Money talks. But it’s time to shut it up.By Tenya Steele
In the Supreme Court Case, Citizens United, the Court ruled for the first time that corporations are guaranteed the same free speech rights as real people to influence elections. The problem is, they have more money. A lot more money.
As the saying goes, “Money talks.” So while many of us exercise our democratic right to vote as a way of expressing themselves, those votes are imperceptible whispers compared to the campaign donations, ad blitzes, lobby efforts, and pay-to-play media integrations that our corporate brethren are employing to tweak our democracy in their favor. Their money has been shouting at full volume ever since Citizen’s United was decided five years ago, and it Will. Not. Shut. Up.
The real problem is that their voice is drowning out our voice. Your voice. My voice. “We, The People’s” voice. So we have a democratic process that has evolved into a funhouse mirror version of itself. As a result, many of our older laws that are no longer relevant have been protected because they favor corporations. Newer laws are often written BY corporations and therefore naturally favor them at our expense. From laws that allow chemical companies to expose us to a toxic soup of disease causing chemicals, to laws that allow Wall Street bankers to profit off of our mounting student loan debt, these examples have saturated our system of government. Our laws are protecting corporate citizens at the expense of actual people.
It’s gone too far for too long and it’s time to send Congress a message.
WE THE PEOPLE Need a Constitutional Amendment
In coordination with People for the American Way, we at the Center for Environmental Health are calling for a constitutional amendment that will put a cap on political spending from industry lobbyist or anyone else! SJ Res 19 is a joint resolution proposing an amendment in the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections. It would ultimately regulate the raising and spending political finances, and the capitalizing of our most democratic process – voting.
Read my story with the chemical industry here.Tags: chemical industry, Supreme Court, TSCA Reform