Will LA Lead in Reining In Corporate Political Donations?

LOS ANGELES—As everyone knows, besides the outright pro-censorship groups in American society, the one group that's done the most to suppress adults' freedom of sexual speech is conservative Republicans at all levels of government—and not coincidentally, they're also the biggest recipients of corporate campaign contributions, thanks to the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. But at its meeting tomorrow, the Los Angeles City Council may vote to spearhead a move to change that reality.

On Tuesday, December 6 at 10 am, the Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on a resolution that calls on Congress to begin the process to amend the U.S. Constitution to make it clear that only living persons, not corporations, are endowed with constitutional rights, and to restrict the corporations' ability to flood political candidates' campaigns with money whose main purpose is to sway those politicians to support the donors' conservative (read: anti-adult) political and social agendas.

"We think corporate personhood is the biggest issue that's facing our democracy," said Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and long-time progressive activists. "We are at a crisis point where corporations control so much in this country …it's simply not possible to have a democratic system where the voices of people are drowned out by the voices of corporations, which exist pretty much just to make as much money as they can."

"We are experiencing overwhelming support for what may be a historic turning point in restoring a voice to the voters and setting an example for the rest of the country," said Mary Beth Fielder, Coordinator of Move To Amend LA. "This action would provide the basis for overturning the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission."

Move to Amend’s strategy is to pass community resolutions across the nation through city councils and through direct vote by ballot initiative.

Pictured: Remember these conservatives? They all got massive corporate donations—and some got elected because of them!

"Our plan is build a movement that will drive this issue into Congress from the grassroots," stated Move to Amend spokesperson Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap. "The American people are behind us on this and these campaigns help our federal representatives see that we mean business. Our very democracy is at stake."

Among the organizations which support Move to Amend are Common Cause, Occupy LA, LA County Federation of Labor, Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Environmental Caucus of the CA Democratic Party, Southern California Americans for Democratic Action, MoveOn LA, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, Democracy for America, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, AFSCME 36, LA Green Machine and California Clean Money Campaign.

Move to Amend is calling for all interested Los Angeles residents to flood the city council chambers on Tuesday. The hearing will take place at 10 am at City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles 90012 in the John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340. So if you're not doing anything more pressing, why not join in the fun? And for those who can't make it in person, click here to send an email to your local councilmember supporting the Move to Amend action.

And for an animated representation of what this all means, click here.