Diary

Taking Back Washington

In doing further research on my constitutional inquiry into whether or not unions & corporations should have the same inalienable rights that I do as an individual, I have found a resolution introduced by a state senator in Washington that calls for a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations – and in turn unions – are not persons according to U.S. law. A statewide grassroots group in Washington wants to know what you think.

I think that a constitutional amendment of any kind should be considered carefully. I hold the U.S. Constitution in a place of great esteem… and in my pocketbook for quick reference. But, I think this is a situation that calls for a discussion on a constitutional amendment about the rights of human beings as individuals & corporations and unions as artificial entities. I can’t help but wonder, did our courts go too far?

With the Citizens United decision that came down from the Supreme Court last year, corporations and unions have essentially been granted some of the same constitutional rights that we have as individuals when it comes to free speech and elections. I think that there should be a clear difference between us as individuals and entities that are created and authorized by the state. I feel that my concerns are in line with the founders’ when it comes to the potential for the economic sphere to wield significant influence in the political sphere with no effective system of checks and balances.

What do you think?  Take Back Washington is a grassroots organization standing for limited government, fiscal responsibility and the constitutional values on which our country was founded. They are based in the state where this resolution was introduced. Would you take a moment to participate in their 1 question poll?

As you know, corporations and unions as entities are not able to cast a vote in our election system but, they are entitled to making donations to those running for public office wielding significant influence over the whole process. Over the years, we have watched unions donate significant sums of money to the candidates they chose – what about the individuals who provided some of that money through dues and other fees? Those people don’t get a say in where that money goes and what candidate is supported and they should! The conservative movement has seen a flurry of activity in recent years in an effort to give union workers more rights in this regard by working to overturn the Employee Free Choice Act, aka card check. While this battle is far from over, I am glad to see groups like Alliance for Worker Freedom standing up for union workers’ rights.

Corporations also donate significant sums of money to candidates during the election season. Well what about the shareholders of those corporations? They are certainly not casting a vote or engaged in a process to determine which candidates receive political donations from their corporation but, they should be! I support an effort – similar to the fight to overturn card check legislation – to call on corporations to have a more transparent process involving their shareholders when it comes to making decisions on political donations. I think that individual shareholders should certainly have a say in how their corporation is spending money when it comes to the political sphere.

Let Take Back Washington know what you think about the rights of unions and corporations through their 60 second poll.