The Seattle Rolling Rebellion used artful activism to draw attention to getting money out of politics in a fun and engaging way at Greenlake and Woodland park in Seattle. They used giant puppets including a crazy six armed bloated corporate being with an ill-fitting human mask over a money bag scarecrow head and money leaking out everywhere. Each of it's giant hands on a long snaky arm, is held up on a pole by judges with money and corporate logos on the robes and fat cats, sweeping the crowd, and intermittently capturing our Lady Liberty giant puppet. Luckily caped superheros wielding giant pencil swords come to the rescue and, free her.
Move To Amend
On Acronym TV this week, two individuals working to fix our Democracy in crisis. Christina Tobin is the founder and chair of Free & Equal. She has a long history of supporting ballot access, having gathered and defended over 1 million signatures for the Green Party, Constitution Party, Republican Party, Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, Socialist Equality Party and independents. Free & Equal Elections Foundation is a non-partisan grassroots organization, whose mission is to shift the power back to the individual voter through education. Their motto, “More Voices, More Choices.” Daniel Lee is a lifelong activist. He serves on the national leadership team for the group Move to Amend, which is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy; Move To Amend is calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in McCutcheon V. FEC, the court struck down a limit on how much cash an individual could give to all federal candidates during an election cycle. In the 5-4 decision, the majority of justices on the Roberts court ruled that individuals could buy elections. Or, in the words of Chief Justice Roberts, “government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford.” In the dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Bryer, did not hold back in voicing the disgust felt by an overwhelming majority of Americans (if not by a majority of Supreme Court Justices) in writing that the majority’s “legal analysis is faulty: It misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake. It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions. It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign.”
As the late populist and journalist Molly Ivins once said: “It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.” Extending those liberties and constitutional protections to corporations is antithetical to the principles of Democracy. While the Supreme Court has been slowly granting rights of persons to corporation for over 100 years, the phrase “Corporate Personhood” entered the popular lexicon soon after the January 21, 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court Case.