Posted by Meghan F., a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm
I am so grateful today to live in Mountain View, and proud to have city council members so willing to stand up for human rights. Ending corporate personhood is the core of our collective fight today to reclaim our democracy and protect our rights. I applaud the city council!
Posted by vfree, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm
I'm speechless, Kasperzak, Bryant, Macias, and occupy are embrassing the people of Mountain View. Logic would dictate that a Union would not be people either. I'm sure you see that differently, since unions give you and your leftist socialist party money.
Posted by Alex M., a resident of the Willowgate neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm
Why is our city council wasting its time voting on resolutions that have absolutely no impact or influence on current federal (or even state) laws? Are they seriously suggesting that any corporation based in Mountain View is no longer allowed to act in ways specifically allowed by the Supreme Court of the United States? Seriously?
Posted by Sparty, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm
" . Ending corporate personhood is the core of our collective fight today to reclaim our democracy and protect our rights. I applaud the city council!"
I assume you "shop local" as well... BOYCOTT CHAINSTORES!!"
Keep in mind the local mom and pop is probably a corporation, and "ending corporate personhood" isn't a talking point from a facebook page, it's something that will ensure your fav mom and pop would also be sued into homelessness the minute someone has a slip and fall in their shop.
You kids and your copy and paste activism are so cute.
Posted by Fed-up, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm
Anyone who wishes to apply for a seat on a City of Mountain View Board or Commission fills out an application, on the bottom of which is a line from Shakespear saying "What is a city if not the people?" That is what city's are, just empty buildings until you add the people. The same logic applies to corporations as well. The unions have long been a source of funding for liberals which explains the vote breakdown. The quid pro quo comes back as "featherbedding" jobs and sweetheart retirement packages that the taxpayers will be saddled with long after these council members have been forgotten. I am not at all surprised by the councils action considering the quality of public education these days.
Posted by maguro_01, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm
There is no mention of the Corporate Person idea in the Constitution itself but it was developed by court decisions and law in the century after that. Is this correct? Apparently a restricted idea like it is necessary to conduct business. The corporation with limited liability was one development making the modern economy possible but it means that when the sheriff comes around, no one's at home - except the Corporate Person.
If it's not in the Constitution, then presumably Congress could define it as it please in being a political actor. Of course corporations would dump truckloads of money on Congress to prevent change or vote themselves more privileges. They have gotten in the habit of sending money to Washington as the ROI is higher than any investment in the marketplace.
The mischief of our follow the money politics is both political and economic. Politically it obviously makes a mockery of Democracy, in practice it just leaves the US a corrupt Banana Republic like all the others except that we are righteous nevertheless. The economy is left less efficient, more misallocated, more corrupt, and less Capitalistic and market oriented almost by the day. Large corporations are global and buy their global interests in Washington which are often dictated by other governments, most recently China.
We can see the inefficiency and essential corruption we get when we pay just under 18% US GDP for medical care. Other developed countries are paying a bit over half that for universal care and years longer life expectancy (ref - CIA World Factbook online). Most are single payer or mixed delivery systems such as we have now. But Switzerland has an insurance based, state of the art, system that would save us trillions though not as much as France's scheme. Since they both have longer than US life expectancy they don't appear to be pulling the plug on Granny which is what the US Right proposes to do to save money while loudly accusing their opponents of such a program. Corruption costs in life and money.
We all know the US financial system's ability to buy insurance as too big too fail. They get bailed without management changes or even new rules. They bought their way out of reforms going back 70 years. Today a "reform" bill - Dodd Franks - is thousands of lobbyist written pages or it couldn't pass. Glass Steagal was 37 pages that kept the Us banking system clean for 70 years. Corruption costs dearly. Without reforms we will have another '08 Crash without the money to bridge it over. Finance is not a service to our economy, our economy is a service to finance.
Today much of our national politics is Confederate gone national. That is, raising adversarial, distracted mobs while the real players clean the table. With the Citizens United decision our system is officially Banana Republic warmed over and Banana Republics historically do not survive. It really is that simple - the American Experiment will disappear. It will take a Constitutional Amendment to fix it and it will have to be grass roots (not Astroturf). It won't need thousands of pages.
Posted by Mike Laursen, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm
As a professional journalist, are you aware that the term, Libertarian, when capitalized refers to a member of the Libertarian Party. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Tom Means has no connection to the Libertarian Party.
Posted by Mike Laursen, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm
Anyway, I'm sure that libertarians such as Means and Inks could expound for hours on the abusive corporate welfare that goes on in this country. Yet, their discernment forces them to take a stance that appears to be in favor of corporate welfare and crony capitalism just because they were confronted with a overly simplistic resolution that conflates a fairly neutral legal framework with the abuses of cronyism that are build on top of that framework.
Posted by Observer, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:59 am
I think that the Citizens United decision affected corporations and unions the same. My understanding is that both Corporations and Unions were allowed to contribute to political campaigns or parties -- they both always did -- but there were special restrictions on them that did not apply to individuals. Citizens United said that corporations - AND unions - are "people" and should be allowed to contribute with no restriction. So if you're against this for corporations, you are also against this for unions.
Quick snipped from Wikipedia, which I don't always trust: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 08-205 (2010), 558 U.S. ––––, 130 S.Ct. 876 (January 21, 2010), was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting political expenditures by corporations and unions.
Posted by Bena Vohra, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2012 at 10:04 am
The latest financial crisis involving large investment banks, and the money they invested in politicians who changed laws and regulations in the banks' favor solely to maximize profits, has had a detrimental effect on our local community. This makes it a concern that directly affects the business of this city. The loss of revenue from property tax, income tax, sales tax, etc. have all been felt in Mountain View.
We deserve more security than that, and I thank the City Council for passing a resolution that represents the concerns of so many.
Posted by Craig Clevidence, a resident of another community, on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm
We at Renew Democracy would say to the Good people of Mountain View that your concern and action is highly laudable, however the issues of corporate personage and money equaling speech are in many ways red herrings and distract us from solving the seminal issues at hand. As far as corporate personage is concerned, determining the legal status and nomenclature utilized is not the seminal issue. What is crucial is what corporations, unions and other organizations and groups can do to distort democracy through the power they gain by aggregation both economically and politically.
That is why the Renew Democracy Amendment proposes that "The right to contribute to political campaigns and political parties is held solely by individual citizens." This strong statement diffuses concern about the status of any organization as it would no longer be able to contribute.
The Renew Democracy Amendment also proposes, "Political campaign and political party contributions shall not exceed an amount reasonably affordable by the average American." This allows for small-scale contributions that cannot by themselves influence legislators to act contrary to the will of the majority of their constituents.
If Americans take up this issue of solving the constitutional problems delineated in Citizens United, they should strongly consider the proposals in the RDA as the way to actually solve the underlying problems. Web Link