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“Corporations are people, my friends.” That’s what he said in August during a stump speech and it reveals so much about where the head and heart of Mit Romney really is. He is so far removed from ordinary folk that he fails to understand that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which corroborates his belief has made it very difficult for the rest of us to be heard above the sound of millions being spent by corporations to sway elections.
Regardless of political affiliation, We the People understand that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Across all parties, a full 62 percent specifically oppose Citizens United. A whopping 85 percent of voters say that corporations have too much influence over the political system, and 93 percent say that average citizens have too little. This is power and it will reverse the Roberts Court decision.
A little history tells us that the the American people have been forced several times to amend the Constitution to reverse the damage caused by the Supreme Court when it makes decisions that act against the democratic process.
In 1857, in the Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court ruled that white supremacy was built into the Constitution. After the Civil War, that infamous decision was reversed through the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.
In 1875, in Minor v. Hapersett, the Court ruled that the Equal Protection Clause did not protect the right of women to vote. In response, the suffragists committed civil disobedience and accomplished passage in 1920 of the 19th Amendment.
In 1937, in Breedlove v. Suttles, the Court rejected an Equal Protection attack on the imposition of poll taxes as a condition for voting, but the Civil Rights Movement finally won passage of the 24th Amendment in 1964 banning poll taxes in federal elections.
So what we are doing now is not new. Today the state legislatures of six states have already passed amendments calling for the reversal of the Citizens United decision (Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland and California). In another 20 states such amendments are awaiting action in one or both houses of the legislature. The number of local resolutions passed by city councils, county boards of commissioners (including our own), political parties (including both of ours) and other organizations has entered three digits.
It is time now for Colorado voters to stand up and join this populist movement. By passing Amendment 65, We the People of Colorado will have said that our legislature must propose and support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that allows Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending. There is a proud tradition of activism to be upheld. Let’s get Money out of Politics! November 6 is the time to do it.
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