H.J. Res. 92 (112th Congress)
Introduced by Rep. K. Ellison (D-MN)
Legal Personhood: D
Money as Speech: D
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.
Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.
Rep. Ellison’s proposal initially addresses legal personhood fairly well, even though there’s no definition of “natural persons” (like “living human beings”). Then it becomes partisan by omitting unions and ineffective by omitting non-profit corporations. “Political activity” is also undefined, which leaves too much latitude in the legislative process. The narrow scope of spending that Congress is empowered to regulate is an ineffective legal counter to Buckley and Bank of Boston.
This proposal would force supporters to argue in favor of granting more rights to non-profits and unions than for-profit corporations, a disingenuous fight not worth winning. The brevity is nice but the structural flaws are fatal.