The following is a letter to the editor from a Waltham resident:
Now I've been tired of money's influence in politics for years. Then in 2010, the US Supreme Court's decision that the non-profit corporation Citizens United's First Amendment rights to free speech allowed unlimited independent political donations to campaigns. Now I'm sick and tired.
Then there's the corporatocracy we have in the US where the unbridled wealth of many major corporations are writing the laws of our nation and pulling the puppet strings of many of our elected officials. This is another sign of money's influence in politics that started back in the 19th century and has only gotten worse.
Question 4 on the upcoming November 6th ballot is a non-binding referendum that says, "Shall the state senator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution affirming that (1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and (2) both Congress and the States may place limits on political contributions and political spending?" Question 4 will appear in the Third Middlesex State Senator's district, which includes Waltham, Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Sudbury, Weston, and parts of Lexington and Lincoln. The same question will also appear in other state senate and state representative districts across Massachusetts.
Why should you vote Yes on Question 4? Come to a forum on October 30th, 2012, at 7:00pm through 8:30pm at the Waltham Public Library on 735 Main Street, Waltham MA, in the Lecture Hall on the ground floor to learn why all indicators point to needing a constitutional amendment to repair our broken republic’s constitution and ask your questions.
There is a growing movement to amend the constitution that is being spearheaded by Move To Amend (www.movetoamend.org). Many groups, including Alliance for Democracy, Program on Corporate Law and Democracy, National Lawyers Guild, Veterans for Peace, and others helped start Move To Amend or have signed on seeing the need. The 28th amendment would say two things:
First, corporations and other non-human entities (LLCs, Partnerships, even non-profits like Citizens United) are NOT people and therefore should not benefit from the inalienable rights given to the people in our constitution. Did you know that that OSHA can't make surprise inspections due to corporations saying that the constitution provides them privacy under the 9th amendment so OSHA has to give warning! And that is just one small sample of the personhood rights abuse of corporations.
Second, money is NOT a protected form of free speech and federal, state and local governments can regulate donations to campaigns and candidates. This would throw off the Citizens United US Supreme Court decision.
We need both things to repair our constitution so that the government is actually for we the people, not corporations and monied interests. President Abraham Lincoln, on Nov. 21, 1864 stated, "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." I propose that we are almost there and it is time the people for which this republic was created to fix it.
Please consider voting Yes on Question 4.