14 PM PST

  •  Signed/Tipped/Recommended. Question below. (0+ / 0-)

    I have a memory of my parents having had a McGovern Campaign sign in our front yard in Meadville, PA, but I can't remember what the sign was for. It would have been about 1970 or maybe 1972. Can anyone jog my memory?

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 04:05:11 AM PST

  •  Signed! Thank you!! (0+ / 0-)

    My representative is Rep. Keith Ellison so I don't think there will be a problem with getting his vote on this.  Thank you for the action and a place to direct some action!!  Let's get this done!

  •  Good luck with that. Congress has been bought. (0+ / 0-)

    Just my opinion but no amount of signatures and quixotic efforts to amend the Constitution will change that fact.

    Do us one favor.  Whenever one of your colleagues says something you know to be demonstrably false, I dare you to ask them which group bribed him/her and for how much to support such a thing.

  •  "Repeal" (0+ / 0-)

    While I applaud this effort... it's purely just another political statement and ploy to build an email list.

    Citizens United cannot be repealed because it's not a law. It is the consequence of a lack of a law. And before someone points out that it's a constitutional amendment... maybe you should read up on what it takes to get an amendment added to the constitution.

    Here is an idea, Congressman... How about doing some actual work instead of wasting time with proposals that will never see the light of day.

  •  Good start - but would much rather see (0+ / 0-)

    a simple amendment -


  • (0+ / 0-)

    The Young Turks already started this a month ago look up

  •  I have not seen the text of the amendment (0+ / 0-)

    Will Rep. McGovern update the diary with the text.  Some commenters say that the amendment will not necessarily solve the problem it is supposed to solve.

    Please put the text up so we can decide for ourselves.

    Not wanting to be a nay-sayer, what is the probability of getting this amendment through congress that sees corporate America as their gravy train, particularly the Republican House?

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 07:29:54 AM PST

  •  please post the text of the amendment, Jim. (0+ / 0-)

    I found a link to it, but you need to have it in the body of this diary.  The text is as important as the effort itself, which I applaud.

    "Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage." - Confucius -/- "Yeah, well, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi

    by nailbender on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 08:23:40 AM PST

  •  Why not an amendment killing corporate personhood (0+ / 0-)


  •  Resolution to Abolish Corporate Personhood (0+ / 0-)

    Last night, I proposed a resolution to Legalize Democracy and Abolish Corporate Personhood to my local Democratic Party.  Butte is a town in Montana which votes consistantly 70% Democrat.  My resolution failed by 1 vote.  The opposition argued three things, 1st, they didn't want to take a voice away from our local businesses.  2nd, They thought it would hurt Democrats getting elected, and 3rd, They didn't think it was our place to pass such a resolution.

    This is how far the Democratic Party has fallen, in a town of 70% democrats we can't even pass a resolution that Corporations are not people.  The reason for this? When I went to our State Platform Convention a couple of years ago, many of the Montana Corporations had a strong presence there.  They are allowed there because they are donors.  

    I would like to see across this nation that only people working in the local democratic party be invited and have a say on the Platform.

    2012 Needs to be about the GOP Anti-Humanism.

    by ButteDem on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 09:36:48 AM PST

  •  Is this the Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC (0+ / 0-)

    If not, how does it differ?

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:44:51 PM PST

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