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Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the Saving American Democracy Amendment to the Constitution today. Essentially, it's a "corporations are not people" amendment. It expressly excludes corporations from the rights granted to natural persons under the Constitution, prohibits corporate spending in elections, allows for Congress & the States to regulate corporations and campaign finance.

Per Sen. Sanders, this is the only way to fight the Citizens United decision.

"Make no mistake, the Citizens United ruling has radically changed the nature of our democracy, further tilting the balance of power toward the rich and the powerful at a time when already the wealthiest people in this country have never had it so good," Sanders said.
"In my view, history will record that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision is one of the worst decisions ever made by a Supreme Court in the history of our country."

The amendment is co-sponsored by  Sen. Mark Begish (D-Alaska). There is a corresponding amendment being proposed in the House sponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).

S.J. Res. 33 reads as follows:

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to expressly exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons
by the Constitution of the United States, prohibit corporate spending
in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the States
to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election
contributions and expenditures.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Mr. SANDERS (for himself and Mr. BEGICH) introduced the following joint
resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on

JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United
States to expressly exclude for-profit corporations from
the rights given to natural persons by the Constitution
of the United States, prohibit corporate spending in all
elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the
States to regulate corporations and to regulate and set
limits on all election contributions and expenditures.
  Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
  of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-
  thirds of each House concurring therein)
,  That the fol-
  lowing article is proposed as an amendment to the Con-
  stitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all
  intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when
  ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several
  States within seven years after the date of its submission
  for ratification:

  ‘‘ARTICLE—
  ‘‘SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution
  of the United States are the rights of natural persons and
  do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability
  companies, or other private entities established for busi-
  ness purposes or to promote business interests under the
  laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.
  ‘‘SECTION 2. Such corporate and other private enti-
  ties established under law are subject to regulation by the
  people through the legislative process so long as such regu-
  lations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the
  States and do not limit the freedom of the press.
  ‘‘SECTION 3. Such corporate and other private enti-
  ties shall be prohibited from making contributions or ex-
  penditures in any election of any candidate for public of-
  fice or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the
  people.
  ‘‘SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the
  power to regulate and set limits on all election contribu-
  tions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spend-
  ing, and to authorize the establishment of political com-
  mittees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources
  of those contributions and expenditures.’’.

My personal opinion is that this amendment would have the overwhelming support of the American people. Given the current composition of Congress though, I just don't see a path to the 2/3 majority needed in both Houses of Congress to pass. GOP members as well as certain Democrats represent corporation's interests over their constituents on a regular basis. This is something we desperately need but getting it passed by members that are so thoroughly co-opted by the existing system would be an enormous feat.

Senator Sanders sees these corporate excesses as anathema to our democracy.

“In my view, corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries and spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to buy elections,” he said. “I do not believe that is what American democracy is supposed to be about.”

I absolutely agree. Passing this Constitutional amendment seems the last fledgling hope of our Democracy. It is already floundering is a sea of corporate cash. I really want to thank Senator Sanders for once again showing that he is firmly on the side of the people of this country....the flesh and blood people.

If you support this effort, please add your name to A Petition to Support the Saving American Democracy Amendment

jamess wrote a diary earlier today that included a great video of Senator Sanders. Take a look at it there and drop him a tip & rec. I think this is an idea that merits attention. The time has come to look seriously at what we can do.

Is there a way we can make this happen? How else could Citizen's United be countered? The floor is yours.

Update: Thanks for getting this on the Rec list! It's time to push this into the national consciousness and find a way to get it done.

Update 2: h/t to Satya1 for bringing this book to my attention:
"Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became 'People' and How You Can Fight Back." by Thom Hartmann
You can read it online at Truthout

Thom also hosts Bernie every Friday on his Radio show for his Brunch with Bernie segment.

Originally posted to Siriously on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 06:51 PM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains.

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    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 06:51:08 PM PST

  •  I Wish It'd Also Amend Several of the Amendments. (24+ / 0-)

    For example, while the 2nd Amendment freedom is of the people to bear arms, and the the 4th Amendment freedom is of the people to be secure from unreasonable search and seizure, the 1st Amendment speech freedom is not one of the people at all. It's a freedom of the speech itself. This is partly why CU is possible.

    I'd like something on the order of "....abridging the freedom of the people's speech...." as an additional firewall.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:02:25 PM PST

  •   An Excellent but futile nostrum.. (21+ / 0-)

    With the Congress constipated by Grover Norquist's vile butt-monkeys,
     No such amendment will have any chance...

                                        But BRAVO, Bernie!

    Workers will own the corporations

    by joe wobblie on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:05:12 PM PST

    •  Every single signature (16+ / 0-)

      aids the effort to push this idea to fruition. It may not be now, but we need to keep this movement alive.

      Thanks for adding your voice.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:35:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As usual, I've forwarded to all my peeps (12+ / 0-)

        Dudehisattva...

        "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

        by Dood Abides on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:44:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dood Abides? HERE? (9+ / 0-)

          More Dood Abides diaries please!

          Meanwhile, further to the Bernie Sanders efforts about people/corporations, some links:

          CORPORATE PERSONHOOD. Thom Hartmann.
          I recommend his book "Unequal Protection.

          Excerpt from a Thom Hartmann  interview on one of my absolute favorite websites, buzzflash.org (GREAT news and opinion pieces.  you can buy neat stuff from them too. The toffee is excellent):

          Snippet:

          . . . . . the railroads began to try to influence or corrupt government to enhance their own power and profits.
          SNIP

          For example, in 1873, one of the first Supreme Court rulings on the Fourteenth Amendment, which had passed only five years earlier, Justice Samuel F. Miller minced no words in chastising the railroads for trying to claim the rights of human beings.
          SNIP

          But in the 1886 case, we are told by over a hundred years' worth of history books and law books, the Supreme Court decided that corporations were, in fact, persons, and entitled to human rights, including the right of equal protection under the law -- freedom from discrimination.

           when I . . . . read an original copy of the Court's proceedings in the 1886 "Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad" case, the Justices actually said no such thing. In fact, the decision says, at its end, that because they could find a California state law that covered the case "it is not necessary to consider any other questions" such as the constitutionality of the railroad's claim to personhood.

          But in the headnote to the case -- a commentary written by the clerk, which is NOT legally binding, it's just a commentary to help out law students and whatnot, summarizing the case -- the Court's clerk wrote: "The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

          That discovery -- that we'd been operating for over 100 years on an incorrect headnote -- led me to discover that the clerk, J.C. Bancroft Davis, was a former corrupt official of the U.S. Grant administration and the former president of a railroad, and in collusion with another corrupt Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Field, who had been told by the railroads that if they'd help him get this through they'd sponsor him for the presidency.

          . . . . So that was when the foundations for corporate power were laid in the United States, and they were laid on the basis of a lie.

          CORPORATE PERSONHOOD. Dr. Riki Ott:

          From fishing to marine science to health to community organizing and lawsuits, Dr. Rikki Ott is a godsend.

          THIS C-SPAN VIDEO SHOULD BE REQUIRED VIEWING FOR EVERYONE:

          http://www.c-spanarchives.org/...

          "Not One Drop" Riki Ott, PhD. marine toxicologist, community activist, and former commercial salmon "fisherm'am". Discusses her Alaska community fighting Exxon and working to heal themselves. Then she does a brilliant outline of how to take back our democracy through "Ultimate Civics" including the movement to stop Corporate Personhood.

          Dr. Ott explains that at the founding of America we made the mistake of letting some people be property. In 1886 Supreme Court let some property become people when corporations were granted Personhood. Americans fixed the founding fathers error and now it is time to fix the Corporate Personhood error and let people be people. Ultimate Civics.

          Dr. Ott's book, "Not One Drop"
          http://www.powells.com/...

          Publisher Comments: [emphasis is mine]

          In the early 1970s, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens promised Cordova fishermen "not one drop" of oil would be spilled in Prince William Sound from proposed tanker traffic and the trans-Alaska pipeline project. Fishermen knew better. Spanning nearly 40 years, Not One Drop is an extraordinary tale of ordinary people who take on the world's richest oil companies and most powerful politicians to protect Prince William Sound from oil accidents.

          Author Riki Ott, a rare combination of commercial salmon "fisherma'am" and PhD marine biologist, describes the firsthand impact of this broken promise when the Exxon Valdez oil spill decimated Cordova, Alaska, a small commercial fishing community set in 38,000 square miles of rugged Alaska wilderness.

          Ott illustrates in stirring fashion the oil industrys 20-year trail of pollution and deception that led to the tragic 1989 spill and delves deep into the disruption to the fishing community for the next 10 years. In vivid detail, she describes the human trauma coupled inextricably with that of the Sound's wildlife and its struggle to recover.

          Contrasting hard-won spill prevention and response measures in the Sound to dangerous conditions on the trans-Alaska pipeline, Ott critically examines shifts in scientific understanding of oil spill effects on communities and ecosystems, exposing fundamental flaws in governance and the legal system. Her varied background, professional training, and activist heart lead readers confidently and clearly through the maze of laws, back-story, and government red tape as large as that of the five billion dollar lawsuit itself, instilling a new-found sense of understanding of this environmental tragedy.
          Review:
          "Aldo Leopold wrote, 'A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.'The tragic Exxon Valdez oil spill is wrong!Riki Ott is the right person--at the right place--at the right time. Her expertise as an author and as a marine toxicologist alerts us to the true cost of our addiction to oil--not just monetary cost, but ecological cost. Democracy and the planet are at stake."--Nina Bradley, Director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation

          Dr. Ott's website:
          http://www.rikiott.com/

          ACTION:
          http://www.ultimatecivics.org/

          http://www.movetoamend.org/

          •  Cut my teeth on BuzzFlash... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sixeight120bpm, Siri, RF, ozsea1, DawnN

            ... I stumbled onto the site while dealing with the shock and awe of the SCOTUS anointment of the shrub... They were kind enough to publish some of my first rants and a photoshop...

            Wow... those were strange and scary times. I remember that it really was like watching a train wreck in slow motion... a nightmare....

            being one person in 10,000 to 100,000 in America trying to scream at the top of your lungs "WAIT A F***ING MINUTE!"... then being told to buy things and shut up

            I still do feel like it's a nightmare, within a nightmare, within a nightmare most days... and you know... most all of them have links to the 1%SCOTUS(sounds like low fat milk or something) Two of these sitting judges warrant and simply MUST BE IMPEACHED!

            Thanks for the links LNK! I will reread! Good to see you're still around and takin 'er easy for all us sinners

            Dudehisattva...

            "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

            by Dood Abides on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 03:57:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Snowball meet Hell (6+ / 0-)

    This would be great, but...

    Section I seems to omit unions (in my opinion) and will cause caterwauling from the union-busters that will be heard as far away as the new planet, Kepler-22b.

     

    ...do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability
      companies, or other private entities established for busi-
      ness purposes or to promote business interests under the
      laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

    By the way, the universe and the citizens of Kepler-22b are laughing at us behind our backs.  We  are flukes of the universe.

    Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

    by Zwoof on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:29:34 PM PST

    •  Signatory # 62,352 (10+ / 0-)

      Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

      by Zwoof on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:32:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They're adding up fast! (7+ / 0-)

        Yes, the fact that unions aren't included will make the GOP scream bloody murder but that's kind of fun to watch.

        btw I remember that spoof on the Desiderata from the old Dr. Demento show ;)

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

        by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:41:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are not unions (5+ / 0-)

          "private entities established for business purposes?"  Among other things, a union seeks to maintain and increase the revenues of its members.

        •  Siri - why is this limited to for-profit corps? (9+ / 0-)

          Why not all corporations, including not for profit corporations? I think excluding unions not only makes the GOP scream bloody murder, but it hurts the chances of broad acceptance. It looks like the amendment is tilting the balance the other way, rather than creating a level playing field.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:53:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All campaign contributions will be regulated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4Freedom, ozsea1

            and transparent under this amendment.

            ‘‘SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall
              have the power to regulate and set limits on all election
              contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s
              own spending, and to authorize the establishment of
              political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose
              the sources of those contributions and expenditures.’’.

            What those specific regulations would be for other entities, is up to Congress and the States.

            48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

            by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:11:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Siri - but that is only a part of it (7+ / 0-)

              Money is only part of political speech. Why not just have the amendment state "corporations" and have it be universal? The problem with having language that seems to favor unions is that it can backfire. The California Nurses had this problem with an amendment they put on the ballot that would have put restrictions on everybody but them. Even people who supported the restrictions just though it was unfair, voted against it and it lost.

              When you make it too easy for people to argue that it is unfair on its face you lose any chance to have bi-partisan support and we all know that this amendment will never happen with just the support of Dems.  

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:27:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is not unfair. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Siri

                The shareholders of Exxon-Mobil are free to form The Exxon-Mobil Party and they can make contributions under section 4 of the Amendment.

                •  MM - that doesn't answer my question (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Siri, J M F

                  Why not have the amendment prohibit all corporations, not just for-profit corps? The way it is currently drafted it's much too easy to argue that it is unfair on its face and therefore will never gain political traction.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:38:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I like it to appear unfair. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Siri, DawnN

                    We should push the Overton Window so that the idea of drowning Corporations in bathtubs becomes politically acceptable.

                    Just using the word "fairness" is already showing signs of our Corporate brainwashing. Corporations don't deserve fairness, any more than we treat bicycles "fairly". Corporations are not humans.

                    I am gonna have bacon for breakfast today and I feel sorrier for the pig than I do for any Corporation that thinks this amendment treats it unfairly.

                    •  MM - that's all well and good (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      johnny wurster, Siri

                      And if we view this bill as a conversation starter it's a good tactic. However, we are not going to amend the Constitution without broad bi-partisan support and this draft will certainly not achieve that goal.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:39:51 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Too broad, that's why (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Siri
                Why not just have the amendment state "corporations" and have it be universal?

                Here with fresh concern, just like clockwork.

                An Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democrat.

                by ozsea1 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:03:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  501 (c) 3 type not for profits, are not allowed (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Siri, 4Freedom

            to lobby. Expressly forbidden in tax code. However, not sure about other 501 classes, as there are others.

            The charter must state the purpose and goals of the not for profit. No laundering of money allowed either as is under CU and the lobbying groups which are now allowed to take contributions without disclosure and pass them on to national committees for political parties and I believe to candidate efforts.

            Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

            by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:10:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  501c3s are expressly permitted to lobby. (6+ / 0-)

              They can't support or oppose candidates for office.

              But they're expressly permitted to lobby.

            •  Thank you. I remembered the limits and (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnny wurster, Siri, ozsea1, DawnN

              cautions points.

              1. 501(c)(3)s cannot lobby and will lose their tax exemption if they engage in lobbying.

              Absolutely not. 501(c)(3) organizations can, and often should, lobby at all levels of government. Federal tax law has always permitted some lobbying by nonprofits. The 1976 lobbying tax law passed by Congress made that expressly clear. The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") followed with implementing regulations. The federal government clearly supports lobbying by 501(c)(3) organizations. Together, the law and regulations provide wide latitude for 501(c)(3) organizations to lobby.

              The law makes it very clear how much a 501(c)(3) organization can spend on lobbying - up to $1 million depending on the size of the organization - if the 501(h) election is made. The law also makes it clear which activities are lobbying and which are not. For example, lobbying occurs only when there is an expenditure of money by the 501(c)(3) for the purpose of attempting to influence legislation. Where there is no expenditure by the organization for lobbying (such as lobbying by members or volunteers), there is no lobbying by the organization.

              The right of citizens to petition their government is basic to our democratic way of life, and associations, including 501(c)(3)s, are one of the most effective vehicles for making use of citizen participation in shaping public policy. Fortunately, the legislation passed by Congress in 1976 makes it possible for 501(c)(3)s to lobby freely for the causes, communities and constituencies they serve.

              Generally, organizations that make the 501(h) election under the 1976 lobbying law may spend 20% of the first $500,000 of their annual expenditures on lobbying ($100,000), 15% of the next $500,000, and so on, up to $1 million dollars.

              Finally, by not engaging in lobbying, your organization may be failing to employ a very important activity that could be enormously helpful in carrying out its mission.


              Can a 501 (c) 3 lobby?
              Lobbying

              In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying).  A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

              Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive office), or by the public in referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure.  It does not include actions by executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

              An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

              Organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying.  For example, organizations may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.


              IRS regs

              Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

              by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:57:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well put, but remember 501(c)(4) organizations (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Regina in a Sears Kit House

                They do have much more leeway for lobbying and political advocacy than 501(c)(3)s do (it can be their primary activity.) They too are usually barred from direct support or opposition to candidates, though there may or may not be leeway on this point if the support or opposition is directly tied to the organization's stated "social welfare" purpose (the IRC is not entirely clear on this point.) The IRC clearly does give 501(c)(4)s almost unlimited lobbying and advocacy abilities that are related to their stated purpose (see this IRS publication for the gory details [warning: 66 page .pdf].)

                These are the kind of organizations we've seen running some of the worst campaign ads in recent years, including the actual advertizing arm of Citizens United itself (which is actually organized as several connected organizations under the law just for this reason, with the central organization being a 501(c)(3) so that contributions can be written off.) It is one of the stealth methods of evading campaign finance law that could be cut out of the system under this amendment, since their political advocacy could be regulated more carefully while not eliminating the ability of actual social welfare organizations to do good things that have little or nothing to do with politics.

                Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

                by Stwriley on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:52:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Because political parties... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Siri

            ...are not-for-profits. They are covered in section 4.

            •  MM - then registered political parties (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ManhattanMan, Siri

              should have a carve out, rather than placing a big tent over all not for profit corporations.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:40:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  No longer the case. (0+ / 0-)

              Political parties (including the DNC, RNC and alltheir state affiliates) are now considered 527 organizations under the IRC, not 501(c)(4)s, since their primary purpose is "selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to Federal, State, or local public office or office in a political organization, or the election of Presidential electors." [see this IRS document for the details] This has been true since 2002. This was done specifically to separate them from the "social welfare organization" category that 501(c)(4)s are supposed to represent.

              I should also note that neither unions nor business organizations fall under this category either, since they have their own (501(c)(5) for unions and 501(c)(6) for business leagues.)

              Conservito delenda est pro is deleo orbis terrarum!

              by Stwriley on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 11:09:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The question needs to be asked about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Siri

            religious groups and PACs like American Crossroads?

    •  Without including unions this has no chance (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nickrud, Siri, ozsea1, DawnN, blunami

      And that's a bargain I'm willing to make.  Take corporate cash out of elections, and I'd be willing to take union money out as well.

      You can't really do one without doing the other, as it creates a credible, powerful argument against this amendment.

    •  "and remember that two wrongs never make a right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri

      but that three, do."

      Ah, Radio Dinner. Good times.

      An Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democrat.

      by ozsea1 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:41:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Signed. Posted to Facebook. (6+ / 0-)

    Sen. Sanders is a most excellent human being.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:34:50 PM PST

  •  Thanks, Siri (2+ / 0-)

    I read about this earlier today and was very happy to see that Bernie drew up the amendment in coordination with the House.

    I did not take the time to study this but I am wondering what is the difference between Bernie's amendment and the one that was drawn up by two other senators -- was it Bennett and Udall?  Maybe someone here is familiar with both of them and knows the difference.

  •  Its so simple its ridiculous (3+ / 0-)

    "GOP members as well as certain Democrats represent corporation's interests over their constituents on a regular basis." True indeed but the challenge is to argue to your constituencies why a multi billion dollar corporation should have all the rights of citizenship that individuals do. Elected officials often vote in support of corporate interests but never, never, never, justify their votes via the 14th Amendment. It will be interesting to see what lies corporations will craft to undermine the amendments passage. In light of this quote "Corporations have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned," there is a long history of corporate malfeasance without accountability.

    "I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living." Harvey Milk

    by Sansouci on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:38:30 PM PST

  •  How does this stop the corporations? (2+ / 0-)

    This seems to prohibit spending for a candidate in an election. The counter argument is simply that Exxon ran a TV commercial about an issue they support or oppose which just happened to mention a candidate but was not a commercial related to an election.  How does this prevent such expenditures.  Does it do anything about superPACs or their funding which is the other end around "We just give to organizations which promote good government". At least they'd have to say which not who.

    •  It not only prohibits campaign contributions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Regina in a Sears Kit House

      but prohibits expenditures in any election. It also specifically gives Congress and the States the right to regulate their activity.

      The amendment would have to pass in order for Congress and/or the States to then be able to then establish ground rules. This amendment is the starting point because it would bar them from claiming constitutional protection.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:14:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could get nasty. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri, Setsuna Mudo

        Section 4 says "all" contributions and expenditures.

        Suppose Congress sets the limit at $5000/person.

        This website is worth more than that. Can they shut Kos down?

        •  I'm not sure why you (5+ / 0-)

          would think they could.  Section 4 relates specifically to election contributions and expenditures.

          Section 2 makes it clear that any regulations established must be "consistent with the powers of Congress and the
          States and

          do not limit the freedom of the press
          ."

          Is there something else about it that seems problematic?

          48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

          by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:47:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Isn't it self contradictory to (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Setsuna Mudo, Siri, Wham Bam, VClib

            not limit freedom of the press but say that freedom of the press doesn't apply to corporations, many of which own news outlets?

            "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 Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 03:18:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Freedom of press" = "freedom to write." (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Siri, AaronInSanDiego, Wham Bam, VClib

            It doesn't refer to the institution of the media.  Whoever wrote this amendment doesn't appear to be the brightest bulb.

          •  Section 4 says (5+ / 0-)
            "Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures..."

            It does not refer back to Section 2's freedom of press protections.

            If a rich man buys a printing press (or a chain of newspapers) should he be allowed to print millions of papers supporting his favorite candidate?

            Does this amendment give Congress the ability to limit this?

            Do we even want to limit it?

            I think we need to settle for stripping out the rights of Corporations and killing corporate personhood. Capping spending by wealthy individuals is another discussion.

            If Section 4 had existed in 1992, Congress could have set the limit at (for instance) $2 million per person. This would have made it impossible for Ross Perot to run -- he spent about $100 million of his own money. Without Perot, Clinton would have likely lost the election.

          •  Given that press companies would not be able to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, AaronInSanDiego

            access the courts since they would not be "people" and would not have the constitutional right to sue it seems that the prohibition on regulations that limit freedom of the press would be unenforceable - no one could sue to prevent them.

  •  Necessary viewing for the campaign (2+ / 0-)

    This is the most stunning indictment of the corporation imaginable. This documentary would be indispensible to the fight.

    "I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living." Harvey Milk

    by Sansouci on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:52:31 PM PST

  •  does this get debated in committee? (4+ / 0-)

    would be most excellent to watch the republicans making the corporate personhood argument.
    "some of my best friends are corporations..."

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:54:09 PM PST

  •  If you think the constitution (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, VClib

    guarantees the freedom of speech to people, or anyone, you are mistaken.

    The constitution forbids the federal government from restricting speech.  No matter the source.

    It would be interesting to fight a case against dog barking.

    So if you wan to change the rights, you need to change the constitution to say it can restrict the rights of corporations and other formally organized groups of people.

  •  I've already put my e-signature on the petition. (4+ / 0-)

    It needs to be done.

    Lea: "You're not going to fly into an asteroid field, are you?" Han Solo: "They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?"

    by Kimball Cross on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:13:30 PM PST

  •  Freedom of speech is not a right granted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, Quequeg, johnny wurster

    to natural persons under the Constitution, so this would be meaningless, as much as I love Bernie.

    No one is granted freedom of speech in the Constitution - it bars the government from restricting speech,

    So "natural persons" or not, it doesn't even enter into the equation.

    What you actually want is to give the federal government rights to restrict speech in certain areas.

    •  The amendment gives the government (3+ / 0-)

      the right to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures during elections so it does essentially restrict the speech (money) in that area.

      ‘‘SECTION 3. Such corporate and other private enti-
        ties shall be prohibited from making contributions or ex-
        penditures in any election of any candidate for public of-
        fice or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the
        people.
        ‘‘SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the
        power to regulate and set limits on all election contribu-
        tions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own  
        spending, and to authorize the establishment of political
        committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the
        sources of those contributions and expenditures.’’.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:37:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure why you keep suggesting (5+ / 0-)

      this Amendment doesn't pass Constitutional muster. I invite DKos legal scholars to weigh in here, but I believe you could pass an Amendment that states, "Upon enactment, every provision of the Constitution is henceforth null and void."

      An Amendment isn't necessarily restricted to clarifying the Constitution - it can change any part of it.

    •  The problem has never been speech. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, jds1978, rmx2630, ozsea1

      I have no problem with the Chairman of AT&T standing on a corner and saying anything he wants.  The problem is money.  The huge error is saying that free speech means freedom to pay someone else to repeat your speech.  

      Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

      by J Orygun on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:03:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't care if they say anything they want, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri, elwior

        I just don't want them to be able to "pay" for any legislation they want.

        Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

        by bkamr on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:22:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "freedom to repeat speech" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wham Bam, VClib

        So the NY Times has the right to publish an op-ed, but Congress can prohibit them from publishing copies?

        Freedom of speech = freedom to disseminate speech = "freedom to pay someone else to repeat your speech."

        •  No, the NYT can print whatever they want (0+ / 0-)

          The press is free.  But the legislature should have the right to regulate commercial speech, including paid publication of political statements, provided the restrictions are evenly applied.  

          I also think you ought to get slapped with a huge fine if you intentionally lie or mislead people in a political ad.  In fact, you should only be able to cite votes on bills, or things your opponent actually said, and talk about your own positions.  No making up 3AM phone calls.  

          Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

          by J Orygun on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 08:13:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It won't pass this time.. (6+ / 0-)

    but if We the People keep working, it will pass eventually.

    A man, a plan, a canal, Panama

    by Karl Rover on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:37:52 PM PST

  •  It's always reassuring to see that someone still (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, 6ZONite, Matt Z, tb mare, rmx2630

    gives a shit in our congress.

    Drive on Bernie, drive on

    "... the Professional Left, that is simultaneously totally irrelevant and ruining everything" (Glenn Greenwald)

    by ranger995 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:53:32 PM PST

  •  thanks Siri for the shout out, (6+ / 0-)

    and even more so,

    for getting this important action item on the Rec List.


    great job!


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:10:07 PM PST

    •  Oh of course! (5+ / 0-)

      I actually wrote this much earlier. I had done a search and there wasn't anything posted yet but then I looked one more time before publishing and yours was up. I know we have different content in our diaries & you had the video (which is great btw) but I figured spacing them out and linking back to yours in mine would get as many eyeballs on this subject as possible.

      It's the subject matter that deserves the rec list. It was just a matter of timing I guess.  I do hope people pop into yours to see the vid.

      Glad you stopped in. Thanks!

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

      by Siri on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:44:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm surprised that Sanders didn't go far enough (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Siri, tb mare, ChuckInReno

    and simply state that our Constitution applies only to natural born persons - i.e. human beings.

    Why the carve out for non-profit corporations?

    A person is a person - that is, whelped of a woman, a human being. There's no magic here.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:14:52 PM PST

  •  Thanks for posting (4+ / 0-)

    The Citizens United decision astounded me. This has to go.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:21:02 PM PST

  •  show me one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    corporation that can fit in a voting booth.

    i'm ready to warm up the tar bucket.
    i'll donate some real purdy green feathers, too.

    (just pleeze don't make me watch jimmy stewart again this year, i wanna see reruns of the libyan soccer game they played in their new kit, SINGING THEIR NATIONAL ANTHEM LIKE THEY MEANT IT. ooops. well, hell: don't you know what it really means--liberty or death?)

    Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. (But go ahead and arrest Rumsfeld, too.)

    by greenbird on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:24:09 PM PST

  •  Poll it, quick! (6+ / 0-)

    Kos runs serious polls these days, right? This one should be run as a national poll, right away.

    Are you aware that Congressman Bernie Sanders has introduced a Constitutional Amendment to end corporate personhood and corporate contributions to elections?

    Are you in favor of this amendment or opposed to it?

    That would actually spread the word a bit more than it's likely to get spread otherwise, as well as getting the real reaction of the people to this.

    Please, kos, this is worth doing.

    Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

    by rcbowman on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:24:28 PM PST

  •  Whoah, whoah, whoah... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, tb mare

    Corporations are people, my friend.  A tall, handsome white guy told me so.

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:28:48 PM PST

  •  I would go farther in restricting contributions (3+ / 0-)

    A campaign may only accept contributions from individuals that are eligible to vote in the campaign.

    That not only kills the corporate contributions, it also kills some rich a-hole from Nevada coming in and trying to buy an election in Oregon.  (Like he's done over and over.)

    Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:07:16 PM PST

  •  Idn't dat Cuuuute.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    /expected Rethug response.

    One of these days, I'm gonna learn that I'm only really good at convincing people when I'm being a wiseass. Reviewtopia.net

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:13:09 PM PST

  •  OT, you can get on Bernie Sanders email list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, DawnN

    to keep up with his "Bernie Buzz":
    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/...

    You can hear his radio interviews with Thom Hartmann and hear and see more Bernie Sanders clips on his Senate website:

    http://sanders.senate.gov/

  •  68,951 signatures at 1:38 am. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    I didn't take note of what my own number was when I signed :(

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:41:34 PM PST

  •  If we are going to keep pressing on this (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancat357, Siri, Quequeg, peachcreek, ozsea1, DawnN

    I beg you to consider updating the diary with this information.  Thom Hartmann has a connection to this because of the book he wrote that is being embraced by Sen. Sanders, OWS members and others.  It is one of the key sources for informing and inspiring this push.  Thom also hosts Sen. Sanders every Friday with his Brunch with Bernie segment.

    Thoms radio show link.

    Link to the first chapter of Thom's book.

    This is one of the most critical issues of our times.  EVERY Kossack should have Thom's book on his shelf.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:41:37 PM PST

  •  So very signed! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, DawnN

    Thank you, Bernie, one of my heroes--

    and Siri, for posting this.

    For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future. (JFK)

    by begone on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:19:32 PM PST

  •  I'm all for corporate personhood.... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, Lensy, jds1978, jrooth, ozsea1, DawnN

    ...as long as we have corporate death penalty and corporate jails.

     If a drug addict can get sent to prison for 10 years for stealing $50 from the register at 7-11, corporations should be held to the same standard if they are indeed "people."  

    A corporation steals from someone by fraudulent activity?  Simple.   Once convicted of the crime, they are sentenced to "prison" for the time specified in penal law.   At that point, the US Marshals walk in, escort everyone out of the building and padlock the doors for the length of the sentence, and all bank accounts are frozen.  During the time of the corporation's incarceration, they will be unable to engage in any business of any type.  

    A corporation produces a product it knows is dangerous and a person gets killed?  Easy!  Once found guilty of criminal charges, they will be executed:  their assets will be seized, their corporate charter will be dissolved, and they will be prevented from doing business in the US ever again.  

    Barring that, I'm all for the "corporations are not people" act.  :)

  •  Does not address Citizens United (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quequeg

    Citizens United was a non-profit which is specifically exempt from this amendment. If the goal is to overturn that judgment, this amendment does nothing.

    That said, I will once again voice my unpopular support for the right of corporations and individuals to spend money to support their political views. Take Walmart for example. They desperately want to build a store in NYC. They have not been allowed to. That's fine. If the people of NYC don't want Walmart corrupting their marketplace I don't take issue with that. That said, I think it would be a problem to suggest that Walmart can't make their case to the people (aka expenditures) to elect those who would support their cause.

  •  If we had $50 democracy vouchers, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, Siri

    then that would overwhelm the corporate campaign influence.

    The way this works is that every citizen would get a $50 tax rebate with which they can donate to the Congressional campaign of their choice.  If this $50 voucher had been in place for the 2010 elections, then this would have amounted to $6 billion, which would have overwhelmed the $2.4 billion that was spent.

    And studies show that once a candidate has a certain amount of money, then more money does not help.

    I explained this in more detail in a recent diary:
    OWS: an inspiring vision

    But the hard part is getting Congress to do anything that would fix the problem, whether it be a new Constitutional amendment or genuine campaign finance reform that is really intended to work.  What is the mechanism for fixing democracy?

    "Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." - Vince Lombardi

    by Quequeg on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:47:01 PM PST

  •  Amen! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." ~ Voltaire

    by Andhakari on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:40:15 AM PST

  •  70,477 signatures at 3:42 am (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, 4Freedom, Lensy, bkamr, Siri

    Steady increase in the middle of the night.

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:44:37 AM PST

  •  Isn't there a mechanism that allows (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr, Siri

    constitutional amendments to be generated in state legislatures first and then brought to Congress or am I mistaken?


    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:52:18 AM PST

    •  Article 5: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, jayden

      The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:27:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  State Call for a Convention (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr, Siri, jayden

        As I read it the States would be calling for a convention rather than a specific amendment - although the language calling for the convention could certainly indicate preferences and intentions - making this a somewhat blunt instrument.

        The good news is that there may be States whose legislatures would be willing to do so - much in the way that States are calling for reform of the electoral college - and that this could serve to create some momentum.

  •  It would sure be nice if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bkamr, Siri

    this petition as well as others would allow for us Expats. I cannot enter a Zip code because I have a Postal code...I live in Ontario, but it isn't on the list.

    This happens a lot.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:41:41 AM PST

  •  How About Other Amendments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    The right for citizens to be left alone.

    The right for the citizens to control their own body.

    The right for citizens to film public officials.

    The right for citizens to not be molested at the airports, seaports, and borders without probable cause.

    The right for prisoners to be treated with dignity once in police custody.

  •  Glad to see my Alaskan Senator on board! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    Begich is not the bravest senator around but I am very glad to see him sticking his neck out on this one!

  •  easier amendment would be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    "Public elections are the right of the people and contributions to such, financial or otherwise, are restricted only to natural persons and political parties whom have derived their support exclusively from natural persons"

  •  I love that he gets the language exactly right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, Siri

    I've been nitpicking diaries that say that corporations should not be persons under the law.

    If they are not persons, they can't be sued, taxed or regulated.

    Also, there are different kinds of corporations, and some for profit entities are not corporations.

    Sander's language is exactly right -- that business corporations and other for profit entities do not have the rights of natural persons.

    I hope that OWS and others who have taken up this cause really study Sanders' language and also get it right.

  •  Gives government too much power. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wham Bam, VClib

    They could wiretap the NY Times phone lines, break into their offices, or seize their computers.  All w/o a warrant, because the amendment would eliminate 4th amendment protections for corps.

    I note that it's drafted badly: "freedom of the press" in the constitution refers to written communications, as opposed to oral speech.  Whoever wrote this amendment doesn't know what "freedom of the press" is, which is pretty funny.  It basically says corps don't have writes, but they maintain the write to disseminate speech through publications.  Which basically means that corps lose all rights except the right to endorse candidates, create political adds, etc.  I guess they mean to insert a bona fide media exception here, but it's a pretty shitty attempt at it.

    Whatever group of interns wrote this will have to rethink and rewrite

  •  What about NON PROFITS? (0+ / 0-)

    Bernies Amendments adresses the issue of "for profit corporations" but shouldn't the rights of personhood should be limited for nonprofits as well? Or would that simply be impossible?

    •  Two things: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      matador, VClib

      While I don't think this amendment will pass in any event, it wouldn't even have a small chance if the rights of churches - which are non-profits - were restricted.  And needless to say, I don't think the (D)s want to be big supporters of a law to eliminate religious freedom.

      Second, it may actually limit rights of non-profits.  Section 1 says that rights are only for natural persons, which suggests that the rights of non-profits can be restricted by statute, while for-profits simply don't have any rights at all.  

      •  There is no such thing as group rights (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, elwior

        under the constitution in any case. The constitution limits government, it does not grant rights. So in any case, this amendment is worded wrong. But I agree with the intent.

        •  Intent is fine, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk, VClib

          but substantively it's a total disaster and, like every other amendment along these lines that we've seen, if vastly overbroad.  Any amendment that grants Congress the power to pass laws restricting religious freedom* (to pick just one of the new powers this amendment would create) is both shitty policy and terrible politics.

          * Religious corps are corps.  If rights only adhere to natural persons, then Congress can restrict the freedom of religious entities.  

          •  Religious entities dont have freedoms. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior

            Again, freedom is held by the individual as a consequence of being alive. Among them is the freedom to practice religion as one so chooses or to peaceably assemble for the free exercise thereof. Nothing in that requires you to form a corporation. If you do so, expect that entity to be regulated.

            In other words, corporations or legally created entities of any sort don't not have natural freedoms under our conception of the constitution. Only people, individuals, or natural born persons, have freedom...which under our foundation understanding, comes from God alone. Governments are instituted among men to secure such rights and liberties. Those same freedoms are not passed down to legally established entities.

            Basically, you're making Mitt Romney's argument: Corporations are people.

            •  Of course they have freedoms. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wham Bam, VClib

              If we passed a law stating that no religious corporations shall expend money for the purchase of any religious text but the King James Bible, some church that really loves the NSV would sue, claiming that its right to free exercise has been violated.

              And they would win, because religious corporations have rights to free exercise.  

              And if that very, very obvious proposition is in line w/ Mitt Romney's position - as well as with all jurisprudence of the past two centuries - then so be it.

              Just so we're clear, though: you think that the FBI should be able to seize the assets of mosques for no reason whatsoever, without probable cause, a warrant, or even reasonable suspicion, just because those assets are in corporate form?

              Like I said, that's horrifically bad policy and even worse politics.

              •  The state can do that now. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior
                Just so we're clear, though: you think that the FBI should be able to seize the assets of mosques for no reason whatsoever, without probable cause, a warrant, or even reasonable suspicion, just because those assets are in corporate form?

                You use hyperbole. This sort of thing doesn't happen to for profit companies either. But can the state dissolve the legal entity Mosque, Inc. for no other reason than it wants to? Of course it can. Muslims have no inherent legal right to Mosque, Inc. You have a right to own a Mosque, individually or jointly. But if you want legal protection for that, that is getting the state involved in your religion by voluntary choice. Expect to be regulated.

                You don't have a right to form a corporation of any sort.  The state of New York can dissolve any legally created entity under its laws at any time it chooses. Including a "religious corporation." You have the right to peaceably assemble and worship. You do not have a right to have your documents filed with the state limiting your personal liability.

                Can you arrest a religious entity? Can you put a religious entity in jail? Of course not. Can you mandate that a religious entity provide health insurance to its employees? Of course you can.

                So no...you misunderstand the law in this particular instance. A corporation is not a person.

                If we passed a law stating that no religious corporations shall expend money for the purchase of any religious text but the King James Bible, some church that really loves the NSV would sue, claiming that its right to free exercise has been violated.

                Once again you use hyperbole to prove a point.

                A more salient example is "Can the government force a religious corporation to lower the height of its steeple to prevent interference with public airwaves? Can the government outlaw the ability of religious corporations to engage in koran burning on corporate grounds?"

                Of course it can.

                Can an individual burn his own koran in the privacy of his own home? Of course.

                Actually its your concept of corporations being somehow equal to natural persons by virtue of merely being formed that I find breathtaking.

                •  Recall when the Bush admin froze the assets (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  coffeetalk, VClib

                  of a mosque, which then successfully asserted its rights against unlawful search & seizure.

                  Or recall when the KS AG wanted to subpoena the records of Planned Parenthood.  I think the current state of the law, where Planned Parenthood can refuse to provide those records based on its 4th amendment right, is a good thing.  You think the KS AG should be able to rifle through PP's records whenever it wants.

                  I guess I'm not going to be able to convince you that it's a good thing that corps have rights, but certainly you can see why the public will overwhelmingly reject an amendment that strips churches and other organizations of their rights.

                  •  (BTW, there was a line in the decision re: the (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coffeetalk, Wham Bam, VClib

                    mosque, where the court says something like, "from the outset we have to decide whether the mosque qua corporation has a 4th amendment right to be free from search, and of course it does."  

                    So I'm not sure why you're talking about hyperbole, when these sorts of things do happen in the real world.  

      •  good points (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        hehe. . .guess you have a quicker mind than mine. . .that's why I come here. Thanks.

  •  Why only "for profit" corporations? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout, Siri, AaronInSanDiego, elwior

    It would be easy for the corporations to set up separate non-profit organizations that would not make, but rather spend money.

    I'm sure there's some reason for Sanders limiting this, but I don't know what it is

    Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

    by plf515 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:05:39 AM PST

  •  Hardball (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, elwior
    Given the current composition of Congress though, I just don't see a path to the 2/3 majority needed in both Houses of Congress to pass.
    That's because Democrats won't play hardball like the Republicans do.  The thing to do with this legislation is to wait for the right opportunity; attach it as an amendment to an existing bill so it is voted on along side something else.  Wait for a bill that has overwhelming bipartisan support and attach it.

    Attach it to a bill called "Resolution in support of American Moms and Apple Pie" (though Democrats aren't nearly as creative with their legislation titles as the GOP, which typically names bills the exact opposite of what they're designed to do like "clean air" etc., in this case they need to make an exception), or call the legislation "Tax Cuts for Millionaires and Billionaires" even if the bill has nothing to do with tax cuts, something that has some utility so that if Republicans vote against it, you can say they voted against "tax cuts" or against "American moms and apple pie."  And keep doing this until whatever bill it is attached to passes.

    This way you will either get the bill passed, or you will generate some ammunition with which to attack the GOP.

    All of this will require Democrats to operate outside the "Washington Generals" mode they're always in.  The obvious problem is that there aren't enough good Democrats to do that; too many of them know their place, i.e. to appease their corporate masters' expectations, i.e. to serve as foil to the GOP's "Globetrotters" thus abetting the illusion that we're still a two-party system and not a corporatocracy.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:09:40 AM PST

  •  I love you Bernie (0+ / 0-)

    but with 2 parties against you....

    never

    gonna

    happen.

    I didn't abandon the fight, I abandoned the Party that abandoned the fight...

    by Jazzenterprises on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:10:17 AM PST

  •  Up to 75000 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, elwior

    I signed and tweeted.

    Follow me on Twitter @PeterFlom

    by plf515 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:10:19 AM PST

  •  Why the HUGE LOOPHOLE? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, AaronInSanDiego
    SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution
       of the United States are the rights of natural persons and
       do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability
       companies, or other private entities established for busi-
       ness purposes or to promote business interests under  the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

    So I could create the von Mises/Bastiat/Chicago School 503(c) non-profit educational entity, gather funds from every Chamber of Commerce member and carry out the exact same activities?

    Hopefully I'm missing something big here....

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:21:50 AM PST

  •  "Wall Street Green is people!!" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, elwior

    "It's PEEEEOPLLLLLEEE..."

    Save the gay penguins!

    by The Gryffin on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:23:01 AM PST

  •  Henceforth we shall now call "Corporations" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, elwior

    "Schmorpations" in order to circumvent this amendment.

  •  Why just "for profit"? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:28:05 AM PST

  •  It may have no chance of passing congress ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socal altvibe, Siri, elwior

    ... but it can be a great campaign talking point.

    Petition signed.  Thanks.

  •  Seriously? People think this is a good idea? (4+ / 0-)
    ‘‘SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.’’.

    People want to give incumbent politicians in Congress the right to control all funding of the political process, including the processes used by people trying to unseat them?  Really? You want to give Speaker Boehner the right to control the expenditures of the Democratic Party?  

    Are people really reading this?  Congress can control all election expenditures?  They can say what candidates can spend money on?  Say, no more than $x for commercials?  Congress could say you have to spend the same amount of money in all states -- so a party could not spend more money in a "swing" state than they spend in a safe state?  Congress could say you can't spend money on a certain type of ad?  

    Say the Republicans get a majority in the Senate -- do people here really want to put this kind of power in the hands of McConnell and Boehner for the 2016 election?  and do you think Republicans would want to put this kind of power in the hands of Reid and Pelosi?  

    I'm kind of shocked that people think this is such a terrific idea.  

    •  It is a bit outside of the personhood issue, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, elwior

      I think this is addressing the "money is a kind of speech" argument that was made in the Citizens United majority opinion. But I agree it may go too far. There are legitimate constitutional arguments for and against specific restrictions on campaign spending. But what is really objectionable is the idea that corporations are people and can't be restricted from campaign spending.

      •  Two problems with what you said (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, VClib

        First, the "money is speech" think did not come out of CU.  The holding you are talking about was from Buckley v. Valeo, a 1976 SCOTUS case.

        Second, of course, CU did not hold that corporations are people, as I and many others here have repeatedly explained.  

        This is a really, really bad attempt to try to regulate corporate expenditures in federal elections.  

        •  Well, then, what is the right way? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Siri, elwior

          There has been discussion (but no action) about at least requiring disclosure of corporate contributions. But IMO something stronger is needed.

        •  Could you post a link to where you've repeatedly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Siri

          explained?  I'm actually quite curious.  I've seen you repeat this assertion that Citizens United did not hold that corporations are people, but I've never seen you post any actual explanation for that assertion, only ever a blanket statement.  I've searched your comments and diary history.

          I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd be interested in a fuller explanation for why Sen. Sanders, and everyone else who seems to believe that Citizens United does have some bearing on corporate personhood is incorrect.  I've seen you assert that Citizens United only dealt with restrictions on speech, but it seems to me that's simply begging the question.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:54:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  sneakers - if you read the majority opinion (5+ / 0-)

            you will note the the Justices took great pains to differentiate between "natural persons" and the rights of "associations of people" such as unions and corporations. CU was about the limitations of Congress to legislate under the First Amendment, the entire concept of corporate personhood or holding that corporations are people were not even elements of the case. The Court held that as it relates to independent expenditures the source of the speech could not be restricted. Note that the AFL-CIO and ACLU both filed amicus briefs in support of the majority in this case. Had the Court wanted to claim that corporations had the same political speech rights as "natural persons"  it would have struck down the 1907 Tillman Act that prohibits ANY contribution by corporations to the campaign of any candidate for federal office.  

            One of the challenges we have here at DKOS is that with the exception of Adam B, and a few others, all of the diaries and 95% of the comments about CU have profound errors regardng the elements of the case, and the opinion. This has led to an unfortunate echo chamber of misinformation.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 02:59:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I will read it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AaronInSanDiego, Siri, VClib

              Thank you - I do appreciate your response.  I'm obviously not a lawyer.  Nonetheless, I think this is helpful.  So if I understand you correctly, you're saying that even if corporations were somehow declared not to be persons, CU would still apply because the speech is still out there.  It doesn't matter whether the speech comes from a person or anything else, the fact that it is speech means that the government is limited in its ability to regulate it.  

              So if that's right, I suppose the issue for me is not corporate personhood per se, but rather the ability of certain actors to have a much greater capacity for speech than others.  More to the point, the degree to which that difference limits the capacity of large numbers of people to speak at all.  I'm not sure, though, how to address that if the government is constitutionally prohibited from differentiating the source of speech.    

              To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

              by sneakers563 on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:40:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  sneakers - YOU GOT IT! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sneakers563

                You now understand CU better than 95% of the people at DKOS. Your concerns are also very well founded. Even those lawyers and constitutional scholars, including our own Adam B and Johnathan Turley,  who felt the SCOTUS was right on the law, are troubled by the same issues.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:28:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Why not try to read the opinion? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coffeetalk, VClib

            It's in black and white right in there.

            •  I take your point (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnny wurster, Siri

              But I'm also not a lawyer.  I just think that many people would appreciate it if someone would either post or link to a diary with a clear explanation in layman's terms for why CU does not involve corporate personhood.  Perhaps there have been such diaries.  I haven't seen them.  All I ever see are people saying that this and that senator, representative, or diarist are wrong without any explanation.

              To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

              by sneakers563 on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:47:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  SW - corporations are not people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego

        and cannot contribute one penny to campaigns for candidates for federal office.

        The SCOTUS has never stated that corporations are people at any time in its history and it was not even an issue in the Citizens United case. In addition, The Tillman Act of 1907 remains in full force and effect prohibiting corporations from making ANY contribution to the campaign of any candidate for federal office.

        Unfortunately you are badly misinformed.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 03:04:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The wording is wrong, but the intent is correct. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, AaronInSanDiego, elwior

    Sanders should realize that the Constitution does not grant rights to anybody. Individuals or groups. Those rights are considered self-evident as a condition of being alive.

    What the Constitution does is limit government's ability to regulate those rights.

    So a better wording for this would be

    Sec. 1 - Congress nor the states shall make no law nor shall any court allow any legal proceeding that grants the rights of natural persons to entities or organizations created by act of law, except wherein the entity or organization's purpose is to exercise the right of freedom of religion or freedom of the press.

    Or something along those lines.

  •  While I'm possibly... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    ... one of Bernie's biggest fans..., I gotta say, the RESOLUTION does not carry any legal weight even if it passes.

    I'd be first in line and push others out of the way to get there to support Bernie if it was an actual law or amendment he was proposing..., but it's a resolution..., the equivalent of a sternly-worded letter that everyone is free to ignore.

    I applaud the sentiment and he's correct to point it out, but without it being a law or an amendment, it's a waste of time.

    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 Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:21:24 AM PST

  •  It's about time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    Now we need to hear from our fearless President.

  •  Dear Democratic Senate Candidates: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, elwior

    This is your platform.  Make your opponents take a side on this one.  It will not be the same side the people voting for you are going to take.

  •  Go Bernie! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, elwior

    Signed.

    I'll also be notifying my Senators and Representative that I expect them to support this.

    "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."--Will Rogers

    by vgranucci on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:18:35 AM PST

  •  Banning all corporate political $$ = Game-changer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri, elwior

    "Freedom of the press" is an exception you can drive a truck through, but the intended complete prohibition of corporate political expenditures would be a game-changer.

    It would forever alter the way we would look at the relationship between corporations and politics. The old saying:
    "The business of America is business" -- that would be transformed to "The Business of American business is business, not politics." Instead of just assuming that businesses should devote huge sums to lobbying and, these days, shaping electoral results, we'd confine them to the public focusing on business operations.

    I'm not 100% convinced that this radical transformation is the best idea -- there are benefits to allowing businesses to participate in the education of our politicians on issues of concern -- but it is probably the most effective way to limit the pernicious effects of money, other than public financing of all elections.

    My other concern is the grey areas -- what about the personal political activities of corporate executives on issues of concern to the businesses they head? How would you determine what is a corporate expenditure and what is personal, especially when it comes to lobbying?

    None of this is simple as one might think -- if you think it all depends on who is paying the bill for the plane flights, etc., what about corporations that provide a high level of compensation with the tacit understanding that the execs won't be shy about using that money to head to the Hill or to the State capital?

    Having said all that -- this is a real game-changer in terms of the nature of the discussion. That's a good thing.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:28:21 AM PST

  •  NPR had a great story this morning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akmk, Siri, elwior

    They called it "Reconstituting The Constitution: How To Rewrite It" It was a discussion with a constitutional scholar who claims that Thomas Jefferson initially suggested that the Constitution should be rewritten from scratch, every 20 years.

    During the story, the reporter and the scholar went around, talking to various folks about how they'd rewrite the Constitution. They encountered a couple "Occupiers" in NYC, one of whom suggested exactly the same amendment being proposed by Bernie.

    What an interesting story, and what a great Senator.

  •  Great idea, unfortunate acronym. The "SAD" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quequeg, AaronInSanDiego

    amendment is definitely not helped along by its name. Bernie's great, but this is just another in an endless stream of marketing blunders by Dems and lefties. And if you think it doesn't matter, you are very, very wrong.

    If I knew it was comin', I could pull a jet plane.--Reggie Jackson

    by LongTom on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:47:48 AM PST

  •  Priceless, the same guy who voted for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quequeg

    mandatory private health insurance now say he wants people to have more rights than corporations, but what he does (i.e. voting for mandatory private health insurance) indicates that he wants corporations to have more rights than people.
    This hero-worship BS is one of our biggest problems. This amendment is obviously designed to go nowhere (just like the public option).

  •  We need another amendment too (0+ / 0-)

    The Government is not a business amendment. The bottom line shall not take precedence over the rights and prosperity of the People. Government must do what is right for the People not just what is more profitable for an elite few.

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:57:47 PM PST

  •  This is what the OWS movement (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quequeg, Siri, 6ZONite, elwior, too many people

    needs to focus on this winter and beyond.

  •  PERSONS, not PEOPLE (0+ / 0-)

    It should be called the "Corporations are not Persons" Amendment.

    There is a clear Constitutional distinction between "persons" (the word includes slaves - I'm not kidding, slaves are referred to as "persons" in the Constitution - Lincoln found that important) and "the people" who are sovereigns of the Republic - i.e. citizens.

    Seriously, the rights pertaining to each are different. Nat Turner had the right to an attorney, because he could not afford an attorney the state of Virginia provided him with one. He didn't have the right to keep and bear arms, or peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. AAMOF, assembling with arms was what he was charged with, and finally executed for.

    It may sound pedantic, and the language is certainly archaic (the Constitution is, after all, over 200 years old), but it is an important legal distinction. Corporations are persons, not people. Bernie Sanders got that right. So should we.

  •  A Fluid uses Gravity to Find Bottom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite, elwior, Siri

    I signed Senator's Sanders petition yesterday, and have followed this action closely. I cannot help but believe this is what happens when our Supreme Court didn't think it important enough to count all the votes in Florida (Bush v Gore). Citizens United is just the latest tragedy from that grievously porous decision. This Supreme Court today was self-created in 2000.

  •  Thanks, Bernie! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Siri

    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

    by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:43:32 PM PST

  •  Petition signed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    and shared on FB. Thanks Bernie.

  •  The bill has no chance, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    it needs to pass anyway.

    However, the bill should be shortened to simply: "Corporations will not be treated as being people under the law"

    "It smelled like tear gas but it tasted like victory." - Egyptian protester

    by gjohnsit on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 05:38:25 AM PST

  •  The NY Times has not even (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Siri

    reported this.  I heard about it on Thom Hartmann's radio show.  Most of the "progressive" media is obsessed with criticizing the Republican presidential candidates.  

  •  "for profit" loophole = need different wording (0+ / 0-)

    cuz they'll just reconstitute themselves as NOT-for profit corporations ---

    and then they'll come up with a synonym for corporations - a bluebanana-ization - re-write the laws and go back to the same old shit.

    how about

    'NO legal entity created by law..."

    I'm NOT a lawyer, but here is what I know about the law -

    the MORE words, the more the lying cheating thieving scum have to lie, to cheat and to steal over.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:08:14 AM PST

  •  Fortunately... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    ...this attempt to restrict free speech will fail utterly.

    A quant and damned proud of it.

    by Cera on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:00:50 AM PST

  •  Sen Sanders amendment (0+ / 0-)

    Figuring out a really open, public, widespread shaming of all who vote nay and do not support this essential legislation should be done. You smart women and men are already working on it, I am certain.

    oldenoughtoknowbetter

    by joedennis on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:22:54 AM PST

  •  Cart before the horse? (0+ / 0-)

    It will take a major change in how this country's voters look at politics before we can get 2/3 of both houses and 3/4 of the states. Probably enough of a change to make the amendment unnecessary.
    I have looked at SJR 33, and I checked for a problem for the Pentagon Papers case. I think it is safe enough because sec. 2  says "and do not limit the freedomof the press", but I do put more priority on freedom of expression than I do on a power to regulate corporate campaign spending. After all, voters could make money irrelevant in campaigns if they really wanted to.
    If I were on the Supreme Court I would probably vote with the minority in Citizens United, on the premise of a distinction between speech per se and money as a means to amplify speech.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 02:24:26 PM PST

    •  Too true (0+ / 0-)

      The talk about an amendment is nice but airtight legislation could be proposed and passed by Congress on an up or down vote. If the Court doesn't like it too bad, read Art 3 Sec 2. This is not a rights question-it is a powers question between Congress's power to regulate elections and the Court's usurpation of that power on the delusional GOP notion that money is speech. Notice that the Court has been right wing ever since Buckley v. Valeo. Sanders is abjectly capitulating to the Supreme Court by handing it an amendment on a silver platter. If Sanders doesn't sponsor a bill for Congress to pass comprehensive legislation next year, he should receive the same disfavor as any other opponent of money out of politics legislation. Model  draft legislation is at moneyouttapolitics.org.

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