Corporations Are Not People - Jeff Clements

Jeff Clements punctuates the argument in his book that the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision  to ease restrictions on political spending by corporations and labor unions “upended the American ideal that we are a government of people rather than a government  of corporate wealth.”
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
6:30 pm
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It has been a little more than 4½ years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its controversial ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, sharply easing restrictions on political and campaign spending by corporations and labor unions.

The argument over its merits has scarcely subsided.

Supporters hold to the court’s assertion that political speech is “indispensable to decisionmaking in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual.” Jeff Clements is among the opponents — along with President Obama and a majority of the U.S. Senate — who see a ruinously unfair advantage for candidates who can cultivate the wealthiest donors.

Clements, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and the founder of Free Speech for People, a nonpartisan movement to overturn the 2010 decision, makes his case in a discussion of his book, Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy from Big Money and Global Corporations.

The event is co-sponsored by the Kansas City affiliate of Move to Amend. Affiliate organizer Mary Lindsay will make opening remarks.

Citizens United has drawn sharp criticism from across the political spectrum since being handed down by the high court in 2010. Obama condemned it in his State of the Union address later that year — as justices in the audience looked on — and since has endorsed a constitutional amendment to reverse the ruling.