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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ingham County Board of Commissioners/Lansing City Council Pass Resolutions On Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and Buckly v. Valeo

Constitutional Amendments 101
Constitutional Amendments 101 (Photo credit: Village Square)
Press Release

On September 24th, Lansing City Council and the Ingham County Board of Commissioners voted on similar resolutions in support of the Move To Amend movement, while condemning the decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that made corporations people, and therefore granted corporations rights under the US Constitution such as the "free speech" to donate unlimited amounts of money to politicians. The resolution also condemned the previous decision in Buckley v. Valeo that said money equals speech.

To paraphrase the resolutions state that corporations should not be treated as people but as legal entities, and that money should be treated as property, not speech. Attached are the two very similar resolutions.

Lansing Move To Amend has recently received the endorsement of a local "peace and justice" organization, the Greater Lansing Peace Education Center. Lansing Move To Amend is part of a broader non-partisan national coalition of over 270 organizations, who seek to amend the US Constitution with a 28th amendment to state that corporations are not people and can be regulated, and that money is not speech and can be regulated. 

The amendment Move To Amend is proposing states "Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law." and includes for-profit, and non-profit corporations including any unions. The amendment can be found here.

Lansing Move To Amend formed on February 12th 2012, started by local Lansing residents. After David Cobb a national spokesperson for Move To Amend and the Green Party nominee for president of the United States in the year 2000, gave a speech about the issue in January 2012 the group began the process of forming the Lansing affiliate of Move To Amend. 

Move To Amend has launched many campaigns to gain support for their amendment, including resolution campaigns such as the resolution passed by Lansing City Council and the Ingham County Board of Commissioners, a signature campaign that now has over 230,000 signatures nationally, and a campaign they are calling "Stampede To Amend" where they are stamping US Currency with messages about money in politics, like "Corporations are not people, Money is not speech." and "Not to be used for bribing politicians." The "Stampede To Amend" tour is going a crossed the country but will not be in Michigan this year.

Public Statements:
"The citizens of Michigan have the right to know who is spending money in our elections. Corporations are not people and money is not speech, the Citizens United v. FEC US Supreme Court decision has started the erosion of our democracy. Not only do I vehemently disagree with the decision in Citizens United, but the US Supreme Court was also wrong in Buckley v. Valeo." - Chair of the Michigan Transparency Coalition and former candidate for Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson.
"I have been an activist for almost a year now, from the beginning I realized that every issue that I care about is quashed by corporate and wealthy interests. That's why we started a local Move To Amend affiliate group. It doesn't matter if you are conservative, libertarian, liberal, progressive, or a moderate. A majority of Americans believe that corporations and super-PACS have too much power, and they're right."  - Lansing area activist and Lansing Move To Amend Coordinator, Roman Collins.
"Passing the Lansing Move To Amend resolution will make Lansing a leader in our common struggle to restore real democracy to our elections. Money is not speech and should not drive the electoral process. Corporations are not persons and should not receive special rights." - Chair of Michiganders To Keep Big Money Out Of Elections, Stuart Dowty
"Democracy depends on restoring the peoples power over corporate power. We are very much in jeopardy of losing our democracy thanks to Citizens United." - Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero
"Corporations are not people. That was understood until the U.S. Supreme Court turned that logic on its head. The Move to Amend campaign would rectify this and allow the citizens to again decide whether or not corporations should be able to have unlimited ability to contribute to campaigns. This is a basic citizens right and belongs in the U.S. Constitution. Ingham County lends its support through the passage of this resolution today." - Ingham County Commissioner Andy Schor.

Contact: Roman Collins-Coordinator of Lansing Move To Amend
Phone: (517)-898-9184      

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