Help us end corporate 'personhood'

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Ten years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Citizens United. Ten years of unlimited corporate money legally in politics as speech has influenced every issue affecting our lives. Corporate personhood did not start in 2010, but slowly crept into law since the 1800s, and has expanded to have influence beyond We the People. The nation's founders gave the inherent and inalienable rights to natural persons.

Come learn how this happened, how we can end corporate personhood, and all about House Joint Resolution 48 (H.J. Res.48) at Dole Branch Library, Saturday, Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m. for a 30-minute documentary film followed by discussion.

This national movement would diminish corporate power. Candidates have to spend excessive time, energy, and use volunteers for fundraising for ads to let the public know their name, their POTUS candidacy, policies and resume. The fastest fundraising is through wealthy contributors, creating obligations to them, not working for the good of We the People, thereby leading to corruption. 

Free coverage of the candidates, beneficial to media profits and their sponsors, is in effect, huge campaign contributions in-kind, because other candidates would have to hugely pay for equal quality and equal quantity coverage.

As part of the solution, we need laws for inexpensive ways to get the public to know every candidate equally.

 I used the dictionary to verify that money is not speech and corporations are not people:

An individual human being (natural person) can express ideas and feelings in words, which can be delivered to an audience (speech), distributed widely, with a transaction using a medium of exchange that is property (money), to a legal entity created through laws of its state, distinct from its owners, who are not liable as individual human beings (corporation). 

Originally, if corporations were not acting for the common good, then the state could revoke its charter to do business. That is how a corporation could be "executed in Texas" like a human being is executed. 

Leslie Roberts

Oak Park

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Reader Comments

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Bruce Kline  

Posted: January 21st, 2020 8:50 PM

Nick I wonder if Ms. Roberts intends to end "personhood" for those "big bad" unions as well?

Tom MacMillan from OAK PARK  

Posted: January 21st, 2020 6:39 PM

Public Unions are not acting in the public good, as they trade votes to politicians who then jack up their pensions. They are way more costly of a problem than any corporation. Meanwhile, those of us not getting a public pension have to save for retirement by owning stocks in corporations, so lets leave them alone.

Nick A Binotti  

Posted: January 21st, 2020 5:08 PM

Who are the corporations in our neighborhood? It's not the likes of Exxon, JPMorgan Chase, or Google making large political contributions to a single Illinois politician. In 2019, these labor unions made the following contributions to Mike Madigan alone: Intl Union of Operating Engineers $1,322,000; IBEW $702,880; LIUNA $882,800. If corporations are not people, then the AFL-CIO and all their tax-exempt affiliates are not either.

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