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January 21, 2012 is the second anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

Today, I choose to look forward to the day it is overturned. In that vein, I offer a survey of Constitutional Amendments proposed to achieve that end. I will analyze them in future diaries. This is just a reference.

Article V of the Constitution provides for two methods of amendment. Congress can propose an amendment with 2/3 approval from each chamber. Joint Resolutions are the vehicles used for this process.

112th Senate Joint Resolution 29:


Section 1

Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on--

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 2

A State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on--

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and

(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 3

Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




112th Senate Joint Resolution 33:


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 business 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 entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations 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 entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office 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 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.

House Joint Resolutions and others after the fold...

[UPDATE 1/27/12: HJR 6 added to list]

112th House Joint Resolution 6:


Section 1

The first article of amendment does not apply to the political speech of any corporation, partnership, business trust, association, or other business organization with respect to the making of contributions, expenditures, or other disbursements of funds in connection with public elections.

Section 2

Congress shall have power to set limits on the amount of contributions that may be accepted by, and the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office.

Section 3

A State shall have power to set limits on the amount of contributions that may be accepted by, and the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for nomination for election to, or for election to, State or local office.

Section 4

Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Rep Kaptur, Marcy-OH




[UPDATE 1/27/12: HJR 7 added to list]

112th House Joint Resolution 7:

The first article of amendment does not apply to the political speech of any corporation, partnership, business trust, association, or other business organization with respect to the making of contributions, expenditures, or other disbursements of funds in connection with public elections.

Rep Kaptur, Marcy-OH




112th House Joint Resolution 8:


Section 1

Congress shall have power to set limits on the amount of contributions that may be accepted by, and the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office.

Section 2

A State shall have power to set limits on the amount of contributions that may be accepted by, and the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for nomination for election to, or for election to, State or local office.

Section 3

Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




112th House Joint Resolution 65:


Section 1

A candidate for election for the office of Senator may not accept contributions, including funds and in-kind equivalents, from individuals who do not reside in the State the candidate seeks to represent.

Section 2

A candidate for election for the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress may not accept contributions, including funds and in-kind equivalents, from individuals who do not reside in the Congressional district the candidate seeks to represent.

Section 3

Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




112th House Joint Resolution 72:


Section 1

The Congress shall have power to prohibit, limit, and otherwise regulate the contribution of funds or donation of in-kind equivalents to candidates standing for election to a Federal office in the United States and to prohibit, limit, and otherwise regulate the expenditure of funds or donation of in-kind equivalents used to support or purchase media advertisements intended to influence the outcome of an election for Federal office in the United States.

Whenever Congress should exercise such power, it must apply equally and uniformly to all individual persons recognized as citizens of the United States.

Whenever Congress should exercise such power on associations of citizens of the United States, it must apply equally and uniformly to all associations of citizens of the United States.

Section 2

Each of the several States shall have power to prohibit, limit, and otherwise regulate the contribution of funds or donation of in-kind equivalents to candidates standing for election to public office in the State and to prohibit, limit, and otherwise regulate expenditure of funds or donation of in-kind equivalents used
to support or purchase media advertisements intended to influence the outcome of an election for public office or plebiscite in the State.

Whenever a State should exercise such power, it must apply equally and uniformly to all individual persons recognized as citizens of the State.

Whenever a State should exercise such power on associations of citizens of the State, it must apply equally and uniformly to all associations of citizens of the State.

Section 3

A person who is not a citizen of the United States, including an association of persons who are not citizens of the United States, a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent thereof, may not contribute funds or donate in-kind equivalents to candidates standing for election to public office in the United States or
otherwise expend funds or donate in-kind equivalents in a manner intended to influence the outcome an election for public office or plebiscite in the United States.

Section 4

Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




112th House Joint Resolution 78:


Section 1

Nothing in this Constitution shall prohibit Congress and the States from imposing content-neutral regulations and restrictions on the expenditure of funds for political activity by any corporation, limited liability company, or other corporate entity, including but not limited to contributions in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate for public office.

Section 2

Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.




112th House Joint Resolution 82:


Section 1

Congress shall have the power to regulate any expenditure by a corporation in connection with an election for Federal office.

Section 2

Each of the several States shall have the power to regulate any expenditure by a corporation in connection with an election for State or local public office or a plebiscite in the State.

Section 3

Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.




112th House Joint Resolution 86:


Section 1

Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on--

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 2

A State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on--

(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and

(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

Section 3

Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




112th House Joint Resolution 88:


Section 1

We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2

The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3

Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people's rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association and all such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.




112th House Joint Resolution 90:


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 business 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 entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations 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 entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office 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 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.




112th House Joint Resolution 92:


Section 1

Because of the compelling public interest in preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption among elected officials, and because corporations and other business organizations are not natural persons or citizens, Congress and the States may regulate the disbursement of funds for political activity by for-profit corporations, other for-profit business entities, or other business organizations, without regard to whether or not the activity is carried out independently from any candidate or political party.

Section 2

Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.




112th House Joint Resolution 97:


Section 1

Financial expenditures, or in kind equivalents, with respect to a candidate for Federal office, without regard to whether or not a communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of a specified candidate in the election, shall not constitute protected speech, as guaranteed by this Constitution or any amendment to this Constitution.

Section 2

Congress shall have the power to enact a mandatory public financing system to provide funds to qualified candidates in elections for Federal office, which shall be the sole source of funds raised or spent with respect to Federal elections.

Section 3

Congress shall set forth a legal public holiday for the purposes of voting in regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office.




112th House Joint Resolution 100:


Section 1

All campaigns for President and Members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate shall be financed entirely with public funds. No contributions shall be permitted to any candidate for Federal office from any other source, including the candidate.

Section 2

No expenditures shall be permitted in support of any candidate for Federal office, or in opposition to any candidate for Federal office, from any other source, including the candidate. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

Section 3

The Congress shall, by statute, provide limitations on the amounts and timing of the expenditures of such public funds.

Section 4

The Congress shall, by statute, provide criminal penalties for any violation of this Article.

Section 5

The Congress shall have the power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




United For the People

When I started researching proposals there were only about 6-7 links at this site. As I double-check the link for this diary, I find 73 organizations. Yikes, that's a lot of growth.

The freedoms of speech and the press, and the right to assemble peaceably and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances, as protected by this Constitution, shall not encompass the speech, association, or other activities of any corporation or other artificial entity created for business purposes, except for a corporation or entity whose business is the publication or broadcasting of information, when such corporation or entity is engaged in that business. A corporation or other artificial entity created for business purposes includes a corporation or entity that, although not itself engaged in business pursuits, receives the majority of its funding from other corporations or artificial entities created for business purposes.

Congress and the States may make laws imposing reasonable restrictions on the speech and association of corporations and other artificial entities created for business purposes. This article shall not authorize restrictions not otherwise permissible on the freedom of speech or of the press enjoyed by a corporation or entity whose business is the publication or broadcasting of information, when such corporation or entity is engaged in that business. A corporation or other artificial entity created for business purposes includes a corporation or entity that, although not itself engaged in business pursuits, receives the majority of its funding from other corporations or artificial entities created for business purposes.

Democracy is for People

Citizens United v. FEC Constitutional Remedies: List of local, state and federal resolution efforts

Sample State/City Resolution Supporting a Constitutional Amendment

Move to Amend 28th Amendment

Section 1 [A corporation is not a person and can be regulated]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]

Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

Section 3

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

There is a wide variety of approaches to getting corporate money out of politics, and it will take time to develop a single strategy to build a consensus around. It will take a great deal of work to get it ratified.

Originally posted to Zera Lee on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 12:37 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Poll

What is you prefered strategy for overturning Citizens United?

40%51 votes
0%1 votes
13%17 votes
0%0 votes
14%19 votes
26%34 votes
3%4 votes

| 127 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  this is beautiful to behold. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Lujane, jakebob

    now, all we need is the house.  and no more republican justices.

    •  dear friend - you need 2/3 rds in both (10+ / 0-)

      To send a Constitutional Amendment to the states for ratification requires a two thirds majority in both the House and Senate. That's about 290 votes in the House and 67 in the Senate. That's not happening for a long time. After that you need 37 state legislatures to adopt it.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 03:29:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you had even a simple majority, that means (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, jakebob

        you would have transformed Congress, and why bother with a limp-wristed amendment? You could pass a bill that removes the S. Ct.'s appellate jurisdiction for political questions, takes the money out of media buys, sets up a public financing system, sets up Art. 1 courts for elections, provides for judicial impeachment for failure to comply, etcetera. This type of showdown requires a single-issue movement to run incumbents out of office if they do not sponsor and pass exactly what's needed, airtight comprehensive legislation. This is a  serious suggestion for the 2012 elections given the public focus on the issue.  But the Const. Amend. cottage industry suggests that the professional left has found a gift that it hopes will keep on giving as Roe v. Wade has been for the right. If an amendment ever were to succeed it would be a disastrous concession of power to the Court, which generally lacks Constitutional authorization to review otherwise fair elections. See Art. 1 Sec 4 and 5. The movement seems to be based on judicial supremacism, and a cynicism that Congress can not be empowered, while at the same time requiring that Congress start the process. It  actually defends the Court against any Congressional implementation of Art 3, Sec. 2. It would be well for those interested to step back and review all the options. I've provided links to the current discussion in recent diaries.

        •  Musial - you are delusional (4+ / 0-)

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 08:09:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Totally agreed. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, Musial

            What a bizarre collection of words.  Kind of makes me sad when I see this stuff here.

            "What Washington needs is adult supervision" - Barack Obama

            by auron renouille on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 12:30:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Intemporate, I'll grant you. (0+ / 0-)

              For this I stand corrected. However the suggested hypothetical radical remedies follow from Art III, Sec. 2 and a reading of the Constitution from the point of view of the framers' skepticism of an unelected Court that would become the supreme branch. Although there is much to recommend the dedication and courage of those advancing an amendment, the amendment is clearly vulnerable to cooptation, not the least from the Roberts 5, who would be expected to give it the Plessy treatment.

        •  Is there indeed a public focus on the issue? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Musial

          B/c polls don't show it. And you can't pass all this stuff with simple majority. There is Senate filibuster, Supreme Court may find some of these laws unconstitutional, etc.

          •  Kos diaries reflect OWS interest and polling (0+ / 0-)

            The comment assumes a transformed Congress. The average reader here is generally unaware of the depth of the crisis and the options. My most recent diary links to the articles you would need to read to  get up to speed.

          •  The only Constitutional restraint on amendments is (0+ / 0-)

            that a state cannot be deprived of equal representation in the Senate without its consent.

            An amendment is not part of the Constitution until it completes the process defined in Article V.

            There is no other requirement for an amendment to conform to the present version of the Constitution. That's the point of amendments.

            Republican opposition to the sovereignty of the citizens is going to be the biggest roadblock. Not just in the Senate, but in state legislatures around the country.

            Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

            by Zera Lee on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 02:05:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  38 state legislatures (3/4 of 50), not 37 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zera Lee, VClib
      •  I've done work on historical Constitutional . . . (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zera Lee, Ginny in CO, jakebob, Onomastic

        amendments.  You have to start the movement to get them.  It's that simple.  Without one, the Courts can continue to invalidate everything Congress passes.  We need a Constitutional amendment to be a feature of every single election until it passes.

        http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/

        by Ozark Homesteader on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 05:18:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds about right. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jakebob, Onomastic, mashed potatoes

          I think the movement has begun from multiple sources. The next step would be to construct a single amendment to rally around. Then push, push, push.

          This would be the first amendment in the age of the Internet, social media, and cell phones. Political feedback and pressure work far faster than ever before.

          I am thinking that the headwinds and tailwinds have never been stronger. Could be wrong about the headwinds.

          Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

          by Zera Lee on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 07:24:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  A wonderful resource!!! Big thank you!! (4+ / 0-)

    This is a great resource and I enjoyed reading through it and seeing all the differnet ways to take on and solve this problem.

    A big thank you for putting this together.

    Now where can I find out which organization is responsible/promoting which of the proposals listed above?

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 07:56:16 AM PST

    •  Most of them are pending legislation. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ms Citizen

      Anything identified as a joint resolution can be found at the Library of Congress or the Government Printing Office.

      The titles for the joint resolutions are links to the respective OpenCongress status page. OpenCongress is unofficial, but allows for visitors to comment on individual clauses in the legislation.

      The first quote is a couple of general ideas (not an actual proposal) from a FAQ by Democracy Is For People.

      The second quote is preceded by the appropriate link - Move to Amend. It is promoted by several groups.

      I have also made a proposal or two of my own in the past.

      BTW: Thanks, it was my pleasure.

      Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

      by Zera Lee on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 09:07:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Robert Reich did a great 1 minute spot: (7+ / 0-)

  •  Thanks I had no idea (6+ / 0-)

    That there were so many efforts to reclaim our Democracy. I find this very encouraging.  I marched yesterday in protest of the Citizen's United decision along with many other very dedicated people. One of our marchers was dressed as Lady Liberty and she was handcuffed to a man dressed as the GE Corporation.  You have to have some fun doing this.

  •  Did you miss Amend2012.org? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus, Lujane, Ms Citizen, beinemac

    This group is my favorite.

    [Perhaps I missed it in the diary?]

    I love the poster (you have to click on your state first to see the "tools" they have for you to get involved in organizing).

    I would love to see the Occupy movement join in solidarity with Robert Reich and Amend2012 (does not have to be exclusive) in this particular issue.

    •  They don't seem to have a proposed amendment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, Lujane

      I was not looking at groups, but at actual possibilities for an amendment.

      The 99percenters have a lot of demands, but leave it to someone else to put together an actual amendment.

      This diary was just to raise awareness of specific proposals. Every time I do one of these diaries, I pick up a few more good opinions to add to the thinking.

      Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

      by Zera Lee on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 09:54:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need a countdown clock and permanent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wes Clark Democrat, Lujane

    standing army of a few hundred protesters (obviously being constantly relieved and reinforced with new blood) on the Supreme Court to keep pressure on this issue.

    Just keep bumping up the number of demonstrators every month or so until it literally engulfs the SUpreme Court and surrounding area. Bring it to its knees if necssary...

    Can we do that?

  •  I like SJR 33 (Bernie Sanders') because it bans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wes Clark Democrat, Lujane

    corporate contributions.

    Some of the others merely say that Congress can regulate or limit such contributions.  Those others depend on Congress taking the initiative.

  •  a combination. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zera Lee, Lujane, ichibon

    I'm for revoking personhood, and public financing off all elections. In lieu of full public financing then I like the idea of only getting money from your own district/state. It would have to come with spending limits though. If I run for congress against my multi-millionaire congressman I need to know he can't just use his own money to out-spend me 10-1.

    •  I agree, though I am still muddling public finance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Friend of the court

      I've been thinking of a contribution limit as a fraction of the median income of the previous year.

      I am also thinking that fundraising and campaigning have become too close to full-time endeavors.

      And that state amendment campaigns are being funded with out-of-state money.

      There are a lot of angles to consider, including mission creep.

      Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

      by Zera Lee on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 11:03:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simple is best (0+ / 0-)

    Revoking corporate personhood is the simplest method.  Instead of saying X is ok and Y is not, better to say individual human beings are people and organizations are not.

    Keep your religion out of my government.

    by catwho on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 10:20:11 AM PST

    •  It can't work. (0+ / 0-)

      the First amendment's speech clause doesn't mention people at all. It simply denys Congress power. If frogs could talk politics, Congress couldn't shut them up.

      --Shannon

      "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 Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 12:01:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep this issue on the front page (0+ / 0-)

    as much as possible, we need to keep pressure building.  This is the first national election post Citiizens and we are already seeing how disruptive this will be to our democracy.  Huge money pouring into state races and now the republican primaries.  The amount spent on elections is in the process of multiplying several times over.  Thank you for providing an easy reference diary.

  •  You cannot legislate away free speech (0+ / 0-)

    It's just that simple.

    All this talk of corporate personhood is silly.  That's not what Citizens United said.  

    It says a person or group of persons can buy advertisements putting across their point of view.

    So, yeah.. get 38 states and a supermajority of Congress to take that away.. wake me up when you get there.

    •  There are already restrictons on free speech. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beinemac

      Mostly, such restrictions are a matter of public safety. Protecting our sovereignty is not inconsistent with the purpose of free speech.

      The basic premise underlying the Court’s ruling is its iteration, and constant reiteration, of the proposition that the First Amendment bars regulatory distinctions based on a speaker’s identity, including its “identity” as a corporation. While that glittering generality has rhetorical appeal, it is not a correct statement of the law.
      Citizens United v. FEC

      Corporate Personhood is exactly to the point. There is nothing silly about it.

      Supply follows consumption. You cannot stimulate consumption by crushing the consumer. Deal with it.

      by Zera Lee on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 11:20:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Any proposal to grant Congress the power (0+ / 0-)

    to regulate political speech must pass the following simple test:

    Does the proposed Amendment still prohibit Congress from passing the following law:

    "Any person who advoctes for the election of an opponent of any member of Congress, or for the defeat of any member of Congress, is guilty of a felony"

    Any proposal which cannot pass this test is a suicidally dangerous idea. That law, right there, is why we have a First Amendment. Because nobody has figured out a way to allow those in power to control political speech without also giving them the ability to crush any threat to their power.

    The only safe thing to do is to tell them, categorically, "no", and then live with the consequences.

    The only proposal on this list (other than the hand-waves about definitons of persons, which can't accomplish anything since Citizens Unitedin no way rests on that definition) that doesn't fail is the one about restricting contributions to voters casting ballots in the election they're donating in. And that, while it's a good idea on general principles, doesn't do jack shit aboutt corporate and large non-profit group political advertising. They can still speak as loudly and as often they can afford to, they just can't give money to anyone.

    And that one I'd like to see made one-sided... I've got no problem with anyone trying to give money to a politician. Their taking it should land them in prison. i wqant the rules to be tighter for those with power, because, to the maximum extent possible, having power should suck.

    --Shannon

    "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 Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 11:59:46 AM PST

  •  Thank you Zera for doing this work (0+ / 0-)

    tipped, rec'd and now following.

    I'm coming to this issue after reading some of Thom Hartmann's work on the dreadful precedence set in law that claims corporations are people.  I'm sure you must be familiar with it.

    My question is whether any reputed constitutional scholars have reviewed Hartmann's writing and have any opinions on the thesis?  If the Supreme Court were to shift in the next few years, could the 100+ years of precedence be overturned helped by the ideas in this book?

    To me there may be nothing more dreadful about this than the fact that the 14th amendment, the one that was intended to finally recognize the full rights of citizenship for African Americans, was perverted to give license to the "artificial persons" known as corporations.

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

    by Satya1 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 12:38:50 PM PST

  •  Define "expenditure". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    That's what Citizens United rests on: the rest is noise.  What is an "expenditure"?

    e.g. if Exxon takes out an ad saying "oil is great", is that an expenditure?
    - if Exxon takes out the same ad in a year where one candidate is more pro-oil, does that make it an expenditure?
    - if Exxon takes out the same ad in a year where there is a ballot measure on green energy, does that make it an expenditure?

    Who makes this distinction, and how?  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 02:13:18 PM PST

  •  Danger to free press! (0+ / 0-)

    Several of these, including Senate 33, revoke all rights of corporations, which would include the First Amendment.  So while an individual acting alone would be allowed to print any "newspaper" he wanted on his home printer, or even act as an individual to rent a larger press, actual newspaper corporations would be subject to any and all regulation.  Likewise the broadcast media:  If you don't like the FCC's bluenosed restrictions on broadcasting, this would certainly make them constitutional. Even cable, which is not broadcasting but is owned by corporations, would fall under any and all laws that Congress chose.

    This is a Bad Idea.  It is nuking democracy in order to save it.

    The rules that specifically refer to campaign financing are safer.  But even there, we have to be careful about overly-broad wording.  The FEC has already tried to regulate bloggers, on grounds that if they're making partisan statements, they're making in-kind contributions. I don't think we'd want Kos Media activities regulated on grounds that they were in-kind contributions to Democrats.

    Constitutional amendments are difficult for a reason. We need to be very, very careful about their wording.

  •  When corporations get drafted (0+ / 0-)

    into the armed services, and come home in body bags, then they will begin to appreciate the concept of "personhood." Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 is not a moral equivalent.

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