Money and free speech

As a result of the Supreme Court decision re Citizens United, corporations and billionaires can spend unlimited money in political campaigns. The Court decided that restrictions would suppress political speech. Opponents argue that the principle of free speech does not mean that organizations are free to control the media. It is not simple to resolve the issue, as this  article on Wikipedia makes clear.  A group of Vermonters proposes to start the dialogue by voting on the issue in Town meetings. Here is their website and this is the petition

MARCH 2012 TOWN MEETING PETITION 

The undersigned hereby petition the Selectboard of the Town of ..................... to warn the resolution below for Town Meeting, March 6, 2012.

In light of the United States Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that equates money with speech and gives corporations rights constitutionally intended for natural persons, shall the town of Jericho urge the Vermont Congressional Delegation and the U.S. Congress to propose a U.S. Constitutional amendment for the States' consideration which provides that money is not speech, and that corporations are not persons under the U.S. Constitution, that the General Assembly of the State of Vermont pass a similar resolution, and that the town send its resolution to Vermont State and Federal representatives within thirty days of passage of this measure.

On Bill Frank's website is a printable version of the petition. 

More information

  • Robert Reich video about Citizens United
  • MoveToAmend founder David Cobb and Ben & Jerry discuss on VPR the need for an amendment.
  • Tom Ashbrook interviews on NPR Lawrence Lessig,  author of "Republic Lost, How Money Corrupts Congress."
  • Senator Bernie Sanders' proposed Constitutional Amendment
  • Will Obama Issue an Order Exposing Big Corporate Political Spenders in Citizens United Era?," Alternet, 1-10, 2012.
  • Survey Shows Strong Support for Amendment Overturning Citizens United," American Constitution Society,1- 21, 2011
  • How Cities and States are Sticking It to Citizens United," Yes! 1- 5, 2012.
  • All these sources are supporting the petition. We would like to refer as well to sources that are critical. If you know some, please send the link to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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