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Forum Post: Sanders amendment and S.J.Res.29

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 23, 2012, 10:58 p.m. EST by francismjenkins (3713)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

There's two amendments being proposed right now, which are a good place to begin the discussion:

http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2418-Senate-Dems-Intro-Constitutional-Amendment-on-Campaign-Finance-

http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/12/08/385511/bernie-sanders-introduces-occupied-constitutional-amendment-to-ban-corporate-money-in-politics/

I had reservations with the Sanders amendment, because I don't think it would actually overturn Citizens United, but I've changed my mind because I think it at least starts the discussion (and provides a rallying point around this issue). We need to overturn decisions like Citizens United (really, an entire class of decisions going back to Buckley v. Valeo).

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[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

An amendment where a corrupt congress decides what limits to place on contributions given to themselves? Isn't that like letting the mafia decide how many weapons they can carry?

For the amendment to be effective, the setting of limits must not be in the hands of congress, they must be out of their reach.

It should limit contributions to persons only, with a limit of a few hundred dollars or so with a way to adjust for inflation.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

I understand what you're saying, but in the not so distant past congress did pass McCain Feingold (part of which was overturned by Citizens United). Supporting an amendment like this does not suggest we're capitulating to the "reform" idea ... but rather, if we have an amendment, then we can pressure congress to restore the overturned provision of McCain Feingold, and at least slow the progression of corporate domination over our political system. This doesn't imply that we're softening our real objective of revolutionary change, and comprising or being seduced into another scheme of momentary/superficial change (this just increases our chances of success). Keep in mind, "real" change will take years.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

"pressure congress" "slow the progression of corporate domination"? The corrupt will not give up their power unless they are forced, and not without a fight. Does this amendment force them give up their ability to receive non person contributions, their power?

[-] 1 points by blip99 (1) 2 years ago

Get behind Senate Joint Resolution 29! SJ Res 33 won't fly because its sponsor (Bernie Sanders) is too far to the left (meaning that constitutional amendments that are seen as coming from the far left or the far right instead coming from a wide swath of the political spectrum are shot down too easily.) Besides, SJ Res 29 has gotten an amazing 22 cosponsors since it was introduced on 11/01/11! SJ Res 33 only has 1 cosponsor since it was introduced on 12/08/11. Source: Thomas.gov

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Thanks for the info. If anyone wants to read SJ Res 29, here it is (and I think it is actually a much better worded amendment):

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112sjres29is/pdf/BILLS-112sjres29is.pdf

An interesting side note, when I did a Google search for SJ Res 29, this thread came up as number 5 on the list :)