We commend the City Council’s unanimous vote on Valentine’s Day to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment revoking corporate personhood and declaring that money is not speech.
Though we have a long way to go before an actual amendment could take place, by joining cities like NYC & LA and many others, we are taking a stand and letting our politicians know that we are strongly opposed to the increasing power of corporations in our government.
Why are you so concerned about corporations?
Corporations’ decisions are made by a very small number of individuals, but they may command resources that vastly exceed those of ordinary citizens. Since the primary purpose of most corporations is to maximize profit, they often have a direct interest in weakening regulations that protect workers, communities, smaller businesses, and the environment, and they can often easily outspend political candidates who wish to preserve such regulations. Currently, corporations need not consult their shareholders about political contributions.
What is corporate personhood, and why are you so focused on it?
Under current law, corporations have human “rights” like free speech and privacy. This has wide-ranging implications – for example, the right to free speech means that corporations may spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. The right to privacy means that regulators are not allowed to make surprise inspections on factories. The people who work for, run, and own corporations are, of course, entitled to the rights of free speech and privacy – but a corporation is not a person, it is a legal invention for making money, and the most egregious abuses of corporate power are made possible by the idea that they have human rights.
What about the idea that money is speech?
This is another creation of the Supreme Court – the Constitution says nothing about this. It came from the 1976 Buckley vs. Valeo case, in which the court ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of free speech.
Questions above taken from a Madison, WI Move to Amend Campaign Flyer – for more information click HERE.