Voters understood issue

February 19, 2017
Dolores Whitmen

The small turnout at the second Democracy Day event on Feb. 9 might indicate that the 1,807 Defiance citizens who passed the ballot measure by 67 percent in 2013 were ill-advised or did not understand the issue. I believe they understood it perfectly. Currently in the state of Ohio 10 ballot initiatives have been passed in Ohio communities, including Toledo’s passage by 64 percent in 2016.

In addition, 13 Ohio municipal governments passed resolutions, including Cleveland in 2016. Nowhere in the Constitution does the word “corporation” appear, yet because of Supreme Court rulings these legal entities have been given many rights, for example: First Amendment right to free speech means corporations do not have to label genetically modified foods. Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights means corporations can avoid subpoenas for unlawful trade and price fixing. Fifth Amendment takings, double jeopardy and due process rights means corporations must be compensated for property value lost (e.g. future profits) when regulations are established to protect homeowners or communities.

Those who say corporations should have the right to free speech, I ask the following: Is that corporate spokesman representing all the stockholders or the employees? Corporations are made up of people who all have rights as natural persons under our Constitution. They can speak for themselves. We have turned a legal document into a living entity which never dies, can grow to gargantuan size by merging with other legal documents, and can spend money by the millions to elect representatives who will pass the laws to benefit the corporation. Go to the website www.opensecrets.org to see who gets how much from which industry and see how it turns into beneficial legislation for that industry.

Some will say that corporations should have this power because they hire people who then prosper. Take a look around at our world today. Where is the middle class whose jobs have disappeared? Where is the household which has one employed parent who can earn a living and support a family? Where is the healthcare which should be affordable for all and not hijacked by profit-hungry corporations?

It was stated at the Democracy Day event that none of the local elected officials in Defiance get money from corporations. That may well be so, but many of the problems facing local officials filter down because of the corporate money spent at the state and federal levels which causes those problems.

Dolores Whitman
rural Bryan
 

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