Recent news and notes from the movement to overturn Citizens United…
Santa Barbara Independent
Move to Amend Gains Momentum in Santa Barbara
Activist Michael Merenda said that many of the participants present at the rally were retired or older working professionals who are interested in improving the country for future generations. “A lot of the people here are retired or are around 70 years young,” Merenda said. “They are here because, even though they may not normally consider themselves activists, they want to make this country a better place for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.”
From Citizens United to Super PACs: A Campaign Finance Reading Guide
With the political conventions and the November election around the corner, we are taking a time-out to assess the state of campaign finance. As we reported last week, dark money nonprofits are outspending all super PACs combined in the presidential campaign thus far. How did we get here? A look at the landmark Citizens United decision and its impact on the 2012 campaign follows.
The Sage of Monticello Would Be Turning Over in his Grave
If [Thomas] Jefferson is going to be conscripted posthumously to any side in the debate over Citizens United, the Sage of Monticello belongs with the vast majority of Americans who reject the Court’s decision to treat CEOs spending corporate treasury money on political campaigns as a form of citizen speech. A champion of republican participation, Jefferson feared the emerging tyranny of state-chartered corporations and knew the difference between the exercise of raw political power by favored economic entities and public-spirited discussion by the people.
Citizens United and the fight for shareholder rights
So, corporations now have political speech rights, as do union-represented employees. But which constituency is missing its free-speech rights? Shareholders — who currently have no voice in the political expression of the companies in which they invest. There is an uneasy contradiction in the holdings of Citizens United and Knox. What’s good for corporations and union-represented employees is apparently not good for shareholders, who provide public companies with much of the capital they need to operate.
Sun Current (Minnesota)
Crowd gathers in Edina to oppose Citizens United ruling
A chapter of Move to Amend is also being formed, headed by Edina resident Laird Beaver. “Money can and must be regulated in the political area, and it is not too difficult to imagine city or county elections where outside money could easily flow into a campaign and literally swamp a candidate,” Beaver wrote in a July 27 letter to the Edina City Council. Chief executive officers of transnational corporations are making the fundamental policy decisions and not the citizens of the United States, Cobb said. “And we the people get to choose if we get paper or plastic at the grocery store,” he said.
For GOP mega-donors, a convention of their own
Forget the rah-rah speeches to the pin-swapping, confetti-covered delegates on the convention floor in Tampa. The real action will be with the Republican mega-donors gathered in arena skyboxes, closed-door hotel ballrooms and pricey restaurants around town. They’re holding a sort of convention of their own in Florida next week.
James McWilliams, Eating Plants Blog
Citizens United v. Animal Sentience
Our thinking about animals and society is so stunted (or non-existent) that many of us have no problem tolerating the imputation of rights to impersonal legal fictions while ignoring the preexisting natural rights of sentient individual beings. What makes this glaring inconsistency all the more galling is that the food corporations that have now managed to codify their systematically packaged lies as legally sound are the same organizations that brutally exploit the animals that are far more ethically eligible to have their interests protected. If the First Amendment is going to be extended beyond individual humans, it should apply to animals before it does the corporations that kill them.