If you have any faith left in the American voting system, please come to the January 18th City Council Meeting at the Portland Town hall at 7pm to support an initiative to abolish corporate personhood in Portland and return elections to the people of Portland. Council member David Marshall will propose a resolution which states that corporations do not have the same voting rights as Portland citizens, and to facilitate a move towards clean elections in our city.
People in Maine are concerned about the corruption of our government and the inability to get what we want from our politicians due to the corporate influence of money and power. Cities and states across theU.S.have taken it upon themselves to overthrow the “Citizens United” Supreme Court ruling and adopt constitutional amendments which state that corporations do not have the same right to politics as people. Although a nationwide constitutional amendment has never been done at the state level, it is completely possible as states are adopting the amendment nationwide.
The “Citizens United” Supreme Court ruling has allowed corporations to twist their first amendment rights in order to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections in their favor, as long as the corporation cannot be directly tied back to any candidate. This has allowed “Super Political Actions Committees” (i.e. Super-PACS) to form independently of candidates with an unlimited ability to influence politics with private donations.
Such an example is Mitt Romney’s Super-PAC named “Restore Our Future”, which contains at least three former Romney staff members. “Restore Our Future” ran dozens of attack ads on television the week of the primaries in Iowa. Even Newt Gingrich spoke out against the unlimited corporate influence over the vote due to the new addition of Super-PACS. Even though “Restore Our Future” supports Mitt Romney, nothing that the Super-PAC campaigns for or even lies about to smear other candidates can be tied back or contributed to Romney or his campaign.
Just as the cities of Los Angles,Oakland,Albany, Boulder and others, the city of Portland and the State of Maine needs to pass a constitutional amendment which will limit private campaign contributions. No matter what end of the political spectrum, every American will benefit from ceasing the unregulated influence and manipulation of Super-PACs over our vote! We need a Populist influence over our politics, so I will be at the city council meeting supporting the resolution pieced together with Marshall, several other writers including myself, and the League of Young Voters. Hope to see you there!
Holly Seeliger is West End resident and a member of Occupy Maine.