WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 11, 2013) — Legislation to be introduced Monday by Congressman Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) aims to take corporate money out of politics and give the power back to the American people.
The “We the People Amendment” seeks to overturn “Citizens United,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to make independent political expenditures. Ben Manski of the executive committee of the group “Move to Amend” said his organization’s view is that rights recognized under the Constitution belong only to people.
“What has happened because of ‘Citizens United’ is that corporations have been allowed to have free rein in the buying and selling of politicians and of our policies, and that’s very dangerous for America,” Manski declared. “It’s dangerous for Americans, but it’s also dangerous for the stability of our political system.”
Over the last two years, some 500 local governments across the country have passed resolutions calling for adoption of the “We the People Amendment.” Manski said that now it’s Congress’ turn.
“Everything from education policy to foreign policy, to our working conditions, our wages, everything is impacted by the fact that corporations dominate our government,” he said. “We pass this amendment, we can get corporations out of government and get the people back in.”
While trying to overturn a Supreme Court ruling may seem like a monumental undertaking, Manski says it’s something that people have risen up and done time and again, over the years.
“Whether it’s the issue of whether women are people, whether women have the right to vote – whether, in this case, corporations have speech rights or other Constitutional rights – Americans have stepped forward to correct the federal courts when the courts have gone off course,” he stated. “And that is exactly what’s happened here.”
Rep. Nolan, lead sponsor of the “We the People Amendment,” has said of the measure that it’s time to take the molding of public policy away from corporations and lobbyists and put it back into the hands of the American people.
One estimate put the total cost of the 2012 election at $6 billion, the most expensive in U.S. history.