Over the past few decades, our Supreme Court has been slowly giving corporations more and more influence in our government. From Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 to Citizens United v. the FEC in 2010, corporations have increasingly been given the freedom to spend money freely and secretly in our elections and we have witnessed the overwhelming political power that they have consequently held.
Fortunately, thousands of American citizens are waking up and speaking out against giving away our democracy to Big Business. The Occupy Movement has changed the public discourse across the nation and created the momentum needed to successfully reclaim the power that our founding fathers had intended to belong to the people, not corporations.
On Nov. 18, 2011, Congressman Ted Deutch introduced the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment (H. J. Res. 90) which would clarify that corporations are not people with constitutionally-protected free speech rights and prevents them from using their profits to sway our elections. Then on Dec. 8, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a companion bill, the Saving American Democracy Amendment (S.J. Res 33). Now we finally have a concrete solution to the problem of corporate greed steering our democracy away from the will of the people.
A constitutional amendment is of course a large undertaking, but since corporate influence is so greatly seeped in our current government we must make sure that we remove it completely and permanently. As Senator Sanders stated in his speech introducing the bill, “The US Constitution is an extraordinary document, which has served our country well for over two hundred years and in my view, it should not be amended often. But, in light of the disastrous Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision, in the Citizens United case. I see no alternative but a constitutional amendment.”