Billions of corporate dollars have poured into the 2012 Election, all thanks to the Citizens United decision by the conservative members of the Supreme Court. Towns and counties across the country have proposed or passed resolutions against corporate personhood, the most recent of which is Missoula, Montana. But now a major city in America looks to do the same next week.
The Los Angeles city council is preparing to vote on a resolution that would revoke corporate personhood. If the council votes accordingly, Los Angeles would become the biggest city in America to strike a blow against Citizens United. Here is the language of the resolution as provided by DailyKos.
“Resolution 11-0002-S123 (regarding Citizens United v. FEC).
WHEREAS, any official position of the City of Los Angeles with respect to legislation, rules, regulations or policies proposed to or pending before a local, state or federal governmental body or agency must have first been adopted in the form of a Resolution by the City Council with the concurrence of the Mayor; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission rolled back legal restrictions on corporate spending in the electoral process, allowing unlimited corporate spending to influence elections, candidate selection, and policy decisions, thereby threatening the voices of “We the People” and the very foundation of our democracy; and
WHEREAS, corporations are not mentioned in the Constitution, and The People have never granted constitutional rights to corporations, nor have We decreed that Corporations have authority that exceeds the authority of “We The People”
WHEREAS, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in a 1938 opinion stated, “I do not believe the word ‘person’ in the Fourteenth Amendment includes corporations”; and
WHEREAS, money affects the quality and quantity of speech and is NOT, in itself, speech; and allowing corporations with great wealth to use it as speech effectively drowns out the protected free speech of the People in our diverse society;
WHEREAS, the Citizens decision supersedes state and local efforts to regulate corporate activity in their elections;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, with the concurrence of the Mayor, that by the adoption of this Motion, the City of Los Angeles hereby includes in its 20 I 1-20 12 Federal and State Legislative Programs SUPPORT for a Constitutional Amendment and other legislative actions ensuring that only human beings, not corporations, are endowed with constitutional rights and that money is not speech, and therefore the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected speech.”
Americans all around the nation have been decrying corporate personhood since the Supreme Court made their decision. Indeed, there has been a big push for a Constitutional amendment that bans corporate personhood altogether. The push has especially gained steam since Occupy Wall Street began. One proposed demand of the OWS movement is for Congress to approve of a new amendment. If the Los Angeles council passes the resolution, it could be the spark needed to initiate even more resolutions across the United States, culminating in an eventual Constitutional amendment that would end corporate personhood and corporate money in elections, once and for all. You’ve heard the saying before: As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation. Let’s hope this holds true.