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 2014-04-06 00:20:31 -0400 · Flag
Paul and William,

I think that ultimately, the State retains the right to legally define the corporate entity via the Corporate Charter. The problem here is the judicial activism which granted corporations personhood and has granted them increasing protection under the Bill of Rights, to the direct detriment of our own rights.

The Supreme Court position is such that, though a Corporation is a construct of the State in which it was incorporated, the State has no legal right to duly regulate the construct, as though the State created a legal person of flesh and blood. This is unacceptable and has demonstrably resulted in restriction of the rights of real people.

The root of the problem is the assertion of Corporate Personhood, which is already not supported in the Constitution, though neither is it denied. It is a loose interpretation on the part of the Supreme Court based on the Corporate Charter. The solution presented, stating that only People have Rights and that Corporations are not People, goes far to resolve the core of the problem. With such language, the judicial activism will be completely destroyed and all precedents currently used to prop up Corporate rights will cease to have meaning.

Beyond this, the State should always be left to define the Corporate Charter and it is, frankly, none of the Federal Government’s business.
commented 2014-04-05 15:39:31 -0400 · Flag
I like William’s comment. We need the amendment to finally define the role of legal entities of any type (corps (C,B,S or whatever), llc, non-profit), not simply to assert that corps are not people, etc, as Move-To-Amend does. But that comes later after the convention has actually been called.
commented 2014-04-05 14:13:40 -0400 · Flag
Paul and Christopher,

I agree. The only reason we have any hope of change is Article V.

I do not want to see this go half-way and back off as soon as Congress decides to take it seriously and try to head off the will of the People with a lite-version of an Amendment. The way I see it, we must see this through to completion, which means a unified resolution across the States for an Article V convention.

We have to completely remove this from the Federal level and force it down their throat, fully consistent with an Article V Convention. Consider well the case of the 17th Amendment, where the Senate finally relented to pressure mounting from State Legislatures and headed off the independent Article V Convention so that they could have some measure of control by working the Amendment in-house.

If the same happens in the current climate, we may well not see the goal met and only a half-measure, highly susceptible to judicial activism, may be what we get. In light of this possibility, I see the Article V Convention assembling without Congressional interference and limitation as our only real chance at getting the job done.
commented 2014-04-05 12:16:14 -0400 · Flag
Has anyone here EVER heard a corporate news anchor use the term “Article 5” or mention a "constitutional convention. Besides Judge Napolitano’s occasional references to constitutionality; there’s a complete news blackout on the subject of limiting corporate influence over politics and government. You don’t even want to discuss it here. Five years of corporate-shill dominated internet activism indicates to me that political science is lost in a sea of corporate propaganda along with economics and history. It’s not just ignorance; too many Americans have a conflict of interest where corporations are concerned. We need to define what a corporation is, and how it operates sociologically, before we can go any further toward eliminating their influence. Let’s hear a thousand varying personal opinions now: that’ll clear thingsup.
commented 2014-04-05 11:08:51 -0400 · Flag
I can’t answer your question because I never go on Facebook.

I agree unification of the various groups all seeking similar changes (a 28th amendment) would strengthen the movement. But it’s early in the game. I can’t speak for Wolf-Pac, but my sense is that Wolf-Pac feels that since amendment text does not officially get proposed until the US Congress has been forced to convene a constitutional convention, the strategy for forcing the issue is more important right now. And it strikes me (to Chris Pahnlick) that the means for doing that is right in the constitution itself- in Article V specifically. So, that’s why Wolf-Pac gets my time and energy right now. Now matter how well prepared the proposed amendment text is, and I agree the Move-To-Amend’s is very well thought out, a bunch of non-binding resolutions will not get the US Congess to move on the issue in any meaningful way.

I don’t know where the Texas legislature is in the process, but you might look on-line for contact info on Wolf-Pac Texas, and put yourself in touch with them. This process will take a while. So hopefully you will be back stateside by the time Texas gets serious about it. Stay safe over there.
commented 2014-04-05 00:03:33 -0400 · Flag
I like that people from different groups for the same goal are posting!! At this stage of the game, I feel that wording is irrelevant at this point. What’s needed first is a message to Washington that we are serious and you need to start addressing this amendment because if a constitutional convention is called by the states, you’re locked out!!
commented 2014-04-04 17:35:23 -0400 · Flag

Thanks for the reply. My concern was whether we might be stronger unifying the efforts of both groups, seeing as the goal is still the same.

I agree, non-binding resolutions will not help. People raising their voices together and not accepting anything short of binding resolutions certainly will.

I’m deployed to Afghanistan right now, or I would be actively trying to help spread the message in Central Texas, to include taking the short trip down to Austin to support efforts to introduce a Joint Resolution into the Texas legislature.

This is important to me and to our future. As such, I feel I can use all the help I can get in trying to get involved and to get this, the most important issue of our time, resolved.

That said, I do appreciate the well-prepared language put forth by the Move to Amend people and I also fully appreciate the passion and zeal going forward on this side. I fully embrace the no-holds-barred approach and do not wish to see this issue left to Congress, should they decide it’s time to act and try to roll out a weak version of the Amendment.
commented 2014-04-04 17:15:27 -0400 · Flag
Why has Wolf Pac facebook page been removed ?
commented 2014-04-04 16:42:47 -0400 · Flag

The overall goal of Move To Amend is similar to Wolf-Pac’s. The key difference between the groups is that Move-To-Amend has a strong focus on the language of its proposed amendment, which no doubt is very important to success. But their strategy for achieving that goal is, in my opinion, weak.

This is a quote from the Move-to-Amend website regarding their strategy: “Our strategy is to work on the local level before moving on to the state or federal level to build a grassroots movement organized and powerful enough to force Congress to act. Our primary organizing tool is local resolution campaigns. Resolution campaigns are a powerful way for communities to send a message to Congress and let our representatives know we want them to act.” My summary of this is that they get local organizations to pass NON-BINDING resolutions (pleas essentially) for the US Congress to convene a Constitutional convention to propose their text.

My feeling about this strategy is that it is futile. This US Congress nor any that I can envision will voluntarily pass the Move-To-Amend text or any constitutional amendment that will kill the gravy-train that keeps them in office! Frankly, I suspect the Move-To-Amend strategy is easy for Washington to ignore. And that’s just what they’re doing. Move-To-Amend’s hope is that the hue and cry of enough local resolutions will eventually get loud enough that Congress will have to pay attention to it. At which point they will just defeat it, and Move-to-Amend with it.

Wolf-Pac believes that this amendment will have to be FORCED on Washington by the will of 38 state legislatures demanding that Washington convene a Constitutional Convention to get money out of politics. At that time the language of the proposed amendment becomes more important.

As opposed to Move-To-Amend, Wolf-Pac’s strategy is to get 38 states to pass BINDING resolutions calling for an Article V amendment to the US Constitution. So far, Vermont and Illinois are very close to passing one (if they have not already), and Massachusetts is coming along.

I have supported Move-To-Amend in the past (In fact, I participated through an on-line discussion in drafting their proposed amendment.) But I am a now a member of Wolf-Pac’s Massachusetts group because of the strength of its strategy for passage of a new constitutional amendment.

I hope this claifies the situation for you at least a little.
commented 2014-04-04 06:52:11 -0400 · Flag
I like the tone, it is succinct.
There’s another group working towards the same goal with a fully fleshed-out proposal. Worth a look since the overall goal is nearly identical.
commented 2014-03-24 16:27:35 -0400 · Flag
Jeremiah, a lot of mentally ill people would opt in and swell the ballot with invalid choices. Candidates must be selected in some reasonable way by other people. Self selection is a terrible idea and random selection would net many persona unqualified to fulfull the demands of the office. Any office.

Chaim, Corporations are controlled by private wealthy individuals, so your item three is non-sensical, wealthy individuals are allowed in item 1. and then banned in item 3. The 28th amendment if ratified would take away the protections of the 1st amendment in the case of financing political campaigns. NO clflict if the 28th is passed taking away corporate personhood and defining money as speech. The latter are the irems needed in any amendment to get corruption out of our political system. Can’t vote, can’t contribute is needed to establish Equal Political Speech for very ctizen.
commented 2014-03-24 13:42:26 -0400 · Flag
1) Randomly select people to run for office from each state based on voter registration
2) People can choose to opt in or out, if they opt in to run, they will compete in public television by debating political issues.
3) The people will then vote on live tv for the candidate they think is best, that candidate will continue on to the semi-finals and so on.
commented 2014-03-20 17:32:10 -0400 · Flag
While I signed the petition, I have some problems with it

1. Corporations should be allowed to give the same amount as individual

2. $100 is way to low, either make it zero, or something valuable

3. Specifically ban private financing, so rich people can’t buy elections. (Otherwise you’ll have a supreme court claiming that this amendment doesn’t cover private financing, and it violates the first amendment).
commented 2014-03-16 12:08:45 -0400 · Flag
Why not change the $100 to $0?
commented 2014-02-19 20:25:02 -0500 · Flag
@ William Falberg: I didn’t mean to imply you weren’t conservative at all, I’m just saying those first 2 sentences alienate people who normally would support this. They don’t belong there if money in politics is wolf pac’s only goal.

You don’t like corporations having power in politics? “Corporations are not allowed to give money to any politician, directly or indirectly.” That pretty much does it right there. I don’t see a need to stop corporations from doing anything else. If you think I’m missing something then by all means explain how corporations can influence government with their wealth if those last 3 sentences get passed as an amendment.
commented 2014-02-19 20:02:54 -0500 · Flag
I don’t know about Ryan, but My goal is to get the corruption that seems to follow money out of government. Where does the big money come from? BIg corporations. Therefore………………The last three sentences aren’t nearly enough. Besides that: define “conservative” for me, because I thought I was one, and the last three sentences won’t get my Jeffersonian ideals back on their constitutional republican track. Ever. Remedial action is needed; sooner than later.
commented 2014-02-19 19:22:37 -0500 · Flag
@ William Falberg & Ryan Clayton: Whether you agree with David Burton, like I do, or not, you gotta admit that the first two sentences are just unnecessarily alienating conservatives. Read the last three sentences, isn’t that enough to get money out of politics? I’m sure you do want more, but if your only goal is to get money out of politics, those last three sentences are plenty.
commented 2014-02-19 19:14:40 -0500 · Flag
Corporations are machines. Watch Cenk talk about it here:

They are machines that have limited rights (and liability) granted to them by state charter, not inalienable rights endowed by their creator.

Nice try though. Thanks for playing. In honor of your dropping f-bombs on our public website, we’re bringing the ban-hammer in 3…2… 1… buh-bye.

PS. Here’s the rules of engagement here: http://www.wolf-pac.com/rules
commented 2014-02-19 18:46:58 -0500 · Flag
@david: I’m worried more by corrupt government than I am corrupt corporations because the government can make said corruption legal. Nothing in any of these proposals will have any effect on small mom-and pop operations; that’s a red herring and you know that. None of this gives the government any more rights either, so that’s another red herring. Nice try, though.
commented 2014-02-19 18:12:30 -0500 · Flag
@william: I agree that corporatism and crony capitalism are insanely rampant and need to be put down, but I’m worried more by big government than I am big corporations. (since the whole reason big corps by off our politicians is because the government is big enough to give them what they want) If a corporation has no rights, then you can do whatever you want to it. Giving our government the right to do whatever they want to a corporation (or union, or whatever) feels like a slippery slope at best.

@ryan: Nice rhetoric. Too bad it’s a bunch of fear-mongering that makes no sense at all.

You describe corporations like they’re robots or zombies, built to do what they’re programmed to do and no more, but corporations are both made and run by people. On top of that, not all corporations are gigantic megacorps that could spend millions like I spend a twenty. Plenty are small and as hard-pressed by the bad economy as the rest of us. Corporations exist to pool resources together and accomplish what none of the individual members can do alone.

The corporation doesn’t have natural rights but the people in that corporation do. And the wording here is that they don’t, once their property becomes part of the corporation. This is as absurd as saying that people who commit crimes on taxpayer dime are not responsible because it was taxpayer dime. If a building is owned by a corporation, it can’t be siezed, since the corp has the right to property. When it doesn’t, however, there’s no property rights to be violated, so it can simply be seized.

Your view, Ryan, appears to be that that is A-FUCKING-OKAY because hey, it’s not like corporations are /people/, right? Go ahead, take everything they own because you want to.
commented 2014-02-19 17:53:02 -0500 · Flag
@william Falberg: I’m worried that one constitutionally illegal backroom deal going unnoticed or a government official with a stake in a particular corporation (like stocks) or any other poor excuse to affect the economy with governmental force, as David Burton described, will ruin our economy moreso than it is. I hope that clears things up.

@ryan Clayton: I want money out of politics but I also want politics out of the money. They are separate issues and I think should be proposed separately. Until then, I don’t even feel right donating to such a cause. With those first two sentences, this will just close one problem only to open another.
commented 2014-02-19 17:44:40 -0500 · Flag
@ David: Corps should by all means have property priveleges, but as it works under this Corpocracy, corporations also have the means to confiscate YOUR property by exercising eminent domain through their cronies in government. Corporate interference in electoral politics is probably the least threatening aspect of our Corpocracy but its advocates do their best to keep the focus on that, don’t you.
commented 2014-02-19 17:36:15 -0500 · Flag
@george & @david

Ask yourself this: do artificial entities, such as corporations, have inalienable rights? How about the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as is stated in the Declaration of Independence? How could you declare bankruptcy and close down businesses permanently then (violating their “right to life”)? If corporations are people under the law, how can they be owned, as that would be in violation of the 13th Amendment (prohibiting ownership of people under the law)?

Free speech is a constitutional right, but more importantly, it is a fundamental human right. The Constitution does not give you and me inalienable rights – it prevents our U.S. government from infringing upon the rights that we already possess, as they are written in our Constitution. As a person, you have a right to freedom of speech, which our Constitution protects, not grants, as a citizen.

Corporations are property, not citizens. Money is property, not speech. Citizens have inalienable free speech rights, private property rights, and voting rights. Property has none of these.

Additionally, some forms of speech are prohibited by law and should be, such as blackmail, slander, and “that which encourages imminent lawless action”. Bribing our politicians and seeking inappropriate influence in our political affairs, whether through direct contributions or indirect electoral expenditures, should be prohibited by law. To argue that they should have this ability is the political equivalent of a drug dealer arguing he has the “right” to sell crack cocaine as a form of free speech – both arguments are equally absurd but one is more dangerous (hint: it’s actually not the crack).

The only way to protect our rights from the illegitimate influence of the wealthiest interests that the world has ever known is to erect a wall of separation between wealth and state, removing private money from public elections, and guaranteeing free and fair elections once again in America. The only way to do that while we live under the most crooked Supreme Court in the history of our country is to write a 28th Amendment into the U.S. Constitution, enshrining every American citizen’s right to self-determination in stone for us as well as for future generations.

Currently, there is a cult of jurisprudence that wants to equip these artificially created entities with the natural rights we possess as human beings, resulting in these Frankenstein entities trolling around in our polity like they’re living human beings and taking a wrecking ball to the very foundations of our democracy. Those people are wrong. To claim that artificially created entities possess fundamental human rights is a perversion of the Constitution, the law, and the natural rights that they are both designed to protect.

PS. Are you guys signed up to volunteer? http://www.wolf-pac.com/volunteer Taking action in RL beats online debate every day of the week!
commented 2014-02-19 17:30:36 -0500 · Flag
George: are you worried about the government having power, or the Constitution having power. I think the whole idea here is to constitutionally limit the power of both government AND corporations. I propose keeping them separated and the constitution is proper legal instrument to do that. They obviusly corrupt each other whenever they get together. I say we make such conflicts of interest a federal crime and enforce the separation of business and State as or more rigorously than the separation of Church and State. The constitution should serve as a restraining order for every corporate entity to keep a safe distance from any legislative or governmental agency.
commented 2014-02-19 17:20:41 -0500 · Flag
@george: The idea that corporations have none of the constitutional rights of human beings is a BIT worrying, since it would also mean they have no property rights. It would give the government the right to seize anything held by a corporation or to do anything they want to a corporation, which means there’s no reason at all to START a corporation. And judging from the fact that people keep making the things, they’re more helpful to the consumer and citizen than harmful.

Something like ‘No entity other than a human being may give money to a campaign and that amount may not exceed X’, maybe? Kicks out corporations, unions and special interests all in one stroke.
commented 2014-02-19 17:11:31 -0500 · Flag
Is it just me, or is anyone else worried about the first two sentences? I think this amendment, specifically the first two sentences, gives too much power to government officials to control corporations as they see fit, even in ways that have nothing to do with corporations trying to control government.

We could do without the first two sentences.
commented 2014-02-11 18:40:03 -0500 · Flag
What might be an interesting point to make here is that campaign financing should be looked upon in a similar fashion as the right to vote.

For instance, it doesn’t violate my right to free speech to only be able to vote for an elected official once in a term. The distinction here is that when someone (or a corporation) funds a politicians political campaign to a disproportionate degree, that’s like one interest getting to vote many times over.
commented 2014-02-11 00:00:05 -0500 · Flag
There should also be some clarification regarding personally funded campaigns, or limits one can invest in themselves. Failure to address this specifically could be problematic.

Also I didn’t see the note at the bottom, so I’m glad to know you plan to account for inflation.
commented 2014-02-10 21:15:16 -0500 · Flag
The $100 limit might be problematic due to inflation. This could also lead to congress amending this amendment to account for inflation, and they may then try to make the limit disproportionately high or amend this altogether.
followed this page 2014-01-24 19:34:12 -0500
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