Clean elections and corporate political control

September 9, 2015
Marvin Feldman

 

West Hawaii Today is to be congratulated on its coverage of the County Council decision on Resolutions 266 and 267 (West Hawaii Today, Sept. 3, page 1A). These resolutions place the county on record as supporting a constitutional amendment allowing governments to limit election spending and declaring that money is not speech. These two reforms would go far in restoring faith in our democracy.

As pointed out in the article, this issue strikes close to home. Councilwoman Margaret Willie had to struggle against an influx of $100,000 of dark money from a political action committee opposed to her re-election. And, the same three Councilmen (Greggor Ilagan, Daniel Paleka and Aaron Chung) who opposed to these common-sense resolutions also happened to be the only three councilmen who opposed allowing Earth Justice to provide the county with free legal counsel to support its genetically modified organisms ban, which was being contested by Monsanto.

As far as Chung’s allegation that the resolutions “vilify corporations,” one wonders if he even read them. The notion of corporate personhood was established in the case law, not the constitution. Indeed, the Constitution does not even mention corporations. The resolutions merely ask that the Constitution be amended to clarify that corporations are not entitled to the same rights accorded natural persons. This is a nonpartisan issue. Only someone who wants to maintain the status quo of corporate domination of our political system could oppose these resolutions.

Those wishing to support this effort can contact me through movetoamend.org.

Mahalo to WHT for its fair and thorough reporting of this important debate.

Marvin Feldman,

Chairman, Kona Affiliate of Move to Amend

Captain Cook