Citizens United to End Political Bribery

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Overview

UPDATE: there have been no meetings of this working group since 2013. Members of this working group have moved on to work on the PassMassAmendment ballot inititiative.

Historical information:

Citizens United to End Political Bribery (CUEPB) is a Working Group pursuing the goal of getting corporate money out of politics.  We focus on realistic actions in Massachusetts, but also extend our efforts to nationwide politics.  This wiki page serves to collect information and discuss ideas before bringing proposals to Occupy Boston General Assembly.  Everything here should be considered a draft, unless conspicuously labeled otherwise.  To participate, come to one of our scheduled meetings or comment on the discussion tab for a page.  You can also edit a page, but we'd like to know who's involved, so please introduce yourself.

  • Contact us at citizensunited@occupyboston.org
  • Sign up to join our email list by clicking here
  • Visit our website for a list of groups, events, and actions.
  • View the schedule of our Rally-Summit that was held on the anniversary of Citizens United.  Live streamed videos of some sessions are available.

Meetings:

Minutes from Previous Meetings

Background Information:

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Opinion

Full Text and Dissenting Opinion: [1]

  • The minority dissenting opinion quoted at this link gives arguments against the Supreme Court's majority opinion. After a summary, the opinion continues (not quoted here,) describing in detail the laws and rulings related to corporate personhood.
  • Under U.S. law, a corporation is a "corporate veil," protecting individuals inside a company from being prosecuted for the actions of the business. In 1886 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that corporations are entitled to many rights accorded to citizens, in its decision of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Rail Road Co.
  • In 1907 Congress passed the Tillman Act, prohibiting corporations from donating money directly to national political campaigns. This still holds, but in January 2010 the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 (in Citizens United v. FEC) that corporations can spend unlimited amounts on political advertisements as long as they don't directly coordinate that spending with an actual candidate.
  • The Citizens United v. FEC decision invalidated protections that had existed in Massachusetts General Law, according to a March, 2010 ruling of the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Many bills are now being introduced in Massachusetts and at the federal level to counteract the wide effects of last year's Supreme Court decision by restricting corporate money from influencing politics.

Campaign Finance Legislation (passed, pending,proposed)

  • Click here for a list of legislation

NOTE: See also, dissenting opinion, and the references below to prior cases setting the stage for CU.

Other Groups Working on This

I'd like to have a picture of all of this different groups who are working on reversing Citizens Unitied. This may not belong here, but, it does belong somewhere.

Additional Resources

List of Issues where Money Grossly Slants Political Decision Making

  1. Government-provided flood insurance - The government makes available under-priced flood insurance in coastal regions, where private industry refuses to do so because it is not economically viable.  This benefits no one except realtors, who heavily lobby and contribute to congressmen on this issue
  2. Farm subsidies?
  3. Corporate tax loopholes (but we need examples of extraordinarily dumb ones.  I think saying just "big oil getting tax breaks" is too left-leaning, even if we all agree.
  4. ...