“Corporations are people, my friend.” Well, that’s what GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in Iowa, but he’s no friend of Middle America. The Founding Fathers created this Republic for, by, and of the people—with no fine print that says corporations were to be equal partners. Thomas Jefferson warned, “I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” John Adams advised, “Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.” And in 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall described the status of a corporation according to federal law:
A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. Being the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of creation confers upon it, either expressly, or as incidental to its very existence. These are such as are supposed best calculated to effect the object for which it was created.
Why is this point so important? Last year the Supreme Court reversed decades of legal decisions by ruling corporations (in this case it was a group called Citizens United) were entitled to the same inalienable, God-created constitutional rights that we have as human beings. Under this new Supreme Court mandate, unlimited—and unregulated—corporate political donations are lawfully protected as “free speech.” Your political contribution of, say, $10 or $100 or even $1,000 is now pitted against corporations that can spend $10,000 or $100,000 or, as in a recent case, a business that funneled $1,000,000 to a political action committee that will spend tens of millions of dollars promoting (drum roll) Mitt Romney.
So, what can be done to fight the elitist corporate power brokers? Join in any number of efforts to repeal, through a Constitutional amendment, the dilution of individual rights with corporate privileges. The American Independent Business Alliance countered the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s unrelenting push for increasing corporate political power in the Citizens United case: AMBIA, 222 South Black Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715, phone: 406-582-1255 or visit their website at http://www.amiba.net; Free Speech for People has a number of resources for information and action, including a petition with more than 126,000 names, plus details on the Constitutional Amendment now in Congress, as well as a tool kit for local activities including how to set-up chapters: http://freespeechforpeople.org/