New York City Council takes aim at corporate personhood
Joining Montana’s Supreme Court and the City of Los Angeles, the New York City Council yesterday passed a resolution protesting the infamous ‘Citizens United’ Supreme Court case that gave corporations political free speech rights.
“As our support of this resolution demonstrates, restoring confidence in government and strengthening democratic participation is a core principle of the Progressive Caucus,” they wrote in opposition to the 2010 decision that unleashed a tidal wave of private cash into the public electoral sphere.
We believe that corporations should not share the same rights as people, that unlimited and unreported corporate donations meant to sway the electoral process should not be considered freedom of speech, and that the government should regulate the raising and spending of money by corporations intended to influence elections. We cannot allow corporate money to manipulate our democracy.
The council ends by asking Congress “to take action to protect our democracy against corporate control and return the election process to the people.”
Congress of course does not have to listen to a city council, but this resolution, as well as others that have passed or are currently being debated, should send a direct signal that the American people and their representatives are not keen on letting private companies pull campaign strings through PACs, Super PACs or any other “independent” organization.
As RawStory reports, John Bonifaz, the co-founder and director of Free Speech For People, described the Council’s resolution as a “great victory for democracy.”
“We are already seeing traction from people across the political spectrum who want to stand up to and say it is time to get money out of politics, it is time to make clear that corporations are not people with constitutional rights,” he said on MSNBC yesterday.