28th Amendment

"Corporations are not people. They have none of the Constitutional rights of human beings. Corporations are not allowed to give money to any politician, directly or indirectly. No politician can raise over $100 from any person or entity.  All elections must be publicly financed."

*Note: The finished legislation will be worded differently and have to account for inflation, etc.  This is simply to point the legislators in the right direction and make sure the final amendment accomplishes the goals we have outlined here.   


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commented 2014-04-19 09:25:31 -0400 · Flag
commented 2014-04-18 15:41:34 -0400 · Flag
Article V only requires congress to “call a convention for proposing amendments to the constitution.” Anyone can make any proposal to amend the constitution at such a convention. Unfortunately. I do not see where a convention can be called to debate just 1 predetermined proposal.

The concept of “corporate personhood” is not necessary to make corporate entities suable and capable of suing themselves. It has always been that way. The Founding Fathers never intended that corporations were to be endowed with constitutional rights. They always were legal entities, subject to legislative action and regulation, but never were they intended to have constitutional rights.
commented 2014-04-18 15:30:17 -0400 · Flag
Another thing. The concept of corporate personhood has the side benefit that companies, like people, can sue and be sued in court. If you take away corporate personhood outright, you lose the ability to sue companies, or to sue as a company. Bernie Sanders’ amendment is more carefully worded to say, instead of “corporations are not people”, that the First Amendment rights “are those of natural persons and do not extend to corporations…”.
commented 2014-04-18 15:27:37 -0400 · Flag
Paul: “That’s why I support Wolf-Pac’s strategy of forcing a constitutional convention on Washington by bringing it through the states, per Article V of the Constitution. It’s not an easy task, but I believe it’s the only strategy that has any chance of succeeding.”

Exactly. We bring one of the amendments already written up by Sanders et al. through the states. That was the strategy.

I’m just pointing out to the person who wrote this page that the “finished legislation” already exists.
commented 2014-04-18 12:47:50 -0400 · Flag
William, since we’re talking about “our” amendments, if by “them” you means corps, llc’s, etc (legal entities of any type), mine would strip corps, etc, of ANY protection under the Constitution. It is not necessary nor is it desirable to nationalize them. Doing so would make their behavior the responsibility of the government.

I believe it is within the scope of the constitution to define in moral terms the obligations of all legal entities to the society that grants them the privilege to exist, and the constitution should do that. Corps, etc. should have NO rights at all under the Constitution. In fact the Constitution should go so far as to state clearly that corps have no constitutional right, and that only natural people have constitutional rights. Corps should be granted privileges by the state and as such must abide by regulations set down by the state or their privileges, even the privilege to exist, can be taken away.
commented 2014-04-18 09:51:14 -0400 · Flag
Paul: I agree; but I’d still prefer nationalizing them over shielding them with constitutional protection under “freedom of speech”. My 28th amendment would make the corporate charter as important and carefully worded as the US Constitution itself. Please note that there only a few drop-dead mandates they must conform to under my amendment; and even those would ultimately have to be decided by a jury of peers on the preponderance of evidence. It is, indeed, a slippery slope, but judicious wording of corporate charters, each tailored to the nature of their individual applicants, should bring common sense to bear on the conduct of business and government. Don’t be painting Hitler’s mustache on me; I’m not a Nazi. The government should rightly represent the will of an educated and responsible populace. That can be done with modern political science if we’re honest with one another and able to make our concerns known to all. Capitalism would work but there must be limits.
commented 2014-04-17 22:35:22 -0400 · Flag
William: nationalizing everything we think is dysfunctional is not the answer, assuming by “nationalizing” you mean the government should take over hte dysfunctional entity. If so, then who is the government, and do we want them taking anything over? Not THIS government!

The problem is one of economic structure, not political power. An unjust economic system is giving excess power to a few, who are in control politically as a result of their unfair economic advantage. So the answer is not to take control away, but to change the economic structure that gave them the power in the first place.
commented 2014-04-17 22:26:20 -0400 · Flag
I wish it were that simple Aidan. Mr. Sanders is a long way from getting even just the senate to pass his initiative, not to mention the House, which will NEVER pass Mr. Sander’s resolution. Several competing resolutions have been proposed by various members of congress already. One of these must pass both houses before there is anything to be ratified. Not likely to happen in my lifetime. That’s why I support Wolf-Pac’s strategy of forcing a constitutional convention on Washington by bringing it through the states, per Article V of the Constitution. It’s not an easy task, but I believe it’s the only strategy that has any chance of succeeding.

William: Sorry it took me so long to respond to you. Your description of the situation calls for wholesale economic restructuring… basically I believe the US has outgrown its need for a capitalist economy. We need to evolve to something more balanced, that serves the interests of the many and not just the few. I’m not an economist and I don’t know what the answer is, but I know we need a more highly evolved economic model than the one we have.
commented 2014-04-17 22:12:57 -0400 · Flag
That would all be well and good if “The Press” wasn’t a wholly -owned subsidiary of the global banking squid. “Freedom of the Press” is not the same as freedom of speech. “Freedom of the Press” is nothing more than corpo-speak for “Freedom to justify pro-corporate propaganda” . It is “The Corporate Press” that needs nationalizing the most. We’ll need to silence the (Corporate) Press before we can get a Constitutional Convention to happen at all. Let’s start there and not defend the new aristocracy using constitutional “Freedom of Speech” to further dumb “The People” (meaning YOU) down. Freedom of speech and freedom of The Press, in this case, are diametrically opposed concepts. What were we just talking about? Is anybody “getting” this? You’re being hoodwinked again. God help us.
commented 2014-04-17 21:34:01 -0400 · Flag
Glad you asked! Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has already proposed a formally worded amendment to the same effect:

Now all we have to do is convince our state legislatures to ratify this and boom, we have our power back.
commented 2014-04-10 10:51:30 -0400 · Flag
Paul: that’s sorta what I’m saying; but to put a finer point on it: “incorporation”, in the sense that 300 million Americans incorporate to form a republic with each having 1 voting share in the decision-making process is a wonderful idea. The danger posed by subsequent corporations is that they concentrate decision-making power into the hands of a few, whose personal goals may in fact conflict with the goals of their constituents. This phenomena is particularly dangerous where political Party Corps, like DemCorp and RepubCorp, collect bloated salaries for managing the political affairs of politically uneducated civilians who think they can delegate such decision-making responsibility to supposedly (but not necessesarily) wiser men. But generally, the concentration of any power into the hands of a few creates a situation where those in positions of power will discover they have more in common with each other than they have with their constituents. I think this holds especially true for bankers, but it defines the nature of transnational companies as well. To me; those who believe the centralization of decision-making authority and the concentration of power are what’s best for the other 300 million, are Corporatists. Anyone who believes a corporate bureaucracy is any more efficient than a government bureaucracy is a Corporatist (and a fool). Allowing a virtual aristocracy to evolve within the community of such corporate leaders and decision-makers is mass insanity. I think those masses deserve a comprehensive education in Political Science. To do that we’ll need to nationalize the corporate media and return public education to the Public it was intended to serve. I think people have a right to the Truth even more than a free education. It starts with restructuring the government; and that means a Constitutional Convention is in order to define how privately-formed special interest (business and social) corporations will be allowed to function in our culture.
John: It has to be done at the Federal level, or the States will compete for “friendliest” designation in their own self-interest.
commented 2014-04-10 10:02:08 -0400 · Flag
Robert: I think you hit the nail on the head. Their amendment seems to reinforce the idea of corporate interference in politics. Atleast that’s how their wording reads. It stinks to high heaven of weasels.
commented 2014-04-10 09:11:13 -0400 · Flag
Both our major political parties are for sale to the highest bidder. All Move to Amend is is a Democrat in the clothing of something else.
commented 2014-04-10 07:31:43 -0400 · Flag
John and William,
I find both of your last posts interesting. John, you make the point that getting money out of politics is necessary to restoring the democratic process and I don’t think many people viewing this blog dispute that, and that to do that we have to begin by overturning Citizen’s United, the Valleo decision, and now the McCutcheon decision as well.

But William seems to be arguing that the problem goes deeper than just “money in politics”. To me he his saying that money is a pervasive and corrosive influence throughout American culture (not just in the media, whose values to me are just a reflection of the values of the culture at large). If that is indeed what he is saying (William, is that what you’re saying?), then I wholeheartedly agree!

But having said that, I support Wolf-Pac, and in morally at least the others (Move-To-Amend, etc) as well pushing for similar changes, because we have to start somewhere, and taking care of the most glaring affronts (the SCOTUS decisions) first seems to be where the big push is now. But I doubt that simply “getting money out of politics” will free American culture of its obsession with money and material wealth. I firmly believe that more changes of an economic nature will be needed in the future to transform this culture to one I can be deeply inspired by.
commented 2014-04-10 00:12:15 -0400 · Flag

That’s exactly the point of removing the notion of “Corporate Personhood” for good. States grant corporate charters, not the Federal Govt. States should be able to fully regulate those corporations, consistent with the ability to grant said charters. According to the SCOTUS, that is currently not the case because they have given corporations the protections of the Bill of Rights as though the corporate construct is a citizen.

As for money in politics, we need to end the corruption at its source, not apply a Band-Aid to it. We need to end the political stranglehold of the two fundamentally corrupt parties as well. To that end, I fully agree that all money should be taken out of the political process. It will remain a corrupting influence otherwise, even if limited to $100 per donor. Elections should be publicly funded so that the average citizen (read: not a millionaire) is not locked out of the political discourse, as is currently and has been the case. Removal of money from political “contributions” is essential to restoring our Republic.
commented 2014-04-09 16:38:55 -0400 · Flag
Why are we still talking about election reform when it’s the complete breakdown of our constitutional republic form of government that we’re trying to resusitate. Campaign contributions mean nothing compared to persuasive power of a celebrity news anchor or two (or twelve) spewing polical spin 24/7 in favor of whatever candidates the NewsCorp is sponsored to endorse. There’s a pattern of abuse that can’t be denied and it doesn’t take a genius to trace the financial incentives behind every political endorsement you hear on Corporate Cable News starting from the end of the last election until the beginning of the next. And it goes on year-in and year-out non stop. Campaign donations are only the tip of the iceberg of corporate corruption of the whole system from State House to White House. Let’s talk about those Bill Mahr’s and Sean Hannity’s, shall we?
commented 2014-04-09 15:48:14 -0400 · Flag
I think the amendment should 1. Restrict donors to being registered voters ( no corporate donors, no pac donors ) 2. Set a limit on how large a donation can be. 3 Provide for prompt, honest, and public disclosure of all donations received.
commented 2014-04-08 15:20:40 -0400 · Flag
I had to write a rather long essay on John Locke as well as read The Republic just to get through 8th grade. Both should be required reading even today. In high school it got more intense with Civics101 and 102 (US Constitution) . Why don’t the public schools want to teach those concepts anymore? Because they’re not in the textbooks. And why aren’t they in the corporate-published textbooks? (that’s rhetorical) At this rate, our grandkids won’t even know what a constitution is. O r what IS is, for that matter.
commented 2014-04-08 14:31:16 -0400 · Flag
Did you study the Constitution when you were in school? I didn’t.
commented 2014-04-08 13:18:14 -0400 · Flag
Back in the 40’s and 50’s it WAS required and Civics101 and 102 were manditory to getting a HS diploma. We also had to learn Latin if we elected to go on to college.
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