On First Anniversary of Citizens United v FEC Decision, Cleveland Citizens Call for Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Decision

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 01/20/2011 - 23:00.

On First Anniversary of Citizens United v FEC Decision, Cleveland Citizens Call for Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Decision

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2011

CLEVELAND, OH – Early this morning, citizen activists from across the Greater Cleveland area gathered on two highway overpasses to display massive banners that read “END CORPORATE RULE”. The action, one of hundreds across the country, was held to mark the first anniversary of the Citizens United v FEC Decision. Concerned citizens gathered for the action to raise awareness in the community and call for a Constitutional Amendment to reverse the decision. "The outrageous, misguided and illogical Citizens United decision has empowered corporations and endangered our democracy," said Peter Schanz, Move to Amend Ohio activist. “Secretive corporate and billionaire donors exerted an outsized influence over Election 2010. Their spending now casts a pall over all lawmaking, because any members of Congress who challenge corporate interests know they now risk facing a barrage of attack ads in the next election. And all parties agree that 2010 was just a warm-up for 2012. This is no way to run a democracy. That's why a growing movement is working for passage of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United."

“Corporations are not people,” said Greg Coleridge of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee and Move to Amend Ohio organizer. “They should not possess Bill of Rights protections, including freedom of speech, that were intended solely for human beings. Granting corporations free speech and other Bill of Rights and constitutional rights desecrates our democracy -- threatening the ability of real human beings to govern themselves.”

A year has passed since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and the damage is clear:

  • Spending by outside groups jumped to $294.2 million in the 2010 election cycle from just $68.9 million in the 2006 cycle. The uncharacteristically high spending in 2010 presages blockbuster spending in the upcoming 2012 elections
  • Nearly half of the money spent ($138.5 million, or 47.1 percent) came from only 10 groups;
  • Groups that did not provide any information about their sources of money collectively spent $135.6 million - 46.1 percent of the total spent by outside groups during the election cycle;
  • Two "Crossroads" groups formed by Republican strategist Karl Rove combined to spend $38.2 million, more than any single group. Next was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at  $31.2 million
  • Of 75 congressional contests in which partisan power changed hands, spending by outside groups favored the winning candidate in 60 contests.

Activists gathered on pedestrian overpasses during the morning commute.

The massive orange banners could be seen passing MLK Blvd from I-90 Westbound and passing West Tech Lofts from I-90 Eastbound.

This event is one of over a hundred local events taking place Jan. 20-22 across the country, ranging from “Death of Democracy” funeral procession and demonstrations at state capitols to house parties, public petitioning and protests at corporate buildings, and a march and rally on the Ohio Statehouse Friday. In Washington, D.C., there will be a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol, located across from the U.S. Supreme Court, followed by a delivery to Congress of over 700,000 petition signatures calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. A “For the People” summit, focused on the harmful effects of the decision and efforts to overturn it, will take place immediately after.

These events are part of a nationwide effort led by Move To Amend, Backbone Campaign, Public Citizen, and other national groups, to raise awareness of the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics and to organize people to mobilize support for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision.

Move to Amend Ohio (www.movetoamendohio.org) is the state chapter of the national coalition (www.movetoamend.org) seeking to amend the US Constitution to abolish corporate constitutional rights.

Contact:

Peter Schanz (216) 255-2184
Greg Coleridge (614) 704-2481

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Corporate Rule

We are all sadly living under the tyranny of unrestrained corporate rule--another definition for corporate is mafia:

http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2011/01/cuyahoga_county_engineer_robert_klaiber_might_remain_under_new_regime.html

I don't even want to try and post this at Cleveland.com, so here's my response to the Klaiber article above (please also read comments by CatchFive and MrX61:

This is all so depressing and more reason for any one who has tried to provide transparency in NEO to look elsewhere to live.  Catchfive and Mr61x make salient points.  It doesn't matter that Mr. Klaiber has an engineering degree or that other folks implicated in this mess have law degrees.  There is no such thing as respectability or integrity anymore.  The New Jersey connection should be obvious--Jim Rokakis has a law degree.  He changed the laws to allow the NJ company Plymouth Park Services (see James Florio former NJ Gov) to selectively buy liens on tax foreclosed properties in NEO.  This outfit and Safeguard Properties (See Chairman Robert Klein) decimated Cleveland and East Cleveland properties long before the sub-prime loan rampage.
 
Also, we have never been able to actually know who is on the Board of Revisions panels and what they actually do-- now also under scrutiny.  County website never listed the entire make up of panels under Rokakis as treasurer and Plain Dealer won't even print it.  One of those names was Chris Florio.  No one wants to get into the underlying NJ connection, because we have several mafia family-style operations in NEO of all nationality groups.  We can't continue to  think that the only crime was handing jobs and contracts out to friends and family a la Russo and Dimora, when the really big money was made in real estate deals facilitated by CDCs, HUD monies and ODOT monies.  New Quincy Juvenile Center, Metro Hospital, Euclid corridor, Veteran's Administration, Forlani and Opportunity Corridor all figure into the shady network.  God save us all.

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