Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: Bernie Sanders Petition ----- very important!

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 16, 2011, 11:49 a.m. EST by Democracydriven (658)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

• This is a petition to get rid of the concept that corporations are people

• Please watch the video and sign the petition if you agree

• Please forward it to you friends

• Click like if you want others to see this

http://www.bernie.org/petition/saving-american-democracy/#scroll

.

52 Comments

52 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 9 points by ZenDog (13263) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

I'm on dial-up, but I vote for the Senator, and I support his proposal. In fact, I signed his petition - My signature must be somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13263) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago
[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

Thanks for the additional information.

I just want to add that it you’re an asset to the movement and your efforts are appreciated by those of us that are less capable than you. Viva la….. OWS

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13263) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

well thanks.

Honest, I'm not that special. I'm just mouthy.

[-] 9 points by GlobalSucks (87) 2 years ago

I don't know much about Bernie Sanders, but I do like the idea that he is trying to change the ruling that makes corporations the same as people. Anybody that supports OWS needs to sign this petition. This will make corporate manipulation and meddling in politics more transparent once again

The part where Romney excitedly defends it was eye opening

[-] 2 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

Thanks for your comments. This is very important as I know you realize. Please don't forget to send the link to your friends. If we can get a million or so people to sign this petition, we will give Sanders some ammunition to help us get rid of this ridiculous 1% favortism law

[-] 1 points by demcapitalist (977) 2 years ago

"I'll believe corporations are people when the GOP stops caring about them" I'll admit it I stole this from a yahoo board ---good one! whoever wrote it

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

That's funny!

Yeah why do these people get to pay a smaller percentage of taxes and get tax credits for sending jobs overseas. I thought we were all equal.

I don't even get to write off my costs of earning a living.

[-] 1 points by demcapitalist (977) 2 years ago

Why does my interest rates on loans go up if I make foolish financial decisions but when an investment bank makes foolish decisions they get unlimited low interest fed loans?

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

Why do I get 1% interest on savings and the bank charges 17% on charge cards that use that unlimited low interest fed loans

I think there is a word for what we are getting. It starts with an F but it escapes me right now. It is Frogged, Forked, Facked. It will come to later.

[-] 1 points by demcapitalist (977) 2 years ago

I know the answer to that one. Because that's the same interest rate the fed charges. Only difference is you have your dinky winky (nothing personal) savings account and the fed can lend them trillions. Then they can run out and buy euro-bonds or charge 17% for credit cards or anything that pays a higher rate. With all those cheap fed loans I'm sure they consider depositors just an annoyance these days.

[-] 3 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I signed Sanders petition. <Thanks to Zen Dog for earlier link>. Also signed several others as well. This issue is probably the single most critical goal to accomplish. IMO.

[-] 2 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

I agree. If you support OWS and America this is the number one issue that needs to be fixed. This affects all the rest of the problems

Corporate Person Hood is the mechanism that provides the fuel for the propaganda machines that wash Americans brains.

Belief/opinion is more powerful than Truth, if belief is all you hear.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I get sidetracked sometimes on other things, but I'll keep passing this critical message along. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

Thanks for your effort for the cause! Petitions for change do seem to be a big thing that is coming out of the OWS movement. Petitions do work. Before the OWS movement I was more of a complainer and observer than a participant in the future of America

I have spammed this video most everybody I know. This shows some behind the scenes changes that OWS is making. OWS is creating an awareness of the truth

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Are you ready for a giggle?
First- we get rid of corporate personhood
Second- the corporations start crying about their lost personhood
Third- the corporations organize
Fourth- the corporations occupy main street
Fifth- the corporations march
THE SIGNS - imagine the solid gold signs carried by their butlers
Then we get Bull Conner, Douglas McArthur, Anthony Bologna
and Joe Arpaio to deal with it.

You gotta giggle!

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

FROM THE REPUBLICAN RELPLY The proposed amendment, offered by Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-FL) on Nov. 18, is wholly a product of the violent and subversive “Occupy” protest movement currently unwinding across the country. In a news release, Deutch made specific reference to the protests, and stated, “the days of corporate control of our democracy must end.” Branded with the acronym OCCUPIED, the amendment states:


The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.


IT IS TIME FOR ACTION Words are easy - action is hard.
Are you ready
.....................FOR ACTION
Are you ready to
.....................DO SOMETHING REAL ?
Are you ready to
......................join 83% ........ of Americans ?

We must not
DEMAND that we WANT THEM to give to US
We must
DEMAND GOALS THAT WE WILL ACHIEVE FOR OURSELVES


Because of the Supreme Court's decision,
we cannot accomplish anything significant, without FIRST -
Overturning Citizens United !!!
Ending Corporate Personhood !!!


83% of Americans already agree on it
as stated in the ABC/Washington Post poll

.........................................

In the the PFAW Poll -

85% of voters say that corporations have too much influence over the political system today.
77% think Congress should support an amendment to limit the amount corporations can spend on elections.
74% say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who pledged to support a Constitutional Amendment limiting corporate spending in elections.


IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO ACT ----> JOIN US TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE


Our only immediate goal should be to pass a constitutional amendment to counter Supreme Court decision Citizens United (2010) , that enables unlimited amounts of anonymous money to flood into our political system.
“Corporations and organizations are not a persons &
have no personhood rights”

We don’t have to explain or persuade people to accept our position – we only have to persuade them to ACT based on their own position. Pursuing this goal will prove to the world that we, at OWS, are a serious realistic Movement, with serious realistic goals. Achieving this goal will make virtually every other goal – jobs, taxes, infrastructure, Medicare – much easier to achieve –
by disarming our greatest enemy – GREED.
IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO ACT ----> JOIN US TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE


THE SUCCESS STORY OF THE AMENDING PROCESS The Prohibition movement started as a disjointed effort by conservative teetotalers who thought the consumption of alcohol was immoral. They ransacked saloons and garnered press coverage here and there for a few years. Then they began to gain support from the liberals because many considered alcohol partially responsible for spousal and child abuse, among other social ills. This odd alliance, after many years of failing to influence change consistently across jurisdictions, decided to concentrate on one issue nationally—a constitutional amendment. They pressured all politicians on every level to sign a pledge to support the amendment. Any who did not, they defeated easily at the ballot box since they controlled a huge number of liberal, and conservative and independent swing votes in every election. By being a single-issue constituency attacking from all sides of the political spectrum, they very quickly amassed enough votes (2/3) to pass the amendment in Congress. And, within just 17 months, they were successful in getting ¾ of the state legislatures to ratify the constitutional amendment into law. (Others were ratified even faster: Eight —took less than a year. The 26th, granting 18-year-olds the right to vote, took just three months and eight days.)


If they could tie the left and right into a success -
WHY CAN'T WE ??????????

IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO ACT ----> JOIN US TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE


I feel that we should stay with this simple text to overturn CU:
”corporations are not people”
for four simple reasons and one – not so simple:
1
83% of Americans have already opposed CU in the ABC/Washington post poll and the above
IS THEIR POSITION ALREADY.
2
We don’t have to work to convince people on the validity of our position.
3
Simple is almost always better.
4
This simple Amendment is REQUIRED to overturn CU.
And all other electoral reform can be passed through the normal legislative process. 5
OWS and these pages are chock full of ( mostly ) excellent ideas to improve our country.
All of them have strong advocates – and some have strong opposition.
None of them has been “pre-approved” by 83% of Americans !
Pursuing this goal – without additional specifics is exactly what Americans want.
What do we want? Look at that almost endless list of demands – goals - aims.
Tax the rich. End the Fed. Jobs for all, Medicare for all. So easy to state! Can you imagine how hard it would be to formulate a “sales pitch” for any of these to convince your Republican friends to vote for any of them?
83% of Americans have ALREADY “voted” against CU. And 76% of the Rs did too.
All we have to do ask Americans is to pressure their representatives – by letters - emails – petitions.

Wanna take your family on vacation?
Convince the 7 year old and the 10 year old to go to Mt Rushmore.
Then try to convince them to go to Disneyland.
Prioritizing this goal will introduce us to the world – not as a bunch of hippie radical anarchist socialist commie rabblerousers – but as a responsible, mature movement that is fighting for what America wants.
YOUR ACTION ----> JOIN US TO ACT MAKE A DIFFERENCE


I feel that using the tactics of the NRA, the AARP an the TP – who all represent a minority – who have successfully used their voting power to achieve their minority goals - plus the Prohibition Amendment tactics – bringing all sides together - is a straight path for us to success that cannot fail to enable us to create and complete one task the MAJORITY.


Join the OWS Restore Democracy Working Group at
..............http://www.nycga.net/groups/restore-democracy
regular meetings 6-8PM @ 60 Wall St – The Attrium @ Wednesdays
Plan details with supporting documentation at:.... http://bit.ly/vK2pGI


IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO ACT ----> JOIN US TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

TO END CORPORATE PERSONHOOD


Whereas --

The OWS Declaration of the Occupation of New York City states that
"a democratic government derives its just power from the people,
not from corporations."

and --

the ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 83% of the entire US population
opposes the Supreme Court Citizens United decision,
which affirmed that corporations are people.

and --

by supporting the overturning of corporate personhood,
OWS clearly aligns itself with the vast majority of the American people
who support ending the fundamentally flawed and anti-democratic concept
that corporations are people.

therefore --

We support a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.


[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

I am on board. Thanks for the great post!

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

91,724 and growing fast 12-16-11

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

Awsome, Thanks for the update

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

I agree. If this petition has any trouble getting signatures, then we deserve the politicians we'll get. And while I'm ranting: What kind of fool votes for the politician with the most money to spend? I'd rather write in a name.

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

Hopefully there will be some candidates that are OWS friendly and the choice will be obvious. Yeah, I know I am dreaming.

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

Rocky Anderson announced his Justice Party. (I voted Green Party last time).

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

There are issues with the amendments that first got me so excited, but I think I have figured out an even easier way to do what we want. See http://occupywallst.org/forum/get-our-government-back-no-ammendment-or-article-v/

[-] 4 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

I really don't know much about this. Maybe you can answer this question.

If corporations can’t sign contracts, then the CEO and Board sign them and are held personally liable for the Corps deeds. Is that correct? That’s what I want to see. No isolation for the decision makers.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

First understand the legal underpinnings. We long ago decided that an association of people inherits the rights of the people choosing to associate. This is the basis by which Unions can negotiate labor contracts, the Sierra Club can advocate for a candidate, and corporations can be sued. This law simply makes sense; why wouldn't an association of people have the same rights as the people themselves ?

The simple fact that a group of people choose to associate does not release them from responsibility for their actions. If a CEO is shown to have committed a crime, then he can be prosecuted for that crime as an individual. Furthermore, if he engages in a conspiracy to commit a crime, he can be prosecuted for that as well. This all falls under the criminal statutes. Things get different under tort law.

Tort law is the branch of law commonly known as "civil" law. Judgments under tort law are not the same as being convicted of a crime, they only indicate one party was harmed due to the behavior of another. The 'punishment' under tort law are always monetary, and they include the amounts required to make the offended party "whole" (i.e. lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc) as well as "punitive damages" if the court finds the offense to have been particularly egregious (i.e. negligent, grossly unfair, etc). Note the standards for conviction are also lower in tort law; in a criminal case, the jury must be unanimous, but in civil cases only a majority need agree.

When a civil case is filed against a corporation, there is no 'crime' per se, only a claim that someone was harmed and should be made whole. In this case, the corporation is held liable rather than the CEO, and the corporation pays the judgement; the officers of a corporation are not responsible for the financial claims against the corporation.

In summary, CEOs can be convicted as individuals in criminal cases, but it is the corporation that pays restitution in civil cases. This makes sense if you think about the implications surrounding an 'association of people.'

[-] 3 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

You said ......why wouldn't an association of people have the same rights as the people themselves?

Maybe I didn't get it, but how would it benefit corps to be or not to be considered a person. A spokesman or leader for a group is who talks, not an imaginary person. Forgive my ignorance and help me understand why this seems to be a necessity to be a corporation.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

It alls started as a legal requirement under contract law. Under law, only 'persons' can enter into contracts.

[-] 3 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

So the CEO/Leaders' signature wasn't good enough. He/She is a person and has permission to make decisions for the group which includes signing contracts.

Why was that not good enough? Why did an imaginary person have to be invented? I am still not getting it. I am not trying to be some dumb ass (intentionally) but you seem to be very opinionated on this subject. I truly am trying to understand the reasoning behind this. Your help is appreciated

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

What you're describing is a "sole proprietor," and he would have to personally own all the assets of the company. If people wanted to invest in his company, he would either have to hire them, or simply borrow from them under separate contract collatoralized with his assets. Lot's of privately owned companies do operate this way.

The corporation existed before the founding of America, and it's a positive mechanism.

Imagine I decide to start the OWS Hemp Shoe Company. I need money to start, but I can't be sure it will succeed. I go to the banksters and find that they want me to pay them a fortune in interest and I have to pay them back whether I succeed or not. They could take my home. That's pretty unattractive, so I don't start my business. Disappointed, my fellow OWS supporters offer to support me by providing me funds in exchange for a piece of my profits and further say I don't have to pay them back if there are none. Under these terms, I can afford to start my business, so we start working the details...

I ask all my contributors if they want to help run the company, and everyone says "nope, don't have the time." I offer to run it for them, but many ask "but what if you don't do a good job? We should be able to replace you," and things start getting complicated. In the end, I offer them a compromise. How about we formally declare you investors own the company and can fire me if you don't like my performance, and everyone agrees. Next, someone says, "but wait, what if you get sued ? Who pays for that ?" I respond, "Well, it's your company, not mine, so I guess you'd have to pay." Everyone decides that seems fair. Just before we finish, one guy in the back screams "mic check" then asks "what if I can't afford to contribute right now, but want to get in later ? Can I do that?" After some discussion, we all agree that he could offer to buy someone else's share, but would have to pay them whatever they thought it was worth. Someone then shouts out, "Hey, that's a good idea ! That means if I need my money, I could just sell may share to someone else, and you wouldn't have to sell equipment to buy me out !"

Over the course of the discussion above, we just created the corporation and the stock market. Using these mechanisms, we figured out how to start up an exciting new business that creates jobs without having to go to the banksters, and all our supporters get to reap the capitalist benefits of starting and owning a business, activities normally reserved for the super-rich, even though they each had only a little money. Without these mechanisms, a lot of good ideas would never see the light of day.

If you think through the arrangements we made to start our little company, I'm really just an employee of the many investors who actually own the company. If I or any of the other employees commit a crime we can be individually prosecuted and put in jail. Furthermore, if the entire company is somehow involved in a crime, it is subject to capital punishment (de-chartering) and the board of directors prosecuted for criminal conspiracy if they participated. In regards civil prosecution like discrimination, for example, the specific employee can be held responsible and that responsibility can extend to the entire corporation if it is shown they knew about it and did nothing or otherwise encouraged the behavior (this is why big companies are so careful to document the fact they have told their employees not to discriminate or otherwise engage in unlawful behavior.

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

You put a lot of effort to describe the corporate scenio, but you neglected to tell me why corporate person hood is a desireable. I don't mean to be a pain. I am pasting the previous post

So the CEO/Leaders' signature wasn't good enough. He/She is a person and has permission to make decisions for the group which includes signing contracts.

Why was that not good enough? Why did an imaginary person have to be invented?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The use of the term 'person' in regards associations of people is nothing but a convenient way to express the long standing fact that people don't lose their rights simply because they choose to associate and operate in unison.

As for your specific example of a contract, all the owners of the OWS Hemp Shoe company could sign a power of attorney granting the CEO the authority to sign contracts on their behalf. In the case of Apple or any other big corporation, that would require literally millions of signatures everytime the CEO changed. In addition, a new power of attorney would have to be created and another retired every time a share changed hands, and all would have to be checked by anyone entering into contract with the company. It's simply easier to acknowledge all these powers of attorney could be written and make that power implicit to the act of incorporation.

In a similar vein, you could list every single shareholder of Apple Computer or another large company on a civil lawsuit, but you'd have to amend your lawsuit every time a share changed hands. it's simply easier to acknowledge you could do that and let you sue the association.

'Personhood' is simply convenient, especially considering there are millions of people in the association and the membership is dynamic. There are, however, zero rights or responsibilities implied by the convenient use of the term 'person' that are not directly traceable to the rights and powers of the people choosing to associate.

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

You seem to be coming up with all the different types of scenarios that don’t require a corporation to be and imaginary person.

I want to know what a corporation is prohibited from doing because it is not considered a person.

When I purchase stock don't I give somebody in an organization the right to make decisions for me? Don't I get to elect board members from time to time?

Can you show me where any of these things require a corporation to be designated as an imaginary person

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I gave you several examples showing why it's simply a convenient way to express the rights of people who make up the association.

Maybe we should try a different tack... provide one example of something a corporation can do that you don't thing is right, and I'll explain how the exact same action could be performed without corporate personhood by simply using the rights of the people associating.

Why do you think we should not use the convenient term 'person' when discussing the rights of people in association ? Would you feel better if we just kept saying 'people in association' rather than 'union' or 'corporation' ?

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

So your answer is convenience. That's it. It just makes running a corporation more convenient. I have heard there are a lot more benefits to corporations than that, but I would just be repeating somebody else’s belief if I were to repeat it.

Thanks for your opinion. It looks like I need to do a little research. I’ll get back to you when I can present some true information. Thanks for your effort, I have learned a lot.

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

This is what they can't do unless they are a person. Dump unlimited amounts of money to sway an election to a politician they favor.

The law has tweaked the original person concept into them and unions having first amendment rights.

What do you think about that. Are you good with Corps and Unions influencing elections

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 08-205 (2010), 558 U.S. ––––, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment prohibits government from censoring political broadcasts in candidate elections when those broadcasts are funded by corporations or unions. The 5–4 decision originated in a dispute over whether the non-profit corporation Citizens United could air a film critical of Hillary Clinton, and whether the group could advertise the film in broadcast ads featuring Clinton's image, in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act in reference to its primary Senate sponsors.[2]

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

All the shareholders and employees of a union or corporation can readily decide in quorum that they will all contribute to a given candidate or fund an ad. The ability of corporations or unions to do so directly is simply an extension of that same right held by the individuals choosing to associate. I honestly don't think anyone will come up with a case whereby the rights of people united through association is in anyway different that what they could each agree to do in unison according to their individual rights.

I am not for large associations of people being able to influence elections, but they simply aren't doing anything that the people in the association couldn't do themselves anyway. In fact, per current election law, the sum of the contributions and spending limits held by the million plus shareholders of Apple and members of the AFL/CIO far exceeds what Apple or any other large association spends.

The right of associations of people to speak with one voice does annoy me, but so does the right of the KKK to spew their racist agenda. Freedom demands we tolerate speech we don't like, and it is founded in the idea that we're all smart enough to make up our own mind. Political speech by associations of peoples does at least come with a requirement that the people 'speaking' be identified and file appropriate paperwork so We the People can know who is speaking and understand what agenda they may have. Unfortunately, I doubt many Americans look. We get the Democracy we deserve, no ?

As I noted in my post, associations of people were already allowed to speak on political matters outside certain election events. All Citizens did was remove those time restrictions. The logic was partially rooted in the fact that we allow corporations like Fox and MSNBC to speak on election day, and the justices could find no sound legal basis fro denying that same freedom to other associations of people. Ironically, the FEC allowed Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 movie shown near an election because it was for profit. This illustrates what a thin tightrope we're walking on this issue.

We are stuck with free speech by individuals and associations of people whether we like it or not. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has upheld our right to limit direct contributions to campaigns, and I want to see those limits reduced to zero via repeal of the PAC and 403 loopholes.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

No room left, so I am responding to 'Democracydriven's comment at the same level of indenture.


Your summary of my position indicates you didn't read it or simply desire to put words into my mouth.

First, I never said I like associations of people of any kind amplifying their voice using money to fund election ads. I simply said I don't see anyway around it under the law.

Second, my comments regarding PACs was specifically targeted at their ability to contribute money directly to campaigns. If I employed your logic, I suppose I could say "apparently you like the idea of outside money in politics."

Finally, based on your comments, I'm not sure you have any cards, at least not a full deck.

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

So to sum up your position, you have no problem with corporations being able to dump as much money at they want to sway an election, regardless of the will of the investors

Then you want to get rid of pac funds so that like minded people can no longer contribute to a fund and have a bigger voice.

I think you have pretty much shown your cards, no further comments required

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

The issue as I understand it is that "money is speech". That's the problem that leads to the corruption.

Corps can still be persons and have been for like 100 years.

Is that basic understanding correct? I want to get that part straight at least before I take on your investigative reporting!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Nope. We do limit direct campaign contributions from associations of people (corporations, unions, etc) to federal candidates. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforces all these laws. Start at http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers.shtml .

Though we limit what associations like corporations and unions can give directly to candidates, we do not limit their free speech, so Ford, The Sierra Club, and the United Auto Workers are free to run political ads. We used to prohibit them from running ads within a month or two of an election event, and that is what was overturned by the court under Citizens United. This wasn't a big loss... the FEC has previously ruled that they can say what ever they want right up to the day of the election if it's a made-for-profit movie like Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

We can't stop speech, but they do have to follow the law and file reports indicating who paid for the speech. We can and do limit direct campaign contributions, so we should be able to stop all contributions.

[-] 3 points by ZenDog (13263) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

One of the rights an association of people inherits is the 14th amendment right to equal protection,

The 14th amendment clearly states person or persons:

  • persons born or naturalized

  • nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process . . .

  • counting the whole number of persons

  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative

The 14th amendment cannot be construed to imply any collective rights held by organizations, unless one wants to attempt to use the following from Section 1:

  • No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the priveileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

You point out the possibility of a hostile Congress, and to address that possibility you advocate using identical language among 34 legislatures to call for a Constitutional convention.

If we can get 34 identical measures in individual states, we can get 38 identical measures in individual states.

I would suggest that if Congress is hostile to a call for Constitutional convention, then they may be just as hostile to attempting legislative reform of the campaign contribution process - especially since they have tried several times already, only to have the Supreme Court over rule the idea.

The fair and legal approach, in my opinion, is to ban all contributions from 'people' and use the people's money (taxes) to fund the people's political system. This does not require a constitutional amendment, it only requires action by Congress.

while the above approach might work, it leaves open the door to the possibility of endless wrangling between Congress and the Supreme Court with a net result of no implementation of change.

It is this last that gives me the greatest concern.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

US Code Section 1, Paragraph 1 defines 'person' (see http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/01C1.txt). A 'person' was defined by act of Congress in the 1948 amendment to "include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals."

The 14th amendment can and has been used to defend the rights of association of people.

While a hostile Congress will block any attempt at reform, the Constitutional path is a very long and drawn out process while the legislative option can be immediate. We have people in the streets now, and the American attention span is short.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13263) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

With that line of reasoning then a corporation may run for high office, which is covered under Section 3 of Amendment XIV.

That's insane.

I'm not an attorney, but perhaps this issue in particular should come before the Supreme Court. They have already over tuned Congressional efforts at campaign finance reform.

I'm not sure if, at this point in time, the Constitutional path is any longer than any other. Lessig points out the mechanism of legislation that expires and how this can be used to extort campaign contributions. While possible, I don't have a lot of faith in the ability of Congress to agree to anything, much less end campaign finance as it is.

It is worth a try.

And while this issue of Constitutional Convention simmers in the background, it may provide Congress with incentive to act on their own - whether their measure is later overturned by the court remains a possibility.

If the Constitutional Convention becomes as drawn out as you say, that may in fact be to our advantage:

  • Congress feels pressure to act legislatively, in part due to popularity of calls for Constitutional convention.

  • Congress acts

  • Congress is overturned by court decree

  • Constitutional Convention Call continues on, gathering steam with court decision

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Associations can't run for office. Look at the law. For President it says, "No person except a natural born citizen ..." In addition, do you really think this issue would even come up ? It would require We The People support them !

Yes, the threat of a constitutional convention has motivated Congress to take action in the past. It will have to be a serious threat, and in the end, the change will occur via the mechanisms I described, not by amendment.

My opinion that the Occupy movement is neither big enough nor long-lived enough to sustain support for constitutional action remains unchanged. It doesn't hurt to try, but it also doesn't hurt to start pushing Congress for the legislative solution while we still have people in the streets.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13263) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

neither big enough nor long-lived enough to sustain support for constitutional action

I suspect that next summer is going to be insane. Especially with the money pouring into the election, the length of time it will take the economy to pick back up, the entrenched resistance to change the system, all of these things seem to indicate to me that this will be a sustained and highly vocal campaign.

I don't believe it will disappear any time soon.

Repelican fools are still agitating for privatization of social security despite the economic collapse. they really are that stupid.

They cannot help but resist change, and that resistance will force us to hone our message, and as we do the movement will grow.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The economy will recover very quickly once Europe gets her fiscal union in place or agrees to unleash the ECB. I have $1 million invested in that opinion. I bet we're history by spring 2013. Don't get me wrong, we'll still have some problems and some dissatisfied folks, but America won't be listening once things start recovering. We're already losing their interest, partially because we have no message and partially because they are starting to feel better about the economy. You do watch the corporate earnings, stock, industrial production, and employment reports, right ? If not, you should !

All we need is a fix in Europe, and we'll be forgotten. We need to get a message now and start doing something rather than just complaining.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13263) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

You are completely discounting the effects the Occupy Movement has already had, and the response by repelicans, or the fact that the election hasn't really heated up yet but when it does it will induce an amount of agitation among those who desperately want change.

I think this summer is going to be crazy, and the crazier it is, the longer people will remain agitated beyond the election.

And I saw on tv that a lot of people were returning their black Friday purchases, so I don't think things are as rosy as you predict.

Not that honing our message now isn't a great idea - it is. But the flexibility has advantages too.

[-] 1 points by resistence (12) 2 years ago

Thanks for the link. I have signed the petition

Is this old news or something. It doesn't seem like many people care about this issue

I would think it would be a high priority for OWS supporters, guess not.

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

I thought it would generate some interest myself, but it looks like there are more talkers than doers. Maybe that has something to do with the country/99% being dire straits and the 1% being fat. Everybody just wants to talk about it.

[-] -1 points by danmi (66) 2 years ago

I watched it for about one second then I seen Al Sharpton. He is a whack job like the current Pres is. I do not believe what anyone of them have to say

[-] 1 points by Democracydriven (658) 2 years ago

Are you for corporate person hood?

This isn't about a person or party it is about a law that gives corporation’s power over the 99% by giving them the rights of humans.I am not a Sharpton fan myself but I am a Bernie Sanders fan