Corporations have no human rights — No freedom of speech

Greg Coleridge

Greg Coleridge, representing “Move to Amend,” speaks to a small audience at the Peoria AFL-CIO Labor Temple recently about the national movement to promote a Constitutional Amendment to end “dark money” and corporate control of elections. The movement also seeks to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision ruling that corporations have protected free speech rights. Coleridge is hoping to establish a grass roots chapter in Peoria and will be announcing an upcoming organizational meeting. (PHOTO BY BILL KNIGHT)

BY ELAINE HOPKINS

The “Move to Amend” movement promotes a U.S. Constitutional Amendment that will strip corporations and the wealthy of their power to control elections with their money and control legislation by claiming corporate “rights.”
A speaker from the “Move to Amend” movement, Greg Coleridge, met with a few activists recently, hoping to organize a grass roots chapter in the Peoria Area. The movement aims to “revoke the illegitimate authority of corporate rule.”

A grass roots movement is necessary, Coleridge said, to build support to pass the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. It would state: “Only natural persons have Constitutional Rights.”

That means corporations, which are not people, have no rights and are subject to regulation through federal, state and local laws.

It would also overturn the notorious Citizens United Supreme Count decision, by stating “Money is not Free Speech.” Then governments could regulate, limit or prohibit contributions or expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions. In addition, all permissible contributions and expenditures would be publicly disclosed, the proposed amendment states.

So – no “dark money” influencing elections or legislation.

There are only two ways the amendment could be passed, Coleridge said. Congress could pass it, and that would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate and House. Then three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to ratify it.

Or a Constitutional convention could be called for a specific purpose, but the states would still have to ratify the amendment.

If all this sounds impossible, Coleridge remains optimistic. People are interested, he said. There’s an internet petition to sign, at www.MovetoAmend.org. More than 600 communities have passed resolutions calling for the amendment, and it has been introduced in Congress.

But building a movement from the grass roots up is likely the only way the amendment will become part of the Constitution, he said.

It could make for interesting candidate forums in the municipal elections next spring. Candidates should be asked if they will support this amendment and work to pass a local resolution supporting it.

Meanwhile more meetings will likely take place to organize supporters and pressure elected officials to support this amendment. Stay tuned.

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