SF Democratic Party to Consider Citizens United Resolution

Today is the second anniversary of the historic Citizens United decision by the United States Supreme Court. That decision granted corporations unprecedented influence in democratic elections while permitting them to hide their involvement, thereby threatening the voices of the electorate and the very foundation of democracy.

Members of both houses of Congress have introduced amendments to the United States Constitution that would overturn the decision in Citizens United, and limit corporate influence over federal, state and local elections.  A movement is building. More than 100 Occupy protests took place yesterday in opposition to the decision. Dozens of jurisdictions and party organizations nationwide have begun to call for this appalling decision to be overturned and for the abolition of corporate personhood.

I find it outrageous that corporations have been given First Amendment rights, but not the obligations of a civil society. Until we can draft a corporation into the military, or charge it with murder, it should not be afforded the rights of persons under the constitution.

I have written the following resolution for consideration by the San Francisco Democratic Party, to be considered at its meeting this afternoon:

RESOLUTION OF THE SAN FRANCISCO DEMOCRATIC PARTY DECLARING ITS OPPOSITION TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION AND SUPPORTING A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED

WHEREAS, free and fair elections are essential to democracy and effective self-governance; and

WHEREAS, in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission, the United States Supreme Court rolled back federal restrictions on corporate spending in the electoral process, allowing unlimited corporate spending to influence elections, candidate selection and policy decisions; and

WHEREAS, the Citizens United decision granted corporations unprecedented influence in democratic elections while permitting them to hide their involvement, thereby threatening the voices of the electorate and the foundation of democracy; and

WHEREAS, the Citizens United decision may supersede state and local efforts to regulate corporate activity in their campaign finance laws; and

WHEREAS, corporations have used the “rights” bestowed upon them by the courts to overturn democratically enacted laws that were passed at municipal, state and federal levels to curb corporate abuse, thereby impairing local governments’ ability to protect their citizens against corporate harms to the environment, to health, to workers, to independent businesses, to local and regional economies; and

WHEREAS, members of both houses of the United States Congress have introduced proposed amendments to the United States Constitution that would overturn the decision in Citizens United, and limit corporate influence over federal, state and local elections; now therefore be it

RESOLVED: that the San Francisco Democratic Party hereby declares its opposition to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED: that the San Francisco Democratic Party calls on Congress to approve an amendment to the United States Constitution that would overturn the decision in Citizens United, limit corporate influence over federal, state and local elections, and abolish corporate personhood; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED: that the San Francisco Democratic Party calls on other communities and jurisdictions to join in this action by passing similar resolutions.

UPDATE as of 6pm, January 21: The San Francisco Democratic Party approved the resolution at its meeting this afternoon and forwarded it to the state party for its consideration.

7 thoughts on “SF Democratic Party to Consider Citizens United Resolution

  1. Of all the Resolutions I’ve read, I like this one the most. Concise, powerful, to the point. Well done.

    What was the outcome of the vote?

    I would like to propose a similar Resolution to the Arizona Democratic Party.

    • Doug – the resolution was approved with an almost unanimous vote. Please feel free to plagiarize it! And thanks for the compliments.

      • Alix,

        I’ve just submitted a similar resolution for Az Dem Party consideration at our April 21 State Committee meeting (earliest it can be considered). I utilized your resolution, with some minor modifications and additions which I’ve gleaned from others. I anticipate it’s adoption. Thanks!

        Doug

  2. Doug – the resolution was approved with an almost unanimous vote. Please feel free to plagiarize it! And thanks for the compliments.

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