Sunday May 19, 2013
Corporate Personhood and Money as Speech Challenged in SalemSalem-News.com
Salem City Council To receive November Referral Request Monday.
(SALEM) - Members of Marion Polk Move To Amend (MPMTA), a local affiliate of the national Move To Amend (MTA) coalition, will present a request for a November ballot referral by the Salem City Council on Monday, June 25.
The MTA coalition is dedicated to reclaiming our democracy from the corrupting effects of undue corporate influence by amending the U.S. Constitution to establish that only people are entitled to constitutional rights, and that regulating political contributions and expenditures is not equivalent to limiting free speech.
America was founded on the principle that our government is of, by and for the people. The single greatest threat to this principle is the rapidly expanding role of corporate money and influence in our elections and government, and by far the most alarming example of that threat is the recent Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, which supports unlimited “independent” spending on political campaigns at all levels, local, state and national, based on 1st Amendment free speech protections.
The MPMTA referral poses an advisory question: Shall Salem voters instruct Congress to amend the Constitution to establish constitutional rights only for people and limit political spending?
Kerry Topel, chair of MPMTA, said “We want the citizens of Salem to have an opportunity to vote on this important national question.” Over 250 local jurisdictions, including Corvallis, Eugene, Portland and Yachats, and 5 state legislatures (Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont) have adopted resolutions or ordinances in support of it.
Move To Amend's coalition includes over 400 local, state and national organizations, and over 250,000 people actively involved in the effort. MPMTA has over 450 local supporters, including businesses, churches and neighborhood associations. A national groundswell is emerging for such an amendment, and MPMTA wants to hear from Salem voters, too.
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