Letters to the Editor

Corporations are not people

We are now gathering signatures for I-1329, an initiative to allow Washington voters to decide whether our state will support a resolution to pass the 28th amendment to the US Constitution that would state that corporations are not people and that money is not equivalent to free speech.  This will enable congress to pass laws governing campaign contributions so that we can wrest control of our government from large corporations and wealthy donors.

How does this work?

Elected officials need a lot of money to get elected. They collect it all the time while in office. It is a lot easier to collect large contributions than small ones.  Corporations and wealthy special interests give large donations. Candidates with the most money win 90 percent of the time. One’s voting record determines whether he or she gets a particular donation. Whose interest is an official going to consider on any particular vote? That is why you don’t have much influence in Washington, D.C., these days.

Since the Supreme Court, through two recent decisions, has interpreted the US Constitution as saying that money contributions to campaigns is equivalent to free speech and protected by the First Amendment and that corporations have rights equivalent to people, existing laws regulating campaign funding have largely been ruled unconstitutional, and any future law is likely to suffer the same fate.

We have only one more month to gather signatures for I-1329, and we have less than 100,000 of the 300,000-people target. Nine out of 10 people on Vashon want to sign this petition, but we are frustrated with too few signature gatherers. Won’t you help us gather signatures to get this important resolution on the ballot? No expertise is necessary. Call or write me to help or for information: Terry Sullivan, 463-2812, terry.sullivan46@gmail.com.

— Terry Sullivan

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