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By Joy Arnold

Record amounts of money spent in November’s election did not always reap as much as its sowers hoped. There were some glorious victories for the rest of us in spite of money.  Across the country in over 150 cities, for example, residents had the opportunity to vote on measures calling for an end to the doctrines of corporate constitutional rights and money as free speech.  In every single town the vote was supportive, often by overwhelming margins. It passed in ultra conservative Pueblo, Colorado, where the city newspaper came out against it, as well as in liberal Boston.

These ballot initiatives follow the 173 municipal governments across the country that have passed such resolutions and 55 organizations that have endorsed the work of Move to Amend, a national coalition of groups building grassroots support for a two-pronged Constitutional amendment that declares corporations are not people and money is not speech, and that therefore both can be regulated. Continue reading »

 

David Cobb informs, inspires crowd at UK

By Joy Arnold

If money can buy a political system, should it be called a “democracy”?  That was one question a crowd of nearly 100 people wrestled with last Thursday night at the University of Kentucky’s Center Theater. The crowd was there to hear attorney-activist David Cobb explain the role of corporations in American history. Cobb, spokesperson for the national organization, Move to Amend (MTA), was invited to Lexington to speak by the Central Kentucky chapter of Move to Amend (CKYMTA).

Born in San Leon, Texas, Cobb worked in construction and as a commercial shrimper before going to college.  Despite growing up in what he calls “rural poverty” in a home that didn’t have a flush toilet, he graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1993, maintained a successful private law practice in Houston for several years and ran for president on the Green Party ticket. These days, Cobb works on the law and research committee of Move to Amend.  He likes it best when people refer to him as an “engaged citizen.” Continue reading »

 

Citizens United two years later

By Joy Arnold

Two years ago, I wrote an article for NoC about the then-new decision from the Supreme Court, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which removed all spending restraints on corporations regarding campaign finance. At that time, NoC readers knew what I was writing about, but if I went much deeper into the population, I got glazed-over stares.

Citizens United was far from the beginning of corporate dominance of our politics and government. The irony is, though it hasn’t always been this way, this has been going on for a long time. Piece by piece, right by right, corporations, with their limitless wealth, have hammered at the courts in order to accumulate every right they need to gain carte blanche–regardless of the cost to the environment or the price in human health and well being. Continue reading »