This is the ballot statement prepared by our Move to Amend organizers in Mendocino, California for their initiative on the ballot in November 2012.
Argument in Favor of Measure F
Are Corporations Persons? Is Money Speech? The Supreme Court thinks so. Do you?
For over a century Supreme Court judges have used the doctrine of "corporate personhood" (the concept that corporations are “persons” with Constitutional rights) to overturn laws protecting consumers, workers and our environment.
In 2010, the infamous Citizens United case decided again that corporations must be given the same rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution as human persons. The 5-4 decision specified that donating unlimited money on campaigns should be considered free speech. Now it is "unconstitutional" to limit “indirect” campaign contributions of corporate or natural "persons."
Today, giant corporations make fundamental decisions affecting our daily lives: who gets elected, what laws are passed, our transportation choices, our healthcare options and what is in our food, water and air. Corporations are not just influencing our government; they control it. And us.
We are not against corporations as businesses. But they should not be allowed to run our government and damage our health, communities and environment. Democracy means the people govern, not huge international business entities.
There is something we can do. All over the U.S., citizens have come together in a Move to Amend coalition to pass resolutions calling for a Constitutional Amendment to end "corporate personhood" and restore political power to We the People. This Constitutional Amendment will make it clear to current and future Supreme Courts that our precious constitutional rights are intended only for natural human persons and that money is not speech and can be regulated by law.
Now it is our turn. As citizens of Mendocino County we can make our voices heard on this important issue. By voting Yes, we instruct our state and federal representatives to pass an Amendment to the Constitution abolishing “corporate personhood.”
Defend Democracy. Yes on Measure F.