President Obama Calls for Overturning Citizens United

You may have heard the news. President Obama has called for a Constitutonal Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010.

This is good but is not what the national Move to Amend campaign is proposing as a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Move to Amend is calling for an amendment which says:

– Only human beings, not corporations, possess constitutional rights
– Money is not equivalent to speech and, therefore, campaign contributions and spending can be regulated.

Simply to overturn Citizens United would return us politically to January 20, 2010 — the day before the Supreme Court decision. Remember those “glorious” days?

– When banking corporations through lobbying, political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments  and re-writing regulations created financial conditions that resulted in a global financial implosion?
– When oil corporations through through lobbying, political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments  and re-writing regulations gutted environmental standards concerning drilling in the Gulf that resulted in one of the worst (and ongoing) environmental catastrophes in our nation’s history
– When multinational corporations through lobbying, and political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments pushed through so-called “trade agreements” making it easier to ship jobs and factories overseas
– When dairy corporations could shield themselves through their right “not to speak” from disclosing genetically modified organisms in food?
– When major corporationss shielding by the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment could threaten to sue communities which had the audacity to give preferential treatment to local businesses over big box chains?
– When wealthy individuals through lobbying and political action committee (PAC) contributions/investments pushed through massive tax cuts for themselves, which has resulted in one of the major causes of the spike in the national debt over the last 10 years?
– When…the list goes on and on and on…

The inside-the-beltway nonprofits begin and end by focusing on overturning Citizens United. More and more people at the grassroots, however (more than 250,000 and counting), are focusing on Citizens United as simply the poster child for what has been so wrong with our democratic republic for generations — corporations and wealthy possess too much political power that drowns out the voices and inhibits the ability of the vast majority of people (of all political parties) to have an authentic voice in the shaping of public policy.

Move to Amend is part of a growing national movement for nonviolent political social change. We must be aware of efforts to coopt the movement or “bait and switch” efforts that profess one thing (i.e. ending all never intended constitutional rights) but propose only a partial solution (i.e. overturning Citizens United). We have to become educated, sophisticated and agitated to ensure that the considerable effort required to amendment is worth the while.

There are hundreds of communities which all ready have or are in the process of passing city council resolutions and or citizen initiatives calling for this more fundamental approach. I invite you all to join the cause.

Corporations are not people. Money is not speech. Move to Amend.

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URGENT ACTION ALERT: Contact Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted

Tell Jon Husted to Let Citizens in 2 Ohio Communities Vote on Ballot
Measures Addressing Corporate Personhood & Money as Speech

Move to Amend supporters in Brecksville and Newburgh Heights need your help! 

CONTACT OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN HUSTED 
Phone: (614) 466-2655, or Toll Free (877) 767-6446
Email form at http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/agency/about/contactall.aspx 

BACKGROUND 

Citizens in Brecksville this summer collected more than enough valid signatures on an initiative petition to qualify for this November’s ballot. The citizen initiative calls for 

  • Creation of one city-sponsored public hearing on a “Democracy Day” every other year to examine the impact of political contributions of corporations, unions, PACS and Super-PACS on the City. 
  • A letter from the Mayor to federal elected officials stating that Brecksville citizens support a constitutional amendment declaring that only human beings, not corporations, are legal persons with constitutional rights and money is not equivalent to speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech. 

Meanwhile, Newburgh Heights Village Council voted unanimously this summer in support of an ordinance introduced by the Mayor asking voters to support: 

  • An annual Village-sponsored public hearing on the impact of political contributions by corporations, unions, PACs and Super PACs on the Village. 
  • A written notice from the Mayor be sent every year to their federal elected officials stating that the citizens of the Village support a constitutional amendment declaring that only human beings, not corporations, are legal persons with constitutional rights and money is not equivalent to speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.   
WHAT HAPPENED
On August 28, the Cuyahoga County Board of Election split 2-2 to whether both items should appear on the ballot (both Democrats supported the measures, both Republican opposed them). The tiebreaking vote now rests with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Oddly, the Board lumped both measures together in one vote – even though their exact language, paths to gain ballot access, and opposition to them are different.

The Mayor and Council of Brecksville opposed the citizen initiative — claiming the Ohio constitution restricts municipal initiative powers to only questions which municipalities can control by legislative action. They charge limiting federal campaign spending or amending the U.S. Constitution are not issues the City can control. There was no direct opposition to the Newburgh Hts. ordinance. In fact, the Board several weeks ago approved summary language or their ordinance to appear on the November ballot.

5 TALKING POINTS

Mr. Husted. I urge you to break the tie vote of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in support of the citizens of Brecksville and Village of Newburgh Heights who wish to place measures on this November’s ballot.

1. The CENTRAL ISSUE before you is not about whether municipalities can control federal campaign spending or amend the U.S. Constitution. It’s about whether voters can under the Ohio Constitution authorize municipal public officials to (a) hold a public hearing – regardless of the topic, and (b) write a letter to state or federal public officials – regardless of the topic.

2. IT’S STANDARD PRACTICE for municipalities to hold public hearings either during or separate from their regular council meetings. It’s standard practice for councils and mayors to send communications (either in the form of passed resolutions or separate letter by Mayors) calling on state and federal officials to support or oppose a wide range of topics that municipalities have no direct control over – i.e. health care, guns, abortion, labor rights, federal trade agreements, even support for various organizations and groups.

3. The citizen initiative is one of several democratic reforms passed by Ohio voters 100 years ago in 1912 to directly create meaningful laws (i.e. something more significant that determining the state flower or fight song). If citizens can’t authorize public officials to hold one public hearing and write one letter every year or every other year, then a mockery has been made of the intent and spirit of the democratic power vested in voters through the citizen initiative.

4. In the case of Newburgh Heights, their Mayor and Village council unanimously supported placing their ordinance on the ballot. If they had simply passed the measure themselves, it would have been constitutional. But by letting voters decide directly, some charge that it’s unconstitutional! This makes no sense. What does it say about our state and democracy that elected officials have more democratic rights that the citizens who elect them?

5. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. Voters and public officials have fulfilled their constitutional duty to qualify these measures for the ballot. Voters should determine the ultimate outcome of these measures.

CONTACT OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE JON HUSTED
Phone: (614) 466-2655, or Toll Free (877) 767-6446)
Email form at http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/agency/about/contactall.aspx

Thank you!

p.s. Move to Amend Ohio Statewide Conference Call
Saturday, September 1, 4:00 PM
Toll free #: 866-256-1242 / Access Code: 31815689


MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR August 27 – September 2


AUGUST 29
1786 – BEGINNING OF SHAY’S REBELLION
Sparked in large part by personal debt, nonpayment of salaries, and collapse of the national currency, farmers in Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays attack a US Armory. The lack of a focused response to the uprisings led to calls to reforming the Articles of Confederation. The Philadelphia Convention, which followed, rather than reforming the Articles of Confederation, created a new more centralized Constitution. While less democratic in many ways (as it was drafted by and gave exclusive rights ony to white, male landowners), the new Constitution empowered the government to coin its own money, separate from banks and financial institutions.
2005 – DEATH OF JUDE THADDEUS WANNISKI, AMERICAN JOURNALIST, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR AND POLITICAL ECONOMIST
“There was a big party at Morgan Stanley after the Mexican peso devaluation, people from all over Wall Street came, they drank champagne and smoked cigars and congratulated themselves on how they pulled it off and they made a fortune.”
AUGUST 30
1930 – BIRTH OF WARREN BUFFET, INVESTOR
“Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.”
AUGUST 31
1959 – ROBERT B. ANDERSON, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY UNDER PRESIDENT EISENHOWER
“When a bank makes a loan it simply adds to the borrowers deposit account in the bank by the amount of the loan.  The money is not taken from anyone else’s deposit; it was not previously paid in to the bank by anyone.  It’s new money, created by the bank for the use of the borrower.” August 31, 1959
SEPTEMBER 1
1764 – PASSAGE OF BRITISH CURRENCY ACT
The Act banned Colonial paper money as legal tender, severally limiting commerce and widening the trade deficit between England and the Colonies. Colonists were forced by pay their taxes only in gold or silver. Many, including Benjamin Frankln, claimed this was one of the major triggers, if not the major trigger, of the Revolutionary War.
1894 – DATE AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION CALLS ON BANKS TO STOP LOANING MONEY TO CAUSE FORECLOSURES
American Bankers Association memo  (as submitted in the Congressional Record): “On September 1, 1894, we will not renew our loans under any consideration. On September 1st we will demand our money. We will foreclose and become mortgages in possession.  We can take two-thirds of the farms west of the Mississippi, and thousands of them east of the Mississippi as well, at our own price… Then the farmers will become tenants as in England…”
SEPTEMBER 2
1839 – BIRTH OF HENRY GEORGE,  ECONOMIST, POLITICIAN AND AUTHOR OF “PROGRESS AND POVERTY”
“[I]t is the business of government to issue money…The evils entailed by wildcat banking in the United States are too well remembered to need reference. The loss and inconvenience, the swindling and corruption that flowed from the assumption by each State of the Union of the power to license banks of issue ended with the war, and no -one would now go back to them. Yet instead of doing what every public consideration impels us to, and assuming wholly and fully as the exclusive function of the General Government the power to issue money, the private interests of bankers have, up to this, compelled us to the use of a hybrid currency, of which a large part, though guaranteed by the General Government, is issued and made profitable to corporations. The legitimate business of banking – the safekeeping and loaning of money, and the making and exchange of credits, is properly left to individuals and associations; but by leaving to them, even in part and under restrictions and guarantees, the issuance of money, the people of the United States suffer an annual loss of millions of dollars, and sensible increase the influences which exert a corrupting effect upon their government.”
1877 – BIRTH OF FREDERICK SODDY, NOBEL PRIZE RECIPIENT (CHEMISTRY) AND MONETARY REFORM AUTHOR
“There is nothing left now for us but to get ever deeper and deeper into debt to the banking system in order to provide the increasing amounts of money the nation requires for its expansion and growth. Our money system is nothing more than a confidence trick… The “money power” which has been able to overshadow ostensibly responsible governments not the power of the merely ultra-rich but is nothing more or less than a new technique to destroy money by adding and withdrawing figures in bank ledgers, without the slightest concern for the interests of the community or the real role money ought to perform therein … to allow it to become a source of revenue to private issuers is to create, first, a secret and illicit arm of government and, last, a rival power strong enough to ultimately overthrow all other forms of government. … An honest money system is the only alternative.”
———
Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt?
Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice.
This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development.
Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact
monetarycalendar@yahoo.com  For more information, visit http://www.afsc.net/economiccrisis.html 

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR August 20-26


AUGUST 20


1935 – BIRTH OF RON PAUL, US CONGRESSMAN
Referring to the Federal Reserve, he stated, “maybe there’s too much power in the hands of those who control monetary policy?  The power to create the financial bubbles.  The power to maybe bring the bubble about.  The power to change the value of the stock market within minutes.  That to me is just an ominous power and challenges the whole concept of freedom and liberty and sound money.”


AUGUST 23

1935 – PASSAGE OF BANKING ACT
The law made the FDIC a permanent agency and raised the deposit insurance level to $5,000.
The Federal Reserve System was reformed with the transformation of the Federal Reserve Board of Directors to the Board of Governors. All board members were appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate and the term of service was expanded to 14 years. Open-market operations were formalized in the Federal Open Market Committee and the Governors were allowed to determine interest rates and bank reserve requirements. These “reforms,” however, were window dressing. The power and authority to issue money as debt was retained in the hands of the private Federal Reserve and private banking corporations. Keeping reserve requirement decisions in the hands of the Fed only invited speculation and risk (reserve requirements are the ratio of money banks lend in excess of money they actually possess “in reserve” to cover loans. Banks loan many times the amount of funds in their reserve).

AUGUST 24

1916 – BIRTH OF ROBERT DE FREMERY, AUTHOR, RIGHTS VS PRIVILEGES
“It is not obvious that there are serious defects in our banking system and our tax system that deprive most of us of fundamental rights and bestow enormous privileges on others? How many riots must we endure?  How many prisons must we build?  How many of our rights must we lose?  How many of our young people must be sent away to fight in foreign wars before we decide that enough is enough?”
———-

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt?
Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice.
This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development.
Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact monetarycalendar@yahoo.com
  For more information, visit http://www.afsc.net/economiccrisis.html

Stampede to Amend Campaign

Move to Amend has launched an “Amend-O-Matic” national tour to travel the United States as part of the group’s “Stampede to Amend” campaign. The Amend-O-Matic is part art spectacle, part money-stamping machine, part road-worthy vehicle, and will allow participants to insert their dollar bills to be printed with messages calling for an amendment to the US Constitution. Slogans to be printed include, “Corporations are not people,” “Money is not speech;” and “Not to be used for bribing politicians.”

Very cool!

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR August 13-19

AUGUST 14

1935 – SOCIAL SECURITY ACT PASSES
Social Security, providing monetary benefits to older Americans and permanently disabled, is considered the single most important poverty fighting legislation in the history of the nation.

1989 –DEATH OF ROBERT B. ANDERSON, SECRETARY OF TREASURY UNDER PRESIDENT EISENHOWER
“We are completely dependent on the commercial banks.  Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit.  If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve.  We are absolutely without a permanent money system.”

AUGUST 15

1769 – BIRTH OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE
“When a government is dependent upon banks for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
 
1971 – PRESIDENT NIXON CLOSES “GOLD WINDOW”

Richard Nixon issues Executive Order 11615 freezing wages and prices. Foreign-held paper dollars are no longer converted for gold, thereby nullifying the Bretton Woods Agreement.
 
———–

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt?
Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice.
This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development.
Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact monetarycalendar@yahoo.com  For more information, visit http://www.afsc.net/economiccrisis.html