Syracuse based “Move To Amend of Syracuse & CNY” has succeeded in lobbying the Syracuse Common Council to pass a resolution in favor of overturning ‘Citizens United’. The ‘Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling established artificial legal entities to be entitled to the same rights and protections as natural persons, and has led to much abuse in public elections campaign financing.
The title of the resolution is:
“Resolution of the Common Council to the Governor of the State of New York, the New York State Assembly, the New York State Senate, and the United States Congress in Support of the Passage of a Constitutional Amendment to Prevent the Corruption of Money in Politics by Overturning the Supreme Court’s Decision in ‘Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission’ and Related Cases.”
“BE IT RESOLVED, that this Common Council of the City of Syracuse, New York supports an amendment to the United States Constitution to establish that (1) artificial legal entities are not entitled to the same rights and protections as natural persons under the Constitution; and (2) spending money to influence elections is not ‘free speech’ as defined under the First Amendment, assuring the power of federal, state and local governments to limit, regulate, and require disclosure of all the sources of all money spent to influence elections….”
This is the core statement of the resolution passed today by the Syracuse Common Council by a 9 – 1 vote. Portions of the resolution as submitted by Move To Amend were rewritten by the city’s Department of Law, but the resolution was not weakened and remains true to the original intent and spirit. Syracuse now joins 654 other municipalities in this call to overturn the court-created doctrines of “corporate personhood” and “money as speech,” which stand behind billions of dollars of corporate ads influencing our elections as well as myriad social ills created by the extension of constitutional rights to corporations.
In addition to petitions signed by 1,107 Syracuse residents, councilors received letters and phone calls of support from the Greater Syracuse Labor Council, individual labor union locals, and the Alliance of Retired Americans. About a dozen local Move To Amend committed activists also received important assistance from the Syracuse Peace Council, The DREAM Freedom Revival, the national Move To Amend Coalition (movetoamend.org), and Public Citizen’s national ‘Democracy is For People’ campaign.