In late 2012, a group of local citizens came together and affiliated with the national group Move to Amend. Late Tuesday, they addressed the Lompoc City Council “This organization is working toward overturning the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission,” said Lauren Pressman. “That decision declared that corporations are people and money equals free speech. It allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns; this policy undermines our country’s cherished belief in ‘one person — one vote.’”
Move to Amend organized nationally on the heals of the January, 2010, Supreme Court decision in reaction to the court’s reaffirmation that constitutionally corporations are “persons.” Many believe the decision allows corporation’s to fund elections disproportionately skewing elections in favor of special interests. Move to Amend proposes a constitutional amendment that reverses the decision.
Lompoc Move to Amend is asking the city council to support the amendment through a local resolution and is asking for a spot on a future agenda. Local governments routinely pass resolutions supporting legislation they see as in their best interests. To date, some 300 California cities and counties have passed supporting resolutions, according to Lompoc Move to Amend.
In his dissent in 2010, Justice Stevens wrote, “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘we the people’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."
Second to address the council was Rosemary Holmes. “This is the largest civil rights issue that we have had to deal with in along time, and you have an opportunity to be a little part of history. This is your opportunity,” she said. “Persons are rightfully recognized as human beings; corporations are created entities.”
“I want to talk to your spirits and hearts,” John Mudie said summing up to the council. He related how politicians “need money to get elected” and lamented that in the past elections were funded by “everyday people.”
“How do we stop this? The only way is through the grassroots,” says Mudie. “Because the politicians are going to want to go along with what is happing, it’s going to be up to us the people to do something about it.”