PAC Members' Revision of 28th Amendment

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Hey guys. Many of you are dissatisfied with the PAC's current wording of the 28th Amendment as it stands and so, over the first 3 days since the PAC was announced, many early members, including lawyers and writers for local news organizations, decided to work together to produce a draft of a more detailed version of the initial amendment.  Written with the ideas of many, after days of negotiation and compromise, this is what we have thus far:

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28th Amendment

(Corporations are not people)


Sec 1. Corporations and other entities created by operation of law are not persons and have all and only those rights created by law. Partnerships and other organizations that act as a mere extension of natural persons shall have the rights of natural persons only when comprised entirely of natural persons and acting with their unanimous consent. 

Sec 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, contributions to or in support of candidates for public office and associated organizations in any form are not protected acts under the U.S. Constitution. 

Sec 3. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to deny the rights and protections afforded to any and all legal entities under the 4th Amendment of the U.S constitution; as well as the rights or obligations of any entity to sue and be sued, or to buy, sell, own or dispose of property, to be taxed or nullify the rights pertaining to a free and open press.

Sec 4. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

29th Amendment

(Hardcore campaign finance reforms)


Sec 1. No person, corporation, for-profit entity, non-profit entity, or entity of any type, domestic or foreign, other than a United States citizen, shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, or offer any form of gift or compensation to any individual hereafter referred to as, ‘candidate’ or ‘elected official’ for state or national public office; or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of said candidates and elected officials. 

Sec 2. No candidate for any elected office shall be permitted to receive more than one half of one percent of the average income of the poorest fifty percent of all adult citizens in the United States of America, in contributions of any form, excluding volunteer hours, for any purpose, from any singular citizen of the United States of America during the same election cycle; average income of the poorest fifty percent of American shall be defined by the most recent enumeration as detailed in Article 1, Sect. 2 of the U.S. Constitution.  All contributions must be fully disclosed in amount and source. 

Sec 3**. No candidate for federal office, in any election cycle, shall raise or spend more than a sum equal to one thousand times the median household income in the United States of America. The limit shall be five hundred times median income at the State level, and two-hundred and fifty times median income at the Municipal level; median income shall be defined by the most recent enumeration as detailed in Article 1, Sect. 2 of the U.S. Constitution. 

Sec 4. No appointee or nominee to, or holder of, any office of any government body shall accept gifts or compensation to their personal accounts save their duly awarded salary from said government body; they may receive campaign contributions in a separate campaign account subject to disclosure. 

Sec 5. All campaign expenditures shall be comprised entirely of campaign contributions. Candidates as private citizens may contribute to their campaigns within the limits and restrictions of this amendment; and shall be permitted use of personal forms of transportation. 

Sec 6. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

**Note the multipliers to median income are simply placeholders. They were chosen arbitrarily in the early draftings of the amendment and we've all been too lazy to do research to pick better multipliers. It's, like, totaly up for debate and stuff.

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This is not a finished product and I still want more ideas and suggestions and criticism to be shared.  

Keep in mind though that we have agreed this amendment should not be a wish-list of sorts. We are not trying to fix every electoral problem known to America.  We want to focus on 2 main objectives as outlined by the initial amendment posted by Aaron Wysocki:

"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."

It is clear that our objective should be to

  1. Deal with the issue of corporate personhood and revoke it, and;
  2. Establish basic campaign financing caps/limits and allow public funding.

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To vote on or against a motion, cite the motion in some way in your post and mention whether or you you approve of it.

Motion to consider (Name of proposer)

  • Names of those (Yea/Nay)
  • in support (Yea/Nay)

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Removal of Sec 3. in the 28th (Lam Nguyen)

  • Lam Nguyen (Yea)
  • William Falberg (Yea)
  • Skitz O'Fuel (Yea)
  • Issa Haddad (Yea)
  • Minor Heretic (Yea)

Replacing "No person, corporation...citizen" with "Only a U.S. Citizen..." in Sec 1 of 29th. (Minor Heretic)

  • Minor Heretic (Yea)
  • Lam Nguyen (Yea)
  • Samuel Fieldman (Yea)
  • William Falberg (Yea)

Allowing candidates to use their private property in their own campaigns. (Minor Heretic)

  • Minor Heretic (Yea)
  • Lam Nguyen (Nay)
  • Samuel Fieldman (Nay)

Add "All contributions for a candidate of any electoral office must be gathered from citizens of the same electoral district" to 29th. (John Nicholson)

  • John Nicholson (Yea)
  • Lam Nguyen (Yea)
  • Minor Heretic (Yea)

Removal of Sec 3 of the 29th. (Minor Heretic)

  • Minor Heretic (Yea)
  • Lam Nguyen (Yea)
Do you like this post?

Showing 195 reactions

commented 2014-02-24 17:41:26 -0500 · Flag
How does the proposed amendment handle contributions from unions. They are not corporations as far as I know, but the amount of money that they contribute equals or exceeds the contributions made by corporations. If you are going to eliminate corporate contributions, you must eliminate union contributions as well.
commented 2011-11-01 01:14:29 -0400 · Flag
There is a new amendment 28 edition posted for vote at:

http://tytwolfpac.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=28th&thread=34

Please go there, please read the proposed amendment with explication, and then please vote.
commented 2011-10-30 22:24:28 -0400 · Flag
That’s the wrong URL for my new offering.

Here’s the correct one.

[http://tytwolfpac.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=28th&thread=9&page=1]
commented 2011-10-30 22:21:09 -0400 · Flag
I’ve rewritten my amendment offering to be more specific.

http://tytwolfpac.proboards.com/index.cgi

How’s about a few comments of the new version; the old one is contained in the new.
commented 2011-10-30 14:09:12 -0400 · Flag
Here’s the URL that didn’t make it, and nut should be but.

[http://tytwolfpac.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=28th&action=display&thread=9]
commented 2011-10-30 14:07:42 -0400 · Flag
Barb.

I think this will answer your objection; the details are important nut a foundation for detail must be laid down first.

Amendment XXVIII

Section 1. For all constitutional and legal purposes, entities created by operation of law are not persons.
Section 2. No entity or person, other than a citizen, shall be allowed to contribute to any political purpose. All contributions to political purpose shall be made public, with the name of the contributor and amount and nature of the contribution, and the name of the recipient.
Section 3. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Go to this URL for some further explanations, also for some objections answered.
commented 2011-10-30 01:27:24 -0400 · Flag
Come here to discuss more about the amendment on an actual forum:

http://tytwolfpac.proboards.com
commented 2011-10-28 14:08:38 -0400 · Flag
Well, the War of Southern Traitors does hold some lessons, most importantly that traitors need to be tried and then hanged, and not allowed to freely resume their oppressions.
commented 2011-10-28 13:22:04 -0400 · Flag
“Corporate charters are written by the people incorporating.”
That’s precisely the problem; thanks for the reminder.
commented 2011-10-28 13:20:29 -0400 · Flag
I was under the impression that the Constitution trumped all state laws. I remember something from the War of Northern Aggression about that.
commented 2011-10-28 13:12:18 -0400 · Flag
William.

Corporate charters are written by the people incorporating.

At present it would take changes in law in all the states to provide for automatic dissolution for any reason. Conditions might be objective and easily seen or subjective and subject to some overseer review, but there would be some variation among the states.

Corporations conducting business solely for profit already congregate in Delaware because of their laws governing corporations and the tax structure which provides lower taxes.

What you propose would only be possible with uniform, national law governing the rules of incorporation. That is far too much for us to tackle; we’re here for constitutional change.
commented 2011-10-28 12:53:00 -0400 · Flag
I think it’s important to consider over-all strategy when setting out to remove money from the electoral process. I realize Cenk wants to revoke personhood and reform campaign finance; they’re both critical to restoring citizen sovereignty. I doubt it can be done simultaneously but I know it can be done sequentially.

The problems I see with an Amendment proposal featuring both concepts simultaneously is that the human mind can’t absorb that much philosophy in one sitting. We must remember that whatever we propose here will be turned into both FOX and MSNBC talking points in the most distorted light possible; and they’re really good at it. Therefore brevity and simplicity are critical to achieving universal approval. It’s going to be hard enough to pass one concept through a ratification process much less two; though we know they’re both related.

Election reform has already been legislated several times but corporate money always finds a way to work around it because the Constitution gives them Rights. For that reason I think it is critical to remove those Constitutional Rights before attempting to keep them out of the electoral process. Furthermore, it is quite possible and maybe probable, that electoral reform could be accomplished legislatively once the “tap-root” of corporate power, personhood, is uprooted. Canceling corporate personhood constitutionally not only exposes them to government prosecution, it exposes them to the imposition of terms and conditions on their charters. The People could then define how corporations would participate in politics, if at all. Media corporations would thus have their roles defined differently than political campaign corporations such as Democratic Corp., Republican Corp. or Libertarian Corp. Others, like GE, JPMorgan, Federal Reserve, SEIU, ACLU, etc would be prohibited from interfering in any way with the conduct of government, including lobbying. Corporate charters could henceforth be written to automatically dissolve a corporation when it became Too Big To Fail, for instance. If we put as much thought into the writing of corporate charters as we did in writing the Constitution, we wouldn’t have any of the problems we have today. We could turn our attention to important issues like peak oil and over-population.

But it all starts with the simple act of restoring sovereignty to the US government. Having restored sovereignty to the US government it becomes a smaller struggle to restore sovereignty to The People that live here. The key, the linchpin, the tap root of corporate hegemony lies in its power to use the Constitution against us. Ask any prosecutor how hard it is to bring corporate criminals to justice. (I wish a state or federal prosecutor would stick their necks out and post on this forum; we need your input badly.)

OWS now has the world’s attention. Our message will be known by all. The simpler we keep it the more likely the world will understand it. The more words we pile on that message, the harder it becomes to understand, the less likely the critical mass we need is going to get behind it.

Do FOX or MSNBC want to argue that corporations are people, too? They’ve shown a willingness to argue everything else, but even corporate shills know better than to argue that point. (Except Mitt, of course)

Electoral reform will be a natural by-product of de-personalization anyway; why push it now?
commented 2011-10-28 11:51:49 -0400 · Flag
William.

Although your concerns with the details of corporate charter and law are interesting, seeing that we have gathered to write a constitutional amendment they are a little premature.

I do know that most of your solutions had been in place at one time and most still are.
commented 2011-10-28 09:10:17 -0400 · Flag
@Lam
I find myelf posting on four different boards now; not knowing which is relevant. My intent is to define the language of the following concept.

Does anybody want to go back and consider this wording and/or concept for getting money out of politics and into human hands?

Section 1. Incorporated entities are not persons: and as such, they are only entitled to the rights and privileges granted to them under the terms of their individual charters.

Section 2. Incorporated entities other than those expressly chartered to promote candidates for political office shall be forbidden to engage in, interfere with, or petition legislation in the affairs of a duly constituted government, official, agency, or representative thereof.

Section 3. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

(And do we still really need Sec. 3? )
commented 2011-10-28 00:47:32 -0400 · Flag
@John Brown
Could you be more specific John? Quote the statements you’re referring to? I don’t see the relation between your reply and my post.
commented 2011-10-28 00:27:50 -0400 · Flag
William Falberg.

Almost all of what you discuss about corporate rule is the purview of state law, not the national constitution. At the level of the constitution the best rule is to be broad and generalized. Removing personhood from a broad swath of artificial persons is the goal. Actually naming specific entities will be deleterious to that goal. The KISS principle should hold.
commented 2011-10-27 23:49:29 -0400 · Flag
@John Brown:
I’m not saying that profit is a bad thing, nor that community service should be their aim. Indeed, profit is the driving force of capitalism and the community benefits from those who earn it. However, profit derived from the manipulation of market prices, fraudulent trading, and usury are not needed services and harm the community by extracting wealth from it. An individual citizen would still be free to establish such an enterprise. A corporation could be forbidden by its charter to do so. The individual could be prosecuted and jailed for fraud. The corporation’s officers could be prosecuted and jailed for violating the terms of its charter; assuming legislation were passed to punish charter violators. In either case, the human perpetrator risks consequences. By clarifying personhood the government asserts absolute control over which types of endeavor can be chartered, and under what conditions.

There are several good reasons to revoke personhood beyond codifying ethics and imposing it by force of law on a fictitious person. One reason is that corporate bureaucracies are so complex that prosecutors can’t “finger” the exact source of corruption and get bogged down in accounting minutia doing so. If corporations weren’t persons, their accounting methods could be spelled out in their charters and those books would remain forever open to government inspection; any time, any day.

If corporations weren’t persons, their charters could prohibit them from owning other corporations; closing another loophole they commonly use to hide fraudulent “side businesses” and financial losses. Like I said before, so much legislated regulatory law could be “baked into the corporate cake” by well written charters that it wouldn’t be long before they actually regulated themselves for fear of consequences if they got caught violating their charter. That fear would then substitute for the natural “conscience” of a human proprietor. That’s why I was so insistent about the 4th Amendment being denied to corporate entities. The 4th would, of course, still apply to the innocent clients of corporate data bases.

The consequences of revoking personhood will reverberate throughout the entire economic system and make profound changes to the culture itself. I don’t think corporate pirates will be respected in polite society any longer. Let’s hope.
commented 2011-10-27 21:15:14 -0400 · Flag
@Minor Heretic:

Sorry, I was a bit busy writing other stuff for the forum. But I’ve edited the amendments and they should both be up to date.

The 28th:
http://tytwolfpac.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=28th&action=display&thread=3&page=1

The 29th:
http://tytwolfpac.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=29th&action=display&thread=4&page=1

Oh, John, we decided to make an actual forum that could tend to our discussion needs. Check it out!

tytwolfpac.proboards.com
commented 2011-10-27 21:06:16 -0400 · Flag
William Falberg.

From the start corporate charters were limited. Over the years those limits were seen as a block to business growth. We freely allowed the limits to be removed. Now we are experiencing the curse of too much business freedom. Accepting limits on corporate size and scope is worth studying out. It would mean a complete remake of our business environment; smaller, single or limited purpose concerns would become the norm again.

How do we accomplish the task of convincing business that profit is NOT the aim and end point of proper business but service to the community and people. Profit is the means to make a living. The corporate purpose of providing a needed service is the end point.
commented 2011-10-27 19:35:38 -0400 · Flag
@Lam

Your version of 28th Sec 1 is fine. That’s the one I used in my stab at a summation (back a few hours). As William said, you could relax after that one.

Still, I go back to Cenk’s original ideas, with our refinement:

Corporations are not persons.
Contributions are not protected
Only citizens can contribute
Contributions are limited in size
Contributions are restricted to constituents

If, within contributions, we encompass those to organizations engaged in influencing legislation as well as elections, it would reform lobbying as well.

I do think that separating the first two extremely basic concepts from the rest makes the prospect better for passage. Then again, if the last three concepts get in, then contributions are hemmed in enough that constitutional protection is moot.

By the way, I changed my mind on the candidates personal property clause – change me to a nay and ditch it.

I notice that the form of the amendments at the top of the page have been static for a while. How about making the changes as voted above and looking at the stripped down version? Please read my try at it from this morning and see how you like the “organizations engaged in influencing elections” phraseology.
commented 2011-10-27 17:23:56 -0400 · Flag
commented 2011-10-27 17:13:23 -0400 · Flag
@Lam
Yes. That’s good, and if you stopped right there I’d say our job here is finished. Every man, woman, and shape-shifter on Earth could support an Amendment stating that simple fact. It’s all we need to put our judicial system to work reversing 200 years of case law and leaves no room to argue. Let the clean up begin.
commented 2011-10-27 16:52:58 -0400 · Flag
@William and John:

Hey dudes, do you support this change to Sec 1 of the 28th?:

Sec 1; 28th: Only natural persons shall have the rights protected under the U.S. Constitution.

I think it covers just about everything.
commented 2011-10-27 16:07:44 -0400 · Flag
@ John Brown:
“And, of course, no more having the entities run our government and politics.”

No. And that is my point in all of this. Incorporation is a dreadful, powerful concentration of POWER. That’s why there are so many controls on it written into the Constitution. Private, for-profit, businesses have used their freedom to incorporate, without limits, to usurp the limited incorporation of our government. That’s how the tail evolved to wag the dog. It is the CORPORATE CHARTER that needs severe limitation ; has needed it from the start. Personhood is the lynchpin of that power.
commented 2011-10-27 15:56:47 -0400 · Flag
I repeat, with emphasis.

I propose a change to the amendment as originally presented and as currently split.

Amendment XXVIII

Section 1. For all constitutional and legal purposes, entities created by operation of law are not persons.
Section 2. No entity or person, other than a citizen, shall be allowed to contribute to any political purpose. All contributions to political purpose shall be made public, with the name of the contributor and amount and nature of the contribution, and the name of the recipient.
Section 3. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

I know it’s severe. Everyone will have to individually exercise their duties of citizenship; no more letting the lodge, the club, the union, the business group do the support.

And, of course, no more having entities run our government and politics.

Finally, a Washingtonian society!
commented 2011-10-27 15:48:01 -0400 · Flag
I didn’t get Samuel’s opinion on this yet so I’m gonna repost it. Samuel, opinion?

Proposed changes:

Sec 1; 28th: Only natural persons shall have the rights protected under the U.S. Constitution.
-————————
I propose a whole new 29th amendment. I’m not 100% behind this proposal even though I drafted it. I want your guys’ opinions.

Sec 1; 29th: Only U.S. Citizens shall be allowed to contribute money, directly or indirectly, or offer any form of gift or compensation to any individual hereafter referred to as, ‘candidate’ or ‘elected official’ for state or national public office; or to contribute money on behalf of or opposed to any type of said candidates and elected officials in any way, shape, or form.

Sec 2; 29th: Within the restrictions detailed in Sect. 1 of this amendment, all power to affect and govern the electoral process, campaigns, how campaigns are financed, and other relevant details, hereinafter referred to as ‘electoral laws’, are hereby invested in an Electoral Assembly, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Assembly’, which shall convene once every second year, on the same year the general election is held, but after.

Sec 3; 29th: The Assembly shall be composed of members, one from every state, chosen by the legislatures of the several States every eighth year beginning in 2012.

No person shall be a member of the Assembly who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

When vacancies happen in the Assembly from any State, the executive authority of said State shall issue Writs of Election to fill such vacancies.

Sec 4; 29th: Given that an absolute majority and only an absolute majority shall be required for passage of a proposed change to electoral law and that debate on a proposal be limited to seven days, the Assembly shall determine the rules of its proceedings.

Sec 5, 29th: Electoral laws established by the Assembly may be negated with the approval of two-thirds of both houses of Congress. In such instances, the Assembly shall be allowed to reconvene.

Sec 6; 29th: Members of the Assembly shall receive monetary compensation equal to members of the House of Representatives.
commented 2011-10-27 15:47:40 -0400 · Flag
And, of course, no more having the entities run our government and politics.
commented 2011-10-27 15:47:14 -0400 · Flag
Sorry, I tripped on FaceBook tech again. Here it is:
Please excuse what may be seen as crude revisionism, but notwithstanding all the effort and compromises that have gone into this proposal I’m left with the bare logical bones of revoking personhood as it appears to the logic and plain language of a technical writer. My interpretation is this:

“Sec 1. Corporations and other entities created by operation of law”
Why not just “Incorporated entities”? Those words should cover everything other than a human being with a capacity to transact business, including alien life forms or future sentient beings of artificial composition.

“are not persons”
Irrefutably so, under any application or interpretation. It’s a self-evident Truth.

“and have all ………….rights created by law”.
I interpret this to mean incorporated entities would still have Constitutional guarantees as well as subsequent Court precedents’ applied to them in spite of the fact they’re not human individuals.
or
“and have ………………only those rights created by law”
“Only” in this context covers all past, present, and future applications of Constitutional, State, and case law to date."
(“all and only those rights created by law”, then, means that the status quo of corporate rights remains intact while the names by which we classify entities is slightly altered. A turd by any other name is still a turd.) I object to this entire phrase.

“Partnerships and other organizations that act as a mere extension of natural persons”
These, again, are legal entities already included in the class of “Incorporated Entities” and creates confusion over the status of humans in relation to other entities. The more inclusive term, “Incorporated Entities” would be broader than “partnerships”, etc . I object to this entire phrase.

“shall have the rights of natural persons”
This single phrase totally negates the intent of an Amendment revoking personhood. Notwithstanding the qualifiers below, I emphatically object to this wording.

“only when comprised entirely of natural persons and acting with their unanimous consent.”
What or who else could possibly comprise a partnership or organization other than natural humans, and why would it matter whether they acted unanimously or not? I object to this phrase mainly because I can’t find any meaning in it.

“Sec 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, contributions to or in support of candidates for public office and associated organizations in any form are not protected acts under the U.S. Constitution.”
Whereas this sounds like a valid clause in any electoral reform legislation, it goes outside the scope of an Amendment negating corporate personhood. I object to this entire Section on the grounds that it’s superfluous to the issue at hand.

“Sec 3. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to deny the rights and protections afforded to any and all legal entities under the 4th Amendment of the U.S constitution;”
This provision would prevent State and Federal prosecutors from auditing corporate criminals without first obtaining a warrant. Given the legal power commensurate with the money power of rich corporations, incriminating evidence could easily be shredded and “funny business” transfered to hidden (even newly incorporated) entities before the cops got there. It creates an insurmountable hurdle of legal hoops for regulatory enforcers to overcome and almost guarantees corporate fraud will never be punished. As it is, it costs The People million$ to catch and prosecute offenders and the fines imposed barely deter its continuation. I object to this Section so bad it makes my blood boil ! “as well as the rights or obligations of any entity to sue and be sued, or to buy, sell, own or dispose of property, to be taxed or nullify the rights pertaining to a free and open press.”

Can we call this the “and-the-horse-they-rode-in-on” clause? I object.

“Sec 4. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
I like this, but could we add: “Incorporated entities other than those expressly chartered to promote candidates for political office shall be forbidden to engage in, interfere with, or petition the affairs of a duly constituted government official or representative thereof.”
(I think that would pretty much clear up election fraud, lobbying, and financial manipulation in one swell foop until the criminals of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve Bank can be imprisoned.)

What we have left then, after deleting objectionable material is this:

Section 1. Incorporated entities are not persons: and as such, they are only entitled to the rights and privileges granted to them under the terms of their individual charters.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3. Incorporated entities other than those expressly chartered to promote candidates for political office shall be forbidden to engage in, interfere with, or petition legislation in the affairs of a duly constituted government, official, agency, or representative thereof.
commented 2011-10-27 15:46:10 -0400 · Flag
Am I banished again?
commented 2011-10-27 15:15:39 -0400 · Flag
Whew, that is severe. I guess everyone will have to individually exercise their duties of citizenship; no more letting the lodge, the club, the union, the business group do the support.
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