10 Ways to Stop Corporate Dominance of Politics: It's not too late to limit or reverse the impact of the Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
by Fran Korten
The recent Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited corporate spending in politics just may be the straw that breaks the plutocracy's back.
Pro-democracy groups, business leaders, and elected representatives are proposing mechanisms to prevent or counter the millions of dollars that corporations can now draw from their treasuries to push for government action favorable to their bottom line. The outrage ignited by the Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission extends to President Obama, who has promised that repairing the damage will be a priority for his administration.
But what can be done to limit or reverse the effect of the Court's decision? Here are 10 ideas:
1. Amend the U.S. Constitution to declare that corporations are not persons and do not have the rights of human beings. Since the First Amendment case for corporate spending as a free speech right rests on corporations being considered "persons," the proposed amendment would strike at the core of the ruling's justification. The push for the 28th Amendment is coming from the grassroots, where a prairie fire is catching on from groups such as Public Citizen, Voter Action, and the Campaign to Legalize Democracy.
2. Require shareholders to approve political spending by their corporations. Public Citizen and the Brennan Center for Justice are among the groups advocating this measure, and some members of Congress appear interested. Britain has required such shareholder approval since 2000.
3. Pass the Fair Elections Now Act, which provides federal financing for Congressional elections. This measure has the backing of organizations representing millions of Americans, including Moveon.org, the NAACP, the Service Employees International Union, and the League of Young Voters. Interestingly, the heads of a number of major corporations have also signed on, including those of Ben & Jerry's, Hasbro, Crate & Barrel, and the former head of Delta Airlines.
To Read the Rest of the Proposals