Move to Amend aims to undo "corporate personhood" and reverse Citizens United decision listen09/20/10 Sarah Curran
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Former Green Party presidential nominee David Cobb is traveling the state of Florida telling residents about what is making him mad. Cobb is heading the Move to Amend campaign and stopped last weekend in Tampa to talk to residents about the increasing power of transnational corporations. On January 21, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations are persons, essentially giving them the same rights as American citizens. And this has activists like David Cobb worried.
â€œThe citizens united case was around corporate money and elections, and we oppose that. But we also oppose corporations being able to overturn environmental protection laws. We oppose corporations being able to overturn safety and health laws, or worker protection laws. Corporations have hijacked our government and the doctrine of legal person hood is being used to legitimize the ability of corporations to hijack our governments.â€
And Cobb says he isnâ€™t the only one with uncertainties about the unchecked influence of corporations.
â€œPoll after poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that corporations have too much power in our society. 80-90 percent, across political boundaries, principle conservatives and principle liberals believe corporate power is running amok in our society.â€
This issue may hit close to home for Gulf Coast residents. Inventor Skipp Parrish worked with defense organizations to help during the recent oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. He says BPâ€™s tight fist on the matter made a bad disaster worse.
â€œThe people of the United States, through its Constitution and all the years that its been in force control their government, they vote in people to run their government, their government is supposed to be immune from commercial interests. In this case a foreign corporation on the behalf of BP told our government agencies what to do and they did it. â€
Florida Green party co-chair Jane King say this is just the beginning to a long process of bringing together different organizations to fight growing corporate power.
â€œThis is a kick-off event, the kick off to a movement here in Florida. And it is a unification of various groups throughout the state. And we really want everybody to be on board, not just the progressives, but everybody. Cause it concerns all of us, the fact that a corporation would have power over what happens. You can see all the corporate money that goes into elections, and then they control the policies that are enacted upon us. So as green party members we want to make sure that the public policy is really public.â€
Move to Amend will make their next appearance at the Democracy convention in Madison, Wisconsin. Move to amend coordinator Michael Fox says there is one thing that most people can agree on when it comes to corporate person-hood.
â€œIf it doesnâ€™t have a bellybutton it isnâ€™t a personâ€