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PLEDGE TO AMEND CAMPAIGN

            THE PLEDGE TO AMEND CAMPAIGN
  TAKING BACK AMERICA FOR THE PEOPLE


The purpose of the Pledge to Amend campaign is threefold:

1) To inform the public about the critical need to 
Take Back America for the People by getting special interest money out of elections and ending corporate constitutional "rights."  

2) To educate the public about how to pass a constitutional amendment that will be a critical step toward democracy in the US and the world. 

3) To elect candidates for Congress and state legislatures who demonstrate willingness to serve We the People by making support for a strong constitutional amendment a central issue in their campaigns.


FOR A COMPARISON OF AMENDMENTS CLICK HERE.



PLEDGE TO AMEND
MAKING AN AMENDMENT A CAMPAIGN ISSUE

 
To achieve democracy in the United States, we must first make candidates for Congress and state legislatures prove they will put our interests over those of the plutocracy by making them pledge to support an amendment that will at a minimum:
 
1) Ban corporate campaign expenditures.
2) Empower Congress to limit individual campaign expenditures.
3) Abolish corporate constitutional "rights."


HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP MAKE POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE:

1)  Organize groups locally to attend campaign events. Ask all candidates for Congress and state legislatures to make a public pledge to support such an amendment. Frame your questions to educate the audience on the issues of corporate constitutional rights (corporate personhood) and campaign finance.

2)
  In private and in public, educate politicians and voters of the need for an amendment to strip corporations of their key tool to influence elections. It is not enough to give Congress power to regulate what should be illegal. Corporate campaign expenditures can and should be banned outright.

3)  Encourage local activist groups to join this effort. All progress toward social justice, environmental responsibility and general prosperity depend on all of us working to end corporate influence over the US government. 

4) Get political, social, church or other groups to pass resolutions, write letters to the editor and otherwise call on their members of Congress and state legislators to make a pledge.




PLEDGE TO AMEND: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Pledge to Amend (PTA)?
PTA is a campaign to make members of and candidates for Congress take a stand in favor of a constitutional amendment ending corporate constitutional rights (corporate personhood) and establishing that money spent to influence elections is not protected speech. 


Why is it so important to abolish corporate personhood?

Many Supreme Court decisions, including those overturning campaign finance reform, have been based on an activist Supreme Court’s creation of the doctrine that corporations are people with constitutional rights. Among many other consequences, this has led to foreign money being spent to elect candidates who will serve the interests of Saudi oil barons.


Why target just corporations? What about unions?

Unions and nonprofits are also corporations and would be included in this amendment. The point is to end the ability of any corporation, including unions, to contribute general funds to influence the outcome of campaigns. There are no proposals in Congress to date that would eliminate the right of individuals who choose to pool their money to form political action committees set up for the purpose of influencing campaign debates.

Why an amendment instead of legislation?

The Supreme Court has been systematically undermining campaign finance reform with rulings such as Citizens United. It cannot strike down a constitutional amendment.


How can we pass an amendment cutting off campaign funding for those who have to support it? 

That is the whole point of Pledge to Amend. As the campaign gains momentum over several election cycles, it can become a litmus test for anyone seeking election to Congress.


How can we elect a Congress that will pass it by just working at the state level to elect members who will put our interests over those of well-financed donors?

We are organizing quickly in Oregon and expect to go national after PTA gets into full gear.


Won’t this take years?

Yes. How long will depend on how hard we work to get national organizations to promote it.  It will take a grassroots effort to pass an amendment a majority of Americans already support.

SEE CANDIDATES WHO MADE A WRITTEN PLEDGE TO AMEND IN 2012 AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS  WHO HAVE  SPONSORED OR ENDORSED AMENDMENTS INTENDED TO ABOLISH CORPORATE PERSONHOOD AND/OR DECLARE THAT MONEY IS NOT FREE SPEECH.

8 comments:

  1. As Candidate for US Senate from the State of New York, I will diligently work for an ammendment to abolish Corpotate Personhood. This legal fiction which appears with the Slughterhouse Cases in the 1870's is long overdue for a serious challenge. In the instance of the the Slaughter House Cases (4 decisions), granted to corpotatre entities as personhood, a legal fiction. Why were the very first decisions of the HIGHEST COURT in the land the granting of personhood to corporate America? Its hard to imagine that the brand new 14th Ammendment which granted natualization,equal protection of the law and due process to 4 million newly freed Africans in the first instance empowered Corporate enslavers as persons before the law. How very strange, an ammendment which represented the former enslaved providing protection to corporate world as persons under the law!

    In Solidarity,
    Colia L Clark
    New York State Green Party Candidate US Senate

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry I missed this reply to my request for a pledge, Colia. In order to add you to the list I will need you to confirm that you pledge to support an amendment that will not only abolish corporate personhood but declare that money is not speech and that bans all special interest bundled money from elections.

    Your statement is great but does not address the issue of money as speech nor the need for an explicit ban on campaign donations from special interest associations of individuals.

    Just to clarify, the Citizens United and Buckley decisions were not based on free speech "rights" of corporations, so neither abolishing corporate personhood nor declaring that money is not speech are sufficient to get special interest money out of politics, though both are important in and of themselves.

    I just sent you an email to this effect and eagerly await your reply.

    Please let me know if you are aware of other candidates willing to make a pledge who are not on the list.

    In solidarity,

    Rick Staggenborg, MD
    2010 Progressive Party of Oregon candidate for US Senate

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amending the Constitutional to ban "Special interest money" does not get to the root of the problem. Big $$$ in politics is only a symptom of the larger problem--"corporate personhood". We don't need to pledge, we need to MOVE.
    Move to Amend wants to amend the Constitution to say "Corporations are not people and money is not speech." MTA is a coalition of over 200 organizations; you could join us. www.movetoamend.org

    ReplyDelete
  4. I support this idea, and my party,THE GREEN PARTY. has this as a PERMANENT plank in our platform since its inception.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Humboltus. I have a little trouble understanding why MTA believes that corporate personhood is the root of the problem with special interest money in elections. Neither Citizens United nor Buckley v Valejo were decided on the basis of corporate free speech "rights," as I am sure Cobb would tell you.

    Corporate personhood is a separate issue and an important one, which is why I include its abolition in the elements of any amendment that candidates would have to support by taking the Pledge to Amend.

    I have not found it helpful to try to work with MTA because of the steering committee's unwillingness to reconsider the tactical blunder of writing an amendment many people object to and expecting the coalition they "represent" to blindly follow them rather than working with other groups who do not share their narrow agenda:

    http://www.soldiersforpeaceinternational.org/2012/02/how-to-build-movement.html

    Thanks Smith for letting me know that. I realize that the Greens do not allow candidates to take corporate money, but I was not aware that they were expected to support a constitutional amendment. I will have to double check, because the Green candidates I have spoke to did not seem to realize that either.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doctor Rick

    Michael Cavlan RN here. Thank you for your good work. I am sure you have heard of my political critique of MTA and their leadership. As an aside- I will never run for office again. I am in the process of writing a book called "Censorship- A Liberal Value- A Progressive Activist Tale" which should be ready for publication by July.

    There will be a chapter on the Green Party and Move To Amend.

    Keep up the good work Sir.

    In Solidarity

    Michael Cavlan RN
    Minnesota

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks Mike and thanks for all you have done for progressive politics. I am sorry that you are not going to continue the fight as a candidate but obviously you intend to continue to contribute in other ways. I look forward to reading your book.

    It may interest you to know that after all its criticism of Pledge to Amend when I began to promote the idea in early 2012, the steering committee of MTA in its wisdom has launched their own version as of January. Bully for them! Too bad it is a little late to help candidates such as yourself who were trying to make it an issue in a presidential election year, when people were paying attention.

    I look forward to the day when the steering committee of MTA realizes we are all headed to the same destination and we will get there faster by working together than by trying to stifle those who prefer not to wait for their instruction on how and when to proceed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Someone pointed out that You Tube has labeled the video on this page "private." I leave it here because I believe that it was removed for political reasons, as the creator clearly wanted to spread this idea, not make a "private" statement on You Tube.

    ReplyDelete

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