28th Amendment

The Wolf-PAC Resolution does not contain specific amendment language because we truly want to hear all sides and solutions at the amendments convention.  We think the amendment should contain these core values: 

"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 legislators in the right direction and make sure the final amendment accomplishes the goals we have outlined here.

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commented 2013-02-12 20:22:08 -0500 · Flag
Ryan, this is Paul and I live in Massachusetts. I just received an invitation to join a Wolf-Pac research team. I plan to do that as soon as I can find a few minutes. Seems there is always to much to do!

How does WofPac propose to actually get “private money out of public elections.” And is that the same thing as removing all financial influence from the political process?
commented 2013-02-12 20:18:10 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, ok but media companies are not people and can be regulated if the MTA proposal becomes law. The draft text I posted earlier in this blog had the MTA section 1 and the Equal Voice as Section 2. Wouldn’t that effectively and actually get money out of politics?

Section 1 allowing media companies to be regulated and Section 2 “…every individual shall have, by right and at all times regardless of means of purchase, the equal opportunity to have his or her opinions heard, read or seen within the United States.” preventing any individual from using his or her resources to influence a political campaign.
commented 2013-02-12 12:17:28 -0500 · Flag
Hey Naveen & Paul;

What states do you all live in?

Cause we actually have some work to do in order to fix this problem and get private money out of public elections.

Let us know if you want to help. Thanks.

~ Ryan
ryan@wolf-pac.com
commented 2013-02-12 10:02:34 -0500 · Flag
Paul, here is the text I found “Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment”.

Again, this leaves media owners in charge of content.

And saying “it’s not protected” under the constitution is not the same thing as saying that it shall be outrightly prohibited, which is what is necessary to ACTUALLY get money out of politics. The equal-chance-voice clause does that. If the equal-chance-voice clause isn’t used, then money will still be a massive part of political campaigning in the US, and massive influence will STILL be held by media owners regardless. There will only be the illusion of change in the minds of some.
commented 2013-02-12 09:00:35 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, I think MTA addresses your concerns in Section 1, by means of regulating business, which all media are. If necessary, specific regulation could be enacted to regulate media activity in any way deemed necessary. This would remove your concerns over the advantage individual media owners might gain, would it not?

Regarding the timing of our discussion regarding the choice of text, are you aware that MTA has already submitted its proposal to Congress? Isn’t this what occurred yesterday?
commented 2013-02-12 04:19:36 -0500 · Flag
Paul, it’s vastly different in that MTA/Wolf-PAC still allows money to dominate the airwaves, but only at least as much as the legislatures might allow. But it leaves COMPLETELY unregulated, the domination of the airwaves by media OWNERS who don’t have to spend any extra money in order to dominate the conversation.

In essence, MTA/Wolf-PAC’s proposals actually make things worse, by, in the very BEST-case scenario, cutting out the voices of everyone except the media owners, narrowing the field of voices EVEN MORE, and making them the most and only really politically influential people in the country. This would actually make media REGULATION via the FCC harder, not easier, since the FCC are political appointees, where the politicians are now beholden to the media owners to get elected.

A good analogy is a non-comprehensive antibiotic which kills all bacteria except the resistant strain, which grows to be even more worse in its effect but is now even harder to cure. It doesn’t matter if it’s an intended consequence or not – that’s the inevitable consequence. And that’s in the BEST case scenario. In the worst, the legislatures don’t follow through on stopping purchase of media inches & time to dominate the conversation anyway.

The equal-chance-voice clause doesn’t only say money isn’t free speech, it says money or any means of purchase cannot be used at ANY time to violate the principle that all shall be given BY RIGHT and at ANY time the EQUAL opportunity to have his or her opinions heard, read or seen within the United States regardless of means of purchase. It is specific and comprehensive.

The supreme court never argued that the “legal entity” aspect of a corporation is a person. You can read their statements if you don’t believe me. You may have got this from second-hand sources who may have done the same. Rather, they affirmed that the rights under the ALREADY-EXISTING interpretation of the first amendment apply TO THE NATURAL PERSONS who legally control that corporation, nothing more. So a “corporations are not people” clause doesn’t overturn Citizens’ United AT ALL, ONLY the equal-chance-voice clause does.

A constitutional amendment supersedes everything that came before it, so the equal-chance-voice clause, if ratified, would supersede the interpretation of the first amendment sustained in the Buckley v Valeo, 1st National Bank of Boston v Bellotti & Citizens United decisions. So your point about denying “first amendment rights” would no longer apply, since that interpretation of the first amendment would be gone anyway.

So, Paul, name the constitutional right or rights, then, you would be trying to deny to the natural persons who legally control a corporation? The old interpretation of the first amendment, now gone, was the only one you were able to mention, so you have none left.
commented 2013-02-11 21:48:53 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, what you propose is not really much different than the current MTA Section 2 language, quoted here: Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence 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." Which is more effective, yours or theirs, I must ask myself.

The “Equal-Voice clause” by itself does not clearly articulate the essential distinction between legal entities and the people who run them. This vagueness in the First Amendment “freedom of speech language” has left the door open to manipulation. MTA’s Section 1, quoted below, I think is necessary to reverse 120 years of misguided decision-making and manipulation.

“Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

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

Artificial 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."

This piece makes it clear that corporations do not have any CONSTITUTIONAL rights, nor should they. They may have certain legal privileges as permitted by regulation, no inalienable rights, as do people.

I believe it will take very assertive amendments to do pull this off. More so than the Equal Voice proposal is. Look at what it has taken to reverse racial discrimination: the 13th amendment, which was not enough, it was followed by the 14th amendment, which was still not enough, so the 15th amendment was passed. It took 3 constitutional amendments to get the job done, and is it truly done yet? Has racism truly been abolished from this culture? I ask you.

Corps run the country, and this must change! And my life is not long enough to pass 3 constitutional amendments.

Paul
commented 2013-02-11 06:35:20 -0500 · Flag
“violated” might be a better word than “breached”.
commented 2013-02-11 06:32:14 -0500 · Flag
Paul, let’s be explicit, in the 28th amendment, that money (or more comprehensively, means of purchase) cannot be used to breach the equal-chance-voice principle, e.g.:

"
…every individual shall have, by right and at all times regardless of means of purchase, the equal opportunity to have his or her opinions heard, read or seen within the United States. This principle may at no time be breached by means of purchase. This shall henceforth be construed to be the meaning of “the freedom of the press” within this Constitution and all Laws of the United States passed in pursuance thereof. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.



Section 6: Bribery checks -

Each member of Congress shall be independently tested a minimum of 3 times during his or her term for willingness to accept a bribe. At least one member shall have been tested no fewer than six times, the procedure for selecting the number of tests for any member to have been purely by random selection. No member shall be made aware of when the tests will be carried out or any of their details. A minimum penalty shall be predetermined by congress for anyone who facilitates any such knowledge. Acceptance of the bribe offered and a failure to report it before making an official decision in accordance with it or within 6 months, shall result in immediate removal from Office, a reversal of that official decision, and a minimum penalty to have been predetermined by Congress.
"
commented 2013-02-10 22:12:41 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, I think your idea re undercover sting ops on congressional reps idea would be viewed as a bit too draconian, too extreme a tactic.

Besides it completely fails to stop donations to PACs who then flood the air-waves with ads for or against one candidate or another. I view this type of behavior as a far greater threat to fair democratic debate than bribing a congressperson.

You make a good point about my use of the military draft as a model. It’s only a good model insofar as the military is a branch of government that has employed various random selection methods effectively. I agree with your suggestion that any random selection process for members of congress should be only from a pool of those who have offered to serve. I agree re “No qualification test” also. Who would be qualified to give such a test fairly? Way too much room for influencing the process if testing is introduced. As a democracy we must listen to all who want to speak and who want to represent us, and then vote in the best candidates.

The other measures you’ve laid out are also good ones.

The hardest part with all this is to effectively remove the influence of money from the political debate, and the entire election process without unfairly abridging individual rights. A simple constitutional guarantee of equal opportunity to speak for all does not clearly rule out the use of money (or any resources other than one’s own voice) to articulate one’s ideas in my view. You will say that it should, but given 200 years of history to the contrary, I don’t believe it will.

I believe it will take direct prohibition of any monetary contribution by an individual or any entity that might be used to influence an election. This prohibition must be articulated in language that will make it impossible for any court to interpret the First Amendment that an association of individuals has all of the constitutional rights as the individuals themselves have. I believe such a distinction is now necessary in the constitution given the history of First Amendment interpretation and the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens’ United vs FEC.
commented 2013-02-10 10:06:13 -0500 · Flag
Paul, what about law which mandates that a bare minimum number of multiple and regular undercover sting ops shall be carried out per politician, which test each politician regularly if they are ready to accept a bribe for official decisions? And then for a failure to report each operation within a maximum period to carry a minimum penalty, and accepting the “bribe” without ever reporting it within a maximum period to carry automatic impeachment and a minimum penalty? Surely, this would keep all the politicians on the straight and narrow, afraid to accept any real bribe for fear that it might be one of those undercover sting ops?

I think this would be a good extension to the anti bribery laws. Frankly all over the world.

I would prefer members of congress to be chosen at random from all applicants, rather than “drafted” even from those who didn’t apply. My reason is that a given individual may not be confident in the depth of his/her ideas and/or ability to participate to good effect. As such, I believe a body of people who feel strongly enough to want to be there would carry out the task to greater effect than a body which included people who might not want to be there. But still, I believe both are dramatic improvements over having elected members, especially via the most-votes electoral system, but even otherwise, since there is an insurmountable unknowable factor in any given candidate, when trying to attain true representativeness via means of election. Only a randomly selected congress with no qualification test (other than maybe expressly wanting to be there) can be maximally representative, and thus minimize the margin of error for the laws passed. I do, however, think that the other clauses (each and every proposed measure to be voted on regularly, full attendance requirement to be permitted to vote on any given measure, each measure to be voted on separately) are also necessary to be able to achieve this. There may be others too.
commented 2013-02-10 08:47:16 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, we agree on the problem. Injecting one’s money into a political debate just makes one’s opinion louder, but no more correct.

“Reasoned, exhaustive debate” might be a stretch, at least until we as a society learn better how to do that. The terms “reasoned” and “exhaustive” are both subjective, and as such, leave undesired room for differences of opinion and tolerance. Perhaps this falls in the realm of implementation and should be left to legislation.

A random selection process for members of congress that might work could be modeled after the military draft of the 60’s. I’m all for that. Serving in Congress at any level should be seen as true public service similar to jury duty, not as a means for the wealthy to accumulate power and influence.

I don’t think strengthening the existing anti-bribery laws would be effective at getting money out of politics. Much of the financial influence in politics could not be considered bribery. It comes down to an argument (which needs to be avoided) about one’s motivation for contributing to a politician: is the purpose of a contribution to purchase allegiance or is it purely a gift with no strings attached. Proving motivation like this in court would only lead to endless and unproductive court battles. An amendment that simply and directly made financial influence in politics illegal for reasons of preservation of the democratic process would make the most effective argument.
commented 2013-02-08 16:09:13 -0500 · Flag
Paul, let’s try to improve the equal-chance-voice clause and anti-bribery laws.

“Unrepresentative influence” is exactly the problem in relation to all these issues. A random selection of all people would minimize the margin for error for a society by 1. Being a maximally representative body, and 2. If it engages in reasoned exhaustive discussion, would also test a wider range of opinions in debate, allowing more necessary (provable) ideas to propagate and bad (disprovable) ideas to be disproven.

The whole problem about unrepresentative (non-representative, same thing) influence such as money in politics is that it narrows the width of scrutiny to the priorities of fewer people, thereby increasing the margin for error for the society.

This is why I am also proposing a purely randomly-selected congress from all who apply, required to attend all debate sessions on a measure to be allowed to vote on that measure, each measure to be voted upon separately, and regularly – it would minimize the margin for error for the laws that are produced, and thus is also a necessary measure.

I can’t think of a specific act of unrepresentative influence which would be legal especially under the proposed amendment sections 1-5 and 18 USC Section 201, which is why I asked you for a concrete example of a possible one.
commented 2013-02-08 14:21:40 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, you said in P3, “But there are no barriers to passing any such laws in regular statute, only to an equal-chance-voice law, due to the current interpretation of the first amendment.”

If you take issue with the current interpretation of the First Amendment, then you should address this issue directly in your proposed amendment. It would seem to me that your amendment would be stronger and more easily understood if it were crafted in a fashion similar to the 21st amendment repealing prohibition, which successfully repealed and re-articulated an existing amendment. I’m suggesting your proposal should follow a similar strategy. Just a thought.
commented 2013-02-08 13:51:41 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, you seem to be answering my question by saying that if the hiring of a lobbyist or financial contributions to a PAC by a corporation is “non-representative”, it is illegal. Please explain what you mean by the term “non-representative”. It is this qualifier that makes those activities illegal in your view, and I don’t understand the term. You also use a similar term, “unrepresentative influence” in your 3rd paragraph. Does that mean the same thing as “non-representative”?

P2 states that your Equal Voice clause “makes it technically illegal” …for anyone to be heard louder than anyone else, including politicians themselves [my interpretation]. Just making a particular activity technically illegal does not mean that deeply ingrained behaviors will change. Frankly, I doubt the language you are using will have that effect. But that is the effect I desire.
commented 2013-02-08 03:57:15 -0500 · Flag
Paul, can you give me a specific, practical example of a possible non-representative “legal lobbying” or “political action” action that could be considered legal under the equal-chance-voice clause and 18 USC Section 201?

The equal-chance-voice clause technically makes it illegal for anyone to be heard more even by a politician themself than anyone else. So it’s valid to bring a case against that politician if they do that. That doesn’t mean it necessarily will but it makes that option available. But it legally removes all the “campaign money” leverage that “lobbyists” have, which only leaves direct bribery, which is illegal under 18 USC Section 201.

If there’s any unrepresentative influence which could still be considered legal, then one or more measures should be passed in law (constitution or regular) so that it can’t be, which covers all individuals without any exceptions at all. But there are no barriers to passing any such laws in regular statute, only to an equal-chance-voice law, due to the current interpretation of the first amendment.

Along with the equal-chance-voice clause, the Sections 2-5 I posted increase the chances of passing necessary laws in regular statute, and repealing bad ones.
commented 2013-02-07 17:18:14 -0500 · Flag
Naveen. Of course I agree with your statement. But the 2 examples I cited are not corruption. So, even if those laws were strictly enforced, which they are not, anti-corruption laws do not apply to legal lobbying or political action. So, I ask you again, how will either your amendment or the existing anti-bribery laws prevent this sort of behavior?

Btw, a major blizzard is coming tomorrow, so I may be off-line for a bit this weekend.
commented 2013-02-07 00:56:44 -0500 · Flag
Paul, any anti-corruption law must apply to all individuals without exception. Do you agree?
commented 2013-02-06 21:46:00 -0500 · Flag
Naveen: in answer to this question, “What corrupt task could ever be deemed legal simultaneously under the equal-chance-voice clause and 18 USC Section 201?”: while a company’s issuance of “a check on the entity’s bank account to a PAC or to a lobbyist to perform a certain task” is not necessarily corrupt, both of them are methods corporations use to purchase influence. I don’t see how your amendment or anti-bribery laws could prevent this sort of behavior.

Statements such as this, “The solution to corporations performing an abuse or negligence is to remove the ability for ALL individuals to perform that abuse or negligence, without ANY exception.” demonstrate that we have widely divergent views of how corporations work in this country. Therefore, I am not going to continue to discuss corporate behavior with you until you substantiate your views in this topic because they do not square with mine.
commented 2013-02-06 10:04:17 -0500 · Flag
Actually there are many people who have been convicted under 18 USC Section 201 as well as state anti-bribery laws.

The equal-chance-voice clause addresses the other dimension of unrepresentative influence – unrepresentative campaigning. The first amendment, as currently interpreted, is a hindrance to this, hence the need for the equal-chance-free-speech measure in the constitution itself.

Anti-bribery laws can be expanded via the constitution itself or via ordinary statute at any level, since there are no constitutional barriers to that. This expansion could include lowering the standard for conviction, and/or a methodology which would increase the frequency and thoroughness of investigations of suspected cases. No constitutional barriers to any such measure though.

Any measure must cover all individuals.
commented 2013-02-06 09:24:42 -0500 · Flag
There are already laws against corruption on the books now. Have they stopped corruption? I think not. So what makes you think yours will?
commented 2013-02-06 08:25:48 -0500 · Flag
“18 USC Section 201” is what? I’m not a lawyer.
commented 2013-02-06 02:30:00 -0500 · Flag
Paul, you say a corporation, under the equal-chance-voice clause, can issue “a check on the entity’s bank account to a PAC or to a lobbyist to perform a certain task”. Please be specific. What corrupt task could ever be deemed legal simultaneously under the equal-chance-voice clause and 18 USC Section 201? If there is, PLEASE extend it to cover all individuals. Corruption is corruption, and no individual should be allowed to perform it.

The solution to ambiguity is to remove that ambiguity. The solution to corporations performing an abuse or negligence is to remove the ability for ALL individuals to perform that abuse or negligence, without ANY exception. It is trivial to circumvent any law that mentions corporations, by simply performing the activity with the same resources after taking them out of the corporation, or not putting those specific resources into the corporation to begin with.
commented 2013-02-05 21:25:48 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, I understand your THEORETICAL point re “non-conscious vehicles” being “driven” by “conscious” individuals. The problem I have with it is that its does not square with my perception of reality. More below… but first, to speak to your proposed amendment:

“Section 1: Equal-Chance Voice -

The equal opportunity for all ideas to be tested in debate being necessary to maximize the propagation of the most necessary solutions, every individual shall have, by right, the equal opportunity to have his or her opinions heard, read or seen within the United States. This shall henceforth be construed to be the meaning of “the freedom of the press” within this Constitution and all Laws of the United States passed in pursuance thereof."

One could (and many will) argue that the “equal opportunity” described above already exists today. And since they argue that “equal opportunity” already exists, they will ask why we need another amendment.

However, the problem I see is that this language only forbids the use of money to buy political speech INDIRECTLY, by inference. My concern that indirect inclusion is the problem wit the first amendment free speech language we have today. It is not specific enough, and neither is yours. That is the reason I support the very specific distinctions and prohibitions articulated by the 28th amendment movement. What we have now and what you are proposing are not clear enough to prevent argument in the courts.

Your Equal Voice proposal copied above for reference, although it asserts the right of every individual to have his/her voice heard, does not prohibit people or organizations from spending their money to influence a political outcome, or organizations from promoting the opinions of its leadership as a group. For example, how will the Equal Voice Amendment above make it illegal for the CEO of a for-profit corporation or any for-profit organization for that matter, acting either independently in his/her position as CEO or at the direction of the Board of Directors, from issuing a check on the entity’s bank account to a PAC or to a lobbyist to perform a certain task, especially if lawyers for the corporation or organization continue to win the argument that a corporation or organization is no more than a collection of people exercising their constitutional rights as individuals? If you agree with this argument, then legally binding associations of individuals of any kind must cease to exist. I would suggest that this is not a practical solution to the problem. Therefore, a constitutional amendment that will clearly define limitations on the rights of corporations or organizations is needed.

The primary objective of any 28th Amendment MUST be to prohibit corporations from using their money for political purposes. Btw, such an act (which happens every day by the way) is an example of your “non-conscious vehicle” exercising its constitutional rights, which you say it cannot do, and is just one of hundreds of ways the analogy does not hold up.

Since your perception of what a corporation is and how it serves to shield its stockholders, officers and directors from personal liability for their actions is much different from mine (and Rich’s, as he seems to indicate), if you are going to continue to assert your position on this issue, I need you to substantiate your position. What experiences or positions do you hold that qualify you to make such assertions? Without concrete substantiation, your assertions on this topic are just not credible in my opinion. The automobile (as a "non-conscious vehicle) analogy does not work.
commented 2013-02-05 00:58:57 -0500 · Flag
No Paul, the rights have always been exercised by the individuals driving that non-conscious vehicle. The non-conscious vehicle itself is literally incapable of exercising those or any rights, only the people driving it can. This has always been the case, is, and will always be the case in relation to any non-conscious vehicle, ever.

Unrepresentative campaigning (e.g. by money) flagrantly breaches the EQUAL opportunity, by right, for EVERY individual to have his or her opinions heard, read or seen within the United States, and hence the equal-chance-voice clause. This is made unambiguous by the intended outcome at the start – The EQUAL opportunity for ALL IDEAS to be tested in debate BEING NECESSARY to maximize the propagation of the most necessary solutions. No ambiguity.

Rich – there was NEVER a time when the richest did not control the political dialogue in the US. It only ever varied by extent. The equal-chance-voice constitutional clause is the ONLY measure that can end it. Citizens’ United, Buckley v Valeo, 1st National Bank of Boston v Bellotti were ALL based entirely on their interpretation OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. None of them claimed that the non-conscious aspect of a corporation is a person. You can look this up if you don’t believe me. As it is, it is a trivial step for any individual to take their money OUT of the corporation and use it for the very same political campaigning ANYWAY! The equal-chance-voice clause is comprehensive, and addresses this too. Your analogy is wrong. It is wrong to build the house the old way – because you will get exactly the same outcome – only the names and players will change and you’ll be back where you started, except even worse due to complacency.
commented 2013-02-04 23:39:01 -0500 · Flag
Naveen’s idea has no relationship to social, political, historical, or legal reality. All these realities do not and cannot change by magical thinking. Building a new barn does not re-build the farm dwelling destroyed by fire. To re-build the house you have to build a similar building that meets the criteria called “House.” Naveen is mixing apples and oranges as if they are exactly the same thing. They are not. His idea does not fix what is.
commented 2013-02-04 18:12:37 -0500 · Flag
As I read and re-read you last post, I am coming to understand your point of view a bit better……… I think!

You are asserting (and have been all along) that the MTA/Wolf-Pac notions of “corporations are not people”and “money is not speech” are unnecessary if the Equal Voice Amendment becomes a constitutional requirement because in your words, You say, “…the equal-chance-voice clause ….. ENTIRELY overturns Citizens’ United, Buckley v Valeo, 1st National Bank of Boston v Bellotti decisions by saying that there cannot be unrepresentative campaigning at all. Without exceptions.”

Where does it say that “there cannot be unrepresentative campaigning”? And btw, Section 1 [Equal Voice] contains poor grammatical construction which makes it difficult to understand.
commented 2013-02-04 18:02:54 -0500 · Flag
Except Naveen, that corporations, as legal entities unto themselves (“non-conscious vehicles” as you describe them), do in fact have legal rights and have had them for many years.

So your statement that it is impossible to give rights to “non-conscious vehicles” as you describe them, may fit your theoretical model but your model does not fit with reality as I understand it.

Our views of the relationship between corporations and the people who hold official positions in corporations are very different. I don’t see it the way you describe it at all.
commented 2013-02-04 13:33:33 -0500 · Flag
Paul, there are two very distinct but valid ways to look at a corporation. One is as a group of individuals, with certain special, but easily statutorily removable legal privileges, and the other is a vehicle for a group of individuals to use.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to give rights, protections, privileges, punishments, you name it, to the VEHICLE aspect of a corporation since it is NON-CONSCIOUS in order to be able to exercise or experience those things. So any constitutional clause that states that they shouldn’t be is UTTERLY REDUNDANT, since none of those things have ever been exercised or experienced by the vehicle aspect of any corporation, only the individuals who control that vehicle, and that is and will always be the case.

Think of it like a car. By allowing someone to travel 100 yards with a car that they own I HAVE NOT GIVEN ANY RIGHTS TO THAT CAR. I have given the right to the INDIVIDUAL/S driving the car to travel that 100 yards with something they legally own.

Now examine the equal-chance-voice clause. It ENTIRELY overturns Citizens’ United, Buckley v Valeo, 1st National Bank of Boston v Bellotti decisions by saying that there cannot be unrepresentative campaigning at all. Without exceptions.

Those supreme court decisions were based entirely on the vagueness (or inadequacy) of the 1st amendment. The equal-chance-voice clause fixes that and thus overturns all of those decisions entirely.

Now examine the effect of saying that corporations can’t take part in the NEWFREE SPEECH” doctrine (equal-chance-voice). Simple – there will be absolutely no effect whatsoever – a vehicle isn’t conscious in order to apply to speak – and the individual members of that corporation are perfectly entitled to apply, and depending on the luck of the draw, they might get a chance to speak but only the same chance as anyone else.

See, any clause related to free speech wouldn’t need to be in relation to the 1st amendment, but rather in relation to the new equal-chance-free-speech paradigm. And as I said, mentioning corporations in relation to that would have zero effect. You have mentioned NO other constitutional rights that you want to deny. So you see, there’s no benefit to mentioning corporations. It’s taken care of.

The other sections 2-5 I included would make things even better.
commented 2013-02-04 12:12:33 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, you asked me to reply to the following: “You appear to oppose the “no rights” position although you still believe some constitutional rights should be denied – which ones specifically? And surely the circumventability issue kills it in the big picture anyway, by only limiting its scope to individuals who did not take the easily-taken measures to circumvent it? Please answer these 2 questions.”

To the first, specifically and particularly, the right to speak because that right should be limited to natural individuals only.

Your second question is not actually a question, as written. But to speak to the issue it talks about, The whole point of the MTA/Wolf-Pac amendment is to establish a constitutional distinction between corporations and the people who run them. If the constitution makes it clear that corporations (or any organization of people who may be organized for any purpose) do NOT enjoy the same rights and privileges as the people who run them or are party to them (as in marriages), and CAN be regulated, then I have difficulty understanding how you think that people could so easily circumvent such an amendment.

Theoretically the Equal Voice Amendment may be all that is needed to rectify the whole situation as you say, but frankly, I have my doubts that it will be construed in the courts the way you intend it, it will be overturned, and corporations will as a result continue to unfairly have the rights of people without the responsibilities of people, as others have put it.

If corporations are the same as the people who run them (ie, an association of natural persons) as you propose, then I don’t see how you can curtail the objectionable advantage these people have without them fleeing for cover to some newly constructed legal shelter, which gives them the legal cover they seek, and thus defeating your purpose. This is what I believe would happen if the Equal Voice clause were to pass WITHOUT THE MTA/WOLF-PAC LANGUAGE WITH IT. So, I see both pieces as necessary to clean up the mess we are currently in.
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