The elections are over, but the rights of corporations and money remain

Letter to the Editor
cleveland.com / November 11, 2014
http://blog.cleveland.com/letters/2014/11/the_elections_are_over_but_the.html

The mid-term elections are over. Some new faces were elected here and elsewhere while many old faces remain. What didn’t change one iota were constitutional rights of corporate entities and money defined as speech that increasingly trump our democratic rights.

While elections are important ingredients to a degree in achieving desired reforms, they are insufficient by themselves to attaining structural change, no matter who’s elected. Elected officials can’t remove the constitutional shields protecting corporate entities and money as speech. Only a constitutional amendment can (re)assert authentic self-rule. This requires a national diverse social movement that pressures Congress to act.

Voters in Mentor and Chagrin Falls on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed ballot measures calling for such an amendment. They joined voters in Brecksville, Newburgh Heights, Cleveland Heights and Defiance in Ohio, voters in scores of other communities nationally and city councils in hundreds of other localities over the last few years.

Unless the constitutional doctrines anointing corporate entities as “persons” and political money as “free speech” end, the gap between what a majority of the public wants and what elected officials enact will continue to expand on issues affecting our lives, communities and natural world.

Greg Coleridge,
Cuyahoga Falls
Coleridge is Director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee.

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