Business Leaders Back Bi-partisan People’s Rights Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Some news of the week: Some of America’s smartest business leaders are supporting the People’s Rights Amendment to overturn Citizens United and “corporate speech” theories of the First Amendment. And Free Speech for People announced this week that the People’s Rights Amendment now has bipartisan support, with North Carolina Republican Congressman Walter Jones joining several Democratic Representatives in co-sponsoring the People’s Rights Amendment introduced by Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern.

Successful capitalists such as Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream) Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia),  Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farms Inc.) and Sandy Wiggins (e3bank) have joined the campaign for a the 28th Amendment because they know that corporate abuse of our Bill of Rights and domination of our government are not good for business or the innovative economy. Pay to play politics and a corporate veto on public interest laws promotes crony capitalism and unfair market concentration, where global corporations with billions of dollars to spare for election influence and lobbying can squeeze out competitors and innovators.

The American Sustainable Business Council and Free Speech for People have put together a Frequently Asked Questions for businesspeople and others interested in the People’s Rights Amendment. The 8-page document (available here) addresses a number of questions, and shows why the concept of giving corporations the rights of people under our Constitution has nothing to do with helping businesses compete or non-profit corporations function well.

It turns out Citizens United is not only bad for republican democracy; it’s bad for a working economy.  Businesspeople can sign on to the “Business for Democracy” effort here. 

About Jeff Clements

Jeff serves as President of American Promise. He has practiced law for three decades in public service and private practice, and is the author of Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations. He is also the founder of Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides sustainable financing to businesses in the local agriculture economy. Previously, Jeff has been a partner in a major Boston law firm and served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the public law enforcement bureau in the Attorney General’s Office in Massachusetts. Jeff has helped to start and been a board member of many non-profit organizations and businesses. Today, in addition to the board of American Promise, he serves on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord, Massachusetts. Twitter: @ClementsJeff
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