We are awash in political money. In fact, there has always been money in politics, but now it is a flood. Why?
Because of several Supreme Court decisions, made over a number of years, which established that legal entities like corporations and labor unions, have "personhood." The courts also supported the concept that money is just another form of speech. A recent Supreme Court decision overturned legislation that attempted to limit content, disclosure and money that originated from corporate entities.
The bottom line - corporations and labor unions have the same First Amendment rights as any citizen. I have the right to state my views without government interference in this newspaper because my speech is protected by the First Amendment. Corporations generally don't use their First Amendment rights to write articles in the comments section of a local newspaper. Instead, they exercise their First Amendment rights by spending unlimited amounts of money to influence elections and lobby Congress.
Further, the money can be donated to special entities not required to disclose their donor lists. It has also been established that foreign corporations will have the right to influence elections because as corporations they have free speech rights to donate to these special entities anonymously.
And we as citizen are not allowed to even find out the extent of corporate, labor union or foreign influence over our elections and legislative policy decisions.
If we want a democracy for the people, we need to overturn these Supreme Court rulings. The only way to move forward is to pass a constitutional amendment that will stop the flow of money. Go to movetoamend.org and sign the petition to demand Congress take action.
Mary Lou Yocum