Los Angeles Votes To End Corporate Personhood

losangelesThe municipal government of Los Angeles has passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to assert that corporations are not guaranteed the rights of people, and that spending money is not the same as free speech. Largely symbolic, but hopefully part of something bigger. The Los Angeles Times reports:

At a packed City Council meeting that included remarks from a man in a top hat with fake money tucked in the pocket of his suit, Los Angeles lawmakers Tuesday called for more regulations on how much corporations can spend on political campaigns.

The vote in support of state and federal legislation that would end so-called “corporate personhood” is largely symbolic. But anti-corporate activist Mary Beth Fielder, who spoke in favor of the resolution, called it “a symbol that’s going to be heard around the world.”

The council resolution includes support for a constitutional amendment that would assert that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, and that spending money is not a form of free speech.

City Council President Eric Garcetti, the resolution’s sponsor, blamed a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, which rolled back legal restrictions on corporate spending on the grounds that political speech by a business entity should receive the same 1st Amendment protections that people do. It allows corporations and other groups to spend unlimited money on behalf of candidates, although limits on how much they can contribute directly to candidates remain.

“The flood of money since Citizens United is literally drowning out our voices,” said Garcetti, who is running for mayor in 2013. “If we’re going to be moving forward in this country, we need less special interest money in the political process.”

Councilman Richard Alarcon, who also supported the resolution, said corporations are “trying to take over every aspect of our lives.”

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  • Anarchy Pony

    While I doubt it will effect any truly meaningful change, maybe the corporate whores and oligarchs will start feeling the heat, that people are sick of their shit.

  • Anarchy Pony

    While I doubt it will effect any truly meaningful change, maybe the corporate whores and oligarchs will start feeling the heat, that people are sick of their shit.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Yeah.  It’ll probably be another decade, at least before the momentum really turns.  No doubt this thing will be taken to the Supreme Court within a year or so and cut down there.

      It’ll take some combination of Roberts, Scalia and/or Thomas dying of stroke and autoerotic immolation in some sh*tty Bakersfield motel and being replaced by slightly less insane automotons to effect any meaningful change.

      Still, the stage has been set for some barn-burning, incendiary fury when the powers that be set the wheels of this bills’ doom in motion.  Every over-reaction provokes equal and greater public outrage.  That’s useful.

      • Anarchy Pony

        I don’t really like to look at it in terms of social arithmetic, but that is true enough, the more the power elite over react, the angrier people become.

        Also, Autoerotic Immolation is a great name for a band, or at the very least for a song.

        Bonus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZvaAbWPICU Failed State by Strike Anywhere, best line “Self immolation, just to keep you warm to tonight.”

        • Liam_McGonagle

          Thanks for the link.

          And you’re right.  Arithmetic is probably too linear a way to look at it.  Who was it that first said, “There are no straight lines in nature”?

          If you’re inclined to view this Civilization Experiment as some fearfully awesome exercise in consciousness building, I don’t suppose it pays to get too impatient.  Gotta give the slow kids time to catch up.

          Though it is a bit hard for me to take my eyes off the clock.  These aren’t exactly new ideas.  Thomas Jefferson was going on about this cr*p in 1819, in the wake of “Trustees of Dartmouth College vs. Woodward”

          • Anarchy Pony

            Well the clock is certainly ticking. On a number of problems. Everyday I look out my window and see my world getting sicker. And if the source of the sickness isn’t stopped, then it will die.

          • Andrew

            The Earth won’t die.  We will.

          • Anarchy Pony

            I didn’t say the Earth, I said my world, the world I know, the world I love. Nothing short of Sol eating the Earth will wipe out all life. Not even nuclear saturation bombing. But the world I live in, with douglas firs, and black tailed deer and salmon and clean fresh air, that world is currently in trouble, and is already a bare shell of its former self.

  • Butter Knife

    At the very least this law could potentially restrict the amount of money spent by corporations on elections in Los Angeles for positions such as mayor and city council.

    It’s a start.

  • Butter Knife

    At the very least this law could potentially restrict the amount of money spent by corporations on elections in Los Angeles for positions such as mayor and city council.

    It’s a start.

    • urza9814

      That was my first thought, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t. It seemingly just declares that LA doesn’t like that ruling and wants a federal constitutional amendment, without doing a damn thing to change the situation even within LA.

      LAME.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah.  It’ll probably be another decade, at least before the momentum really turns.  No doubt this thing will be taken to the Supreme Court within a year or so and cut down there.

    It’ll take some combination of Roberts, Scalia and/or Thomas dying of stroke and autoerotic immolation in some sh*tty Bakersfield motel and being replaced by slightly less insane automotons to effect any meaningful change.

    Still, the stage has been set for some barn-burning, incendiary fury when the powers that be set the wheels of this bills’ doom in motion.  Every over-reaction provokes equal and greater public outrage.  That’s useful.

  • Anarchy Pony

    I don’t really like to look at it in terms of social arithmetic, but that is true enough, the more the power elite over react, the angrier people become.

    Also, Autoerotic Immolation is a great name for a band, or at the very least for a song.

    Bonus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZvaAbWPICU Failed State by Strike Anywhere, best line “Self immolation, just to keep you warm to tonight.”

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the link.

    And you’re right.  Arithmetic is probably too linear a way to look at it.  Who was it that first said, “There are no straight lines in nature”?

    If you’re inclined to view this Civilization Experiment as some fearfully awesome exercise in consciousness building, I don’t suppose it pays to get too impatient.  Gotta give the slow kids time to catch up.

    Though it is a bit hard for me to take my eyes off the clock.  These aren’t exactly new ideas.  Thomas Jefferson was going on about this cr*p in 1819, in the wake of “Trustees of Dartmouth College vs. Woodward”

  • Anarchy Pony

    Well the clock is certainly ticking. On a number of problems. Everyday I look out my window and see my world getting sicker. And if the source of the sickness isn’t stopped, then it will die.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Well the clock is certainly ticking. On a number of problems. Everyday I look out my window and see my world getting sicker. And if the source of the sickness isn’t stopped, then it will die.

  • Anonymous

    That was my first thought, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t. It seemingly just declares that LA doesn’t like that ruling and wants a federal constitutional amendment, without doing a damn thing to change the situation even within LA.

    LAME.

  • Andrew

    The Earth won’t die.  We will.

  • Andrew

    The Earth won’t die.  We will.

  • Anarchy Pony

    I didn’t say the Earth, I said my world, the world I know, the world I love. Nothing short of Sol eating the Earth will wipe out all life. Not even nuclear saturation bombing. But the world I live in, with douglas firs, and black tailed deer and salmon and clean fresh air, that world is currently in trouble, and is already a bare shell of its former self.

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