Move to Amend Right Move

February 14, 2013
Editorial Board

We applaud Congressman Rick Nolan’s dogged approach to reversing a U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the same rights as people.

 

Nolan, DFL-Brainerd, Minn., introduced last week a resolution saying, “It’s time to take the shaping and molding of public policy out of corporate boardrooms, away from the corporate lobbyists, and put it back in city halls — back with county boards and state legislatures — and back in the Congress where it belongs.”

As part of a “Move to Amend” movement, Nolan has called the resolution the “We the People Amendment,” which states: “Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only, and not to government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies; and political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.”

The ruling, which came in a 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court in 2010, is an extreme view of the First Amendment. As Nolan has said, the ruling has impacted our nation’s elections immensely.

It has given corporations with big bank accounts and special interests an unfair advantage.

This last election was an example of what can happen when big money drives campaigns and influences votes. When outside spending with a large checkbook is not restricted, political speech that nowadays relies on technology and advertising can make it difficult for voters to decide between truth and political spin.

Nolan has said when he first ran for Congress in the 1970s, a couple hundred thousand dollars was spent in the entire contest. In the 2012 election, more than $20 million was spent, with much of that money coming from corporate interests outside the 8th District.

In no way should our election policy come to mean the candidate with the most money should get the most votes.

Nolan told The Journal this week that the Duluth City Council was the first city in the nation to approve a resolution supporting Move to Amend and since then more than 500 cities across the nation have joined in support.

The Move to Amend principal also is supported by a variety of court decisions over the past 20 years.

Move to Amend is about, “We the people,” the definition of personhood, money and free speech.

We agree with Nolan that the Citizens United decision has polluted and corrupted America’s political system and needs to be changed.

Corporations should not have unchecked rights to dominate the political system with their vast stores of money, and we urge our local elected officials to consider a resolution supporting Move to Amend.

 

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