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The leek: a satirical take

By Horace Heller Hedley, IV

Breaking new ground in the movement to give corporations the same rights as people, the state of Texas has become the first to impose the death penalty on a corporation. On midnight of February 1, Lone Star Diesel and Fixins’ had its Articles of Incorporation blown to pieces by shotgun fire, in the first known state-sanctioned execution of a non-human entity.

Illustration by Christopher Epling.

Illustration by Christopher Epling.

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The first 200 years in court

The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights created government and rights of, for  and by the people. Nearly since their creation, however, these documents have been under assault by corporate interests, which have attempted to connect corporate rights to citizen rights. Writing during the early republic, Thomas Jefferson warned“I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

With apologies to Mr. Jefferson, here’s a condensed walk through two centuries of court cases that have incrementally given corporations the powers allotted to the people. Continue reading »

 

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 »

 

By Joy Arnold

Just as we are marveling at the inability of Congress to protect the environment and provide reforms in health care, financial structures, and election law, a recent Supreme Court ruling has affirmed our suspicions that the road block to congressional action is powerful corporations and their ability to obstruct the democratic process. Giving corporations even more power, last month the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the government has no power to prohibit corporate spending in candidate elections, overruling earlier precedents regarding the First Amendment rights of corporations.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205 case has just written the newest chapter in corporate personhood, a legal concept that corporations are persons and entitled to the rights of citizens. Continue reading »

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