Earlier this week, Oregon joined the growing chorus of 16 states calling for the overturning of the Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 Citizens United ruling, which allows corporations to spend nearly unlimited sums of money buying our political system.
With the state Senate’s passage of House Joint Memorial 6, Oregon legislators have made it clear that they stand with the American people and against a corporatist Supreme Court that defied all logic by ruling that corporations should receive the same free-speech rights as individuals, rights they are allowed to express by channeling unlimited amounts of undisclosed cash into super political action committees (PACs).
According to this wonderfully progressive resolution, it falls to Congress to propose a constitutional amendment “clarifying the distinction between the rights of natural persons and the rights of corporations,” and recognizing “that Congress and state legislatures may regulate all moneys raised and spent for political purposes.”
Oregon joins four other states – Delaware, Maine, West Virginia and Illinois – that have called for a constitutional amendment over just the past two months. All of the resolutions this year have passed with bipartisan support in at least one chamber. This is an issue that affects every American, regardless of political affiliation.The other states that have called for an amendment to overturn Citizens United are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado and Montana. The Washington, D.C., Council has called for an amendment as well.
Given that the Supreme Court has decided to sell the American political system to the highest bidder, it is up to the American people to wrestle back control of our government from corporations.
Luckily, we are also making progress at the federal level, where not every single politician is a corporatist stooge. Democratic senators John Tester of Montana and Tom Udall of New Mexico have proposed constitutional amendments aimed at reforming the campaign-finance system that Citizens United corrupted. Earlier this year, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Florida’s Democratic Ted Deutch introduced a constitutional amendment aimed at directly overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling. Also joining the fight are Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Widen of Oregon, who have signed on as co-sponsors of similar efforts.
Although the American people face an uphill climb, it is imperative that we continue to make noise about the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision and keep the heat on Congress and the states until they bring an appropriate end to this corporate takeover of our political system.
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Watch Senator Bernie Sanders explain the need to overturn Citizens United… here is the video:
Reposted with permission from Occupy Democrats.