Power (Back) to the People

It’s a self-evident truth that our democracy’s desecration occurred when the Supreme Court gave free-speech rights to corporations. Good to see that at least a few members of Congress–specifically, Reps. Rick Nolan (D-MN), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN)–are committed to doing something about it:

The movement for constitutional reforms that would end what organizers call “corporate rule” has arrived in the chambers of Congress. [On April 29], members of the U.S. House of Representatives joined Move to Amend by announcing their sponsorship of the “We the People Amendment” (House Joint Resolution 48), which clearly and unequivocally states that:

* Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only, and not to government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies; and

* Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

In making the announcement, lead sponsor Rep. Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota), said: “It’s time to take the shaping and molding of public policy out of corporate boardrooms, away from the corporate lobbyists, and put it back in city halls – back with county boards and state legislatures – and back in the Congress where it belongs.”

It’s a shame that Republicans remain so intimidated by the Koch Mafia that not one member of the GOP joined their Democratic colleagues in sponsoring the We the People Amendment. Your average Republican voter wants big money out of politics, too (and you can prove it by watching your Republican friends react when you say the words “Tom Steyer” or “Michael Bloomberg”). However, it appears that we’ll have to wait a little bit longer before the bipartisan desire for elections that aren’t bought by billionaires is reflected in Congress.

Nevertheless, it’s quite inspiring to see citizens uniting against Citizens United. I may not be Amy Goodman, but I want democracy now–and the We the People Amendment will help us get it back for good.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.