commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 11:04:51 -0400 · Flag
@dan:Who are you trying to BS? Any attempt at regulation is already toothless. I think what you’re trying to say is that less is more and good is evil. I’ll further add that black is white and faster is slower just to show I understand your philosophical viewpoint. Wink-wink.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-06 07:03:41 -0400 · Flag
@william Falberg: no, actually by removing corporate personhood you are helping corporations get away with illegal actions and making nearly all regulations toothless. Without the legal fiction of corporate personhood, corporations cannot be sued. If you think such an arrangement is in the interest of the public you are insane.

I suggest you actually research the reasons why we have the corporate personhood in the first place. Corporate personhood is a complex issue with only a minor connection to voting rights and election corruption. It should not be the focus of any proposed amendment. Plus, the syntax of their version doesn’t match the syntax of constitutional amendments, and having a hard dollar-level limit will never be included in a final version as adjusting it in the future would require a 2/3rds majority.

While clearly any final version will be altered, include language that would disempower citizens and leaving the entire wording and limits such that it will be changed by corrupt politicians elected under the current system is dangerous. I would much rather a more solid and voting-focus proposal be endorsed, such as:

“Voting being the foundation of democracy, the right of citizens to vote shall not be infringed upon for any reason. To ensure fair and free elections, all elections must be publicly financed, with contributions from any person or entity limited to 1% of national median income for the previous year.

In recognition of the fact that money is currency not speech and while corporations, unions, and nonprofits have the same obligations as citizens they do not necessarily have the same rights as citizens, such entities are not allowed to give money to any political campaign nor can they fund ads endorsing or attacking any politician."

While the individual limit would be higher (1% is about $520 right now) having a set limit that increases the more the wealth gap closes would serve to encourage politicians to increase the median wage, while providing a limit that will adjust for inflation automatically rather than require editing the constitution every time would also be beneficial.

In addition, this version would provide a constitutional guarantee of the right to vote, ending voting suppression efforts. It would also provide a more comprehensive ban on political influence from third-party organizations while preserving corporate liability. Currently, while ads running in favor of politicians are banned ads attacking politicians were allowed, which in a two party system floods the airwaves with attack ads that end up directly endorsing one candidate.

Regardless of how you feel about corporate personhood, we should be pushing for voting rights and election reform, NOT focusing on such a complex and thorny issue.
@WolfPacTX retweeted @WolfPAChq 2014-05-05 13:19:05 -0400
Prof Larry Lessig, is going to take down corrupt members of Congress. Spread the word:
followed What happened? 2014-05-05 12:35:20 -0400
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-05 10:24:59 -0400 · Flag
@dan: Take your time Dan, think it through. You’ll find a deterrent somewhere in there; eventually. Meanwhile, the rest of us are trying to hold corporate managers responsible for illegal actions in behalf of their legal abstraction. I can’t believe there’s another Romney in the world.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-03 18:45:54 -0400 · Flag
@william falberg that is exactly the current system allowed with corporate personhood. The company as a whole is fined for crimes the company commits, affecting every employee, stockholder, and subcontractor. Removing corporate personhood without creating a new way to hold companies liable for breaking the law would undermine every regulation that exists today.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-03 17:56:05 -0400 · Flag
@robert walker
@william Falberg
nope. Everything would have to be taken in to account (so i agree with you both), its just like how english works: to get your specific point across it takes brains & time, without either of those things your message has a high chance of being misinterpreted.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-03 15:46:17 -0400 · Flag
lol publicly financed? what a joke. I can see the corporations & union limits but private individuals have the right to spend as much money on anything they want. Anything stopping this is 100% illegal & bogus.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-03 11:50:22 -0400 · Flag
@dan LalaLande: "you need only prove that a company knowingly broke the law to hold the entire company accountable. " I like that idea. We not only fine every employee, but every stockholder and subcontractor and we can throw them all in jail for tax or accounting fraud as well as political interference. Does that include deliberate political mis-information and journalistic sponsorship of propaganda favoring their own special interest to skim the nation’s wealth and cheat the Treasury? What about the janitor? Throw him in jail, too? If a corporation commits treason or enters us into a war, can we just shoot them all? Some things might be hard to prove. Who’s going to make the effort to prosecute? Another corporation? Sorry; but corpocentric reasoning leaves me with more questions than answers. I think we also need to re-examinine how SCOTUS is selected. Exactly HOW are they insulated from politics?
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-03 11:43:16 -0400 · Flag
We need to keep the government out of our lives as much as possible, so elections should not be publicly financed if “publicly financed” means government. The 28th Amendment should 1. Restrict political donors to being registered voters. (no corporate donors, no PAC donors. Why should an entity that can not vote be able to contribute?) and 2. Set a cap on the size a donation can be. (yes account for inflation) and 3. Require prompt, complete and public disclosure of all donations received. Besides both major political parties fighting a 28th Amendment, the media would do everything they could to kill it because much less money would be spent on political advertising. The smucks running for office might have to go back to shaking hands on the street corner and knocking on doors.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-03 09:25:52 -0400 · Flag
@paul – removing corporate personhood would not address the influence of money in politics. Worse than just not solving the problem it is supposed to it creates new problems by removing one of the key methods of holding corporations accountable for crimes.

With corporate personhood, you need only prove that a company knowingly broke the law to hold the entire company accountable. Without it, you can only punish whatever individuals you can prove were involved, which means management is nearly impossible to indict and corporations wouldn’t even get a slap on the wrist fine.

What is needed to actually end corruption is a stop to the “money as speech” legal reasoning as well as a fix of the speech and debate clause of the constitution that Roberts is abusing to limit the definition of bribery. Corporations having free speech wouldn’t be a problem if money was not considered speech.

By addressing the legal precedent of corporate personhood which has both positive and negative aspects while leaving behind the far more damaging legal precedents of money as speech and nearly all evidence of bribery being inadmissible in court, this would only make the problems of corruption worse. The evidence that could be used in bribery cases would remain nearly nonexistent and legal challenges to campaign limits would come down to a fight between the first and 28th amendment if money is still considered speech, which leaves enough room for another 5-4 supreme court ruling.

The first two sentences are dangerous and pointless, and if they get put into a final amendment it would be disastrous. It is really frustrating to see how much focus is being put on corporate personhood while the real issues are ignored.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-02 12:51:24 -0400 · Flag
I understood the link after taking in to account various things, most notably are:
1. People will always try to get what they want without thinking fully how to get it.
2. Because of no.1, confusion, lies & rummours are spread.
3. Its no secret that people who hold a lot of money hold a lot of power, those that hold a lot of power hold a lot of influence. Influence is the most powerful thing a person can have.
4. Could someone brush me up on what Amendments actually do? From what i know they set rights / laws that are permanately in place and in full effect.
5. If no.5 is true then Id love for an amendment that takes care of Americas internet bandwidth caps.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-02 05:23:09 -0400 · Flag
Dan: unless and until the influence of money in political campaigns is removed, people can and will continue to give money to politicians, and expect the politician to defend their interests in return. This is legalized bribery, and it’s what you and everyone says has to stop. Agreed, making a legal distinction between legal entities and the people who run them does not by itself solve the problem. I don’t think anyone argues that and that’s why all the 28th amendment language you see out there calls not only for a distinction between corps and people, but that monetary influence be removed from the election process. How to successfully achieve that goal is clearly the big question.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-05-02 00:48:14 -0400 · Flag
The first two sentences need to be removed for two reasons:

1. The problem is not that corporations can give money to politicians the same way people can, the problem is that PEOPLE can legally bribe politicians! Removing corporate personhood, particularly since the McCutcheon ruling, wouldn’t fix the problem.

2. Corporate personhood was originally created to give corporations the same legal obligations as people. Removing corporate personhood without addressing that makes corporations nearly impossible to regulate or litigate.

Instead, we should be pushing for wording blocking the concept of money as speech. That would not only solve the same corruption problem as removing corporate personhood without the downside, it would also address bribery from individuals.
@WolfPacTX tweeted. 2014-05-01 22:31:55 -0400
It was a good day in the fight against corruption. Hearing in #txlege, votes in VT, and @WolfPAChq @lessig @Boyko4TX
@WolfPacTX retweeted @WolfPAChq 2014-04-30 12:53:06 -0400
Wow! Second place! We can get to first with your help! Vote here:
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-04-29 21:07:23 -0400 · Flag
Aidan: I’m sorry but I found the article at the link you posted difficult to understand. Honestly, I don’t know what the author is trying to say! So therefore I cannot comment on whether we should move in the direction he is describing or not.

I very much like these words of yours, “However, the law needs to be changed so that corporations are obligated not only to their shareholders but to all of their stakeholders, including employees, consumers, and Mother Nature.”
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-04-29 00:06:21 -0400 · Flag
We obviously need different and separate kind kinds of laws to govern corporate entities because they can and do commit crimes that would be hard to define in human terms. Most people couldn’t relate to an accounting crime. But if a corporation’s accounting rules were determined by The People and laid out unambiguously in a binding charter, any executive who violated those rules could be found guilty of THAT, a crime in itself, and a crime that any jury COULD relate to. The trouble with our current system is that you can’t understand how the crimes are being committed unless you’re an accountant. It’s like turning the lights on in a roach-infested kitchen.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-04-28 22:11:01 -0400 · Flag
William: you’ve hit on exactly why the current system of “everyone out for him/herself” with the government acting as watchdog supposedly keeping all these greedy corporations (whose primary interest in any situation is how they can exploit it for their stockholders’ gain) might work until the government itself gets corrupted by the monetary influence of the rich corporations (bought out, in other words, which is what has happened). The result of this inevitable progression is the situation we currently find ourselves in.

Because this kind of behavior has become the norm, the crooks are rarely caught. So other than the rare cases that made the news, I can’t cite you examples of corporate executives being held criminally accountable. 99% of the time, corporate rip-off is just business as usual. The system is so rigged in favor of corporate profiteering, that only the most egregious offenses come to light. The few honest “whistle-blowers” left in government have to have an absolutely bullet-proof case against them or they don’t stand a chance against all the high-priced shrewd corporate lawyers hired to defend the corporation. When the crooks are caught, it’s big news (Bernie Madoff, etc).

This is the reason I made the sweeping generalization that this country needs a more equitable economic system, one that discourages profiteering and encourages equity for all concerned.
commented on 28th Amendment 2014-04-28 15:48:35 -0400 · Flag
“For-profit corporations are in fact run by people who are in fact held criminally responsible for the corporation’s actions.” Can you give us an example, besides the most egregious Bernie Madoff case, of that actually happening in the midst of the Mortgage Meltdown, LIBOR Scandal, or any of a dozen other scandals brought on by corporate crooks who were never indicted? That was a rather sweeping generalization, Paul. Can you back it up with any evidence? Facts? Truth?
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