The Move To Amend–OC Coalition put on an event last night in Irvine. It was organized by members from Progressive Christians United, Reclaim democracy, Move-On, California Clean Campaign, Occupy OC, and Occupy Santa Ana. In case you don’t know what Move To Amend is, here’s our mission statement:
“We, the people of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights”.
So thanks to the Supreme Court (which is mostly made up of former lawyers who worked with corporations) we now have something called Corporate Personhood, which basically means that Corporations have the same rights as people.
The event began with the film “Priceless”, which was a real eye-opener how our so-called representatives listen to Corporations not the average citizens, because big business has the big bucks to get their attention. We can thank Citizens United ruling for that, but wait… Citizens United seems to be the icing on the cake of a problem that started about 130 years ago.
The case was Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific Railroad and happened back in 1886. If you want to read about it in detail here’s the link: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=118&invol=394
But for those of you who like your information in sound bites, here it is in a nutshell: It was a Supreme Court case that dealt with taxation of railroad properties. San Mateo County wanted to collect taxes from Southern Pacific Railroad and the railroad didn’t want to pay. (sound familiar?) The decision was instrumental in laying the foundation for modern laws regarding corporate person hood, ruling that the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause granted constitutional protections to corporations as well as to natural persons. In other words, corporations are people too.
Now back to the movie…there were plenty of sound bites from politicians from both parties explaining how hard they had to work (from day one) to raise money in order to keep their jobs after the next election. What’s a poor senator to do? It costs a lot of money to run for office these days and with campaign donations, favors are expected. No wonder nothing gets done to actually serve the people who voted for these politicians, they have to spend all their time schmoozing. In case you’re wondering, here’s a list of oil and gas top contributors, 2011-2012:
Oxbow Corp $1,750,250
Koch Industries $1,126,312
Exxon Mobil $1,109,993
Chesapeake Energy $761,351
Occidental Petroleum $622,400
Chevron Corp $504,339
Valero Energy $403,463
Devon Energy $367,252
Energy Transfer Equity $366,850
Crownquest Operating $358,500
Mewbourne Oil Co $348,466
Marathon Oil $300,317
Williams Companies $283,300
Pilot Corp $278,950
Midland Energy $275,000
Independent Petroleum Assn. of America $227,500
Halliburton Co $223,366
Continental Resources $222,850
Plains Exploration & Production $206,300
- Information taken from Open Secrets.org
That’s just contributions from the energy groups. I won’t even get in to the health insurance and pharmaceuticals, etc. that give just as much campaign dollars to “buy” their seat at the decision making table. What I find interesting is, most of these corporations give money to both parties in order to hedge their bets. This isn’t a partisan problem, it’s a Washington problem!
John Goodman, who presented this information, stressed the need for people to not only vote, but to make an informed decision when they do so. He also explained the Move to Amends’ long term goal is to inform people, change the culture, get an amendment passed and ratified. He admits this will take a long time and people need to be in it for the long run. Goodman said, “Our immediate goal is to create awareness and outrage; call out politicians running for office who do not support this amendment and refuse to give them support.”
Cal Clean Campaign has a link to California senate bill AB1648; the California DISCLOSE Act that will be voted on in the next couple of weeks: http://www.caclean.org/content/pdf/ccmc_ab1648_overview.pdf
Be sure to call and voice your right to know who is really paying for ads when it comes to campaigns and initiatives.
Move To Amend wants to get 500,000 signatures nationwide this year, so if you want to sign the petition on line go to: www.movetoamend.org/
This Wednesday the Laguna Hills Democratic Club is sponsoring the film “Koch Brothers Exposed”. It being held in the Clubhouse 3 Auditorium at 7pm. You can call Sue Dearing for more details 949-855-6965.
The way it is right now, someone from another country, like some rich Saudi can give money to American campaigns to influence our government! How crazy is that? So, If you’re mad as Hell! And want corporations to get out of our government then go to the website MoveToAmend.org and see how you can participate.