A corporation is not a person by Jerry Mazza

By Jerry Mazza
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted at Online Journal
Nov. 1, 2010

In reality, a corporation is a legal, chartered apparatus that allows a group of persons to organize a profit or not-for-profit business, outlining its products or services to be offered, its assets, and providing protection in times of loss to file for bankruptcy, making liabilities finite in relation to known corporate assets, and not the “personal” responsibility of corporate officials.

If corporations were indeed “persons,” given the wave of criminal actions committed in lending markets, investment banking, and the insurance business, and seeing the resultant consumer and investor pain caused by predatory lending, including investment bank fraud (caused by the use of unregulated derivatives along with insider trading), we would have seen by now a huge number of such “persons” going to or in jail, and not bailed out from their privatized risk turned to a socialized debt tab, i.e., picked up by the U.S. government.

Thus, despite the Roberts’ Supreme Court 5-4 sell-out political decision “to strike down the McCain-Feingold Act that prohibited all corporations, both for profit and not-for-profit, and unions from broadcasting ‘electronic communications,’” defined in that act “as a broadcast, cable or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or thirty days of primary,” the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) ruling was bogus, totally, illegally, unconstitutionally bogus.

Let that be written in the minds of the American people, that they have been set up for the kill of the United State Constitution and democracy itself and put on a deadly path that has already led directly to Corporate Fascism. Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini of WW-II Italy could not have asked for more himself, nor would Italy’s present day, prime minister and media baron, Silvio Berlusconi.

The results have been aptly reported on the Free Speech For People website on which Congresswoman Donna Edwards introduces a Constitutional Amendment to undo the SCOTUS ruling. See it, read about it, understand that it means as we speak unprecedented amounts of money are flowing to groups like American Crossroads, American Action Network and the United States Chamber of Commerce to fund their candidates. This is an unprecedentedly large attempt to take over our democracy and to destroy the constitutional right to freely elect government officials, and not be impeded by financial election fixing.

Donna Edwards’ constitutional amendment would negate the SCOTUS’ decision to undermine self-government. Article five of the Constitution describes that process whereby the Constitution may be altered, which consists of proposing an amendment and subsequent ratification. Please look this over. Your knowledge of these matters will help convince family members, friends, workmates, whomever, to contribute their support to this new amendment.

And take note that Prudential (Solid as a Rock) already sent in $2 million last year to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s kick-off for its national advertising campaign to weaken the historical rewrite of our nation’s financial regulations, such as they were.

Dow Chemical gave $1.7 million to the chamber last year, as the group took a leading role in aggressively fighting proposed rules imposing tighter security requirements on chemical facilities.

What’s more, Goldman Sachs, Chevron Texaco, and Aegon, a multinational insurance company based in the Netherlands no less, donated more than $8 million in recent years to a chamber foundation that has been critical of growing federal regulation and spending.

These large donations, none of which were publicly disclosed by the chamber, a tax-exempt group that keeps its donors secret (since it is allowed by law) gives you a glimpse of the chamber’s money-raising clout, which it has ramped up in a well-orchestrated campaign to become one of the most well-financed critics of any administration efforts to regulate, and to be an influential player in tomorrow’s congressional elections.

Are these the “persons” (these corporations) you want running your country, doing away with any regulations that protects you from the ill-effects of their law-breaking activities, whether it is financial as per Goldman, fuel regulation via Chevron, or insurance regulation via Aegon, a foreign-based insurance giant?

What did the court decide in Citizens United?

The Free Speech For People website tells us,

“A sharply divided Supreme Court decided that the American people are powerless to stop corporations from using corporate funds to influence state and federal elections. The 5-4 decision ruled that the restrictions on corporate expenditures in elections contained in the federal Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (known as BCRA or ‘McCain-Feingold’) violated the First Amendment protections of free speech.

“The ruling dramatically expands the new ‘corporate rights’ doctrine that has transformed the First Amendment in recent years, and exposes an already-corrupted political process to a new flow of billions of dollars of corporate money.

“The result in Citizens United is radical. To accomplish this, the majority – – Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito – – had to overrule two previous cases where the Court ruled correctly that Congress and the States may try to keep corporate money out of politics. In the Citizens United case, the Court cast aside a 2003 decision, McConnell v. FEC, where the Court upheld the very provision it now ruled unconstitutional, and a 1990 decision, Austin v. Chamber of Commerce, where the Court had ruled that a Michigan law limiting corporate expenditures in elections did not violate the First Amendment.”

Thus, the very laws set to protect against Roberts’ court, overturned previous rules to protect American voters and subvert their rights. Again, from the Free Speech For People website, read about Former Attorneys General and Law Professors Call on Congress to Examine Constitutional Amendment To Reverse Citizens United. This should budge even the least politically active person to take action to protect his or her rights, their country and its future. The ball is now in your court, America. And I urge you to “do the right thing” before it’s too late.

About FreeSpeechForPeople.org

FreesSpeechForPeople.org is a campaign sponsored by Voter Action (voteraction.org), US PIRG (uspirg.org), Public Citizen (citizen.org), the Center for Corporate Policy (corporatepolicy.org) and American Independent Business Alliance (amiba.net) to restore the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees for the people, and to preserve and promote democracy and self-government. We are joined by a growing wave of people around the country. Sign up here to join..

Good luck, America. We’re going to need it!

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer, life-long resident of New York City. His book State Of Shock – Poems from 9/11 on is available at www.jerrymazza.com, Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. He has also written hundreds of articles on American and world politics as an Associate Editor of Online Journal.


The Insane Prelude to the Corporate Takeover of the Planet By Siv O’Neall

Tony Hall: Global Capitalism and Imperialism, interviewed by Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds

The goal? Corporate domination of resources and markets with expanding militarism by Bruce Gagnon

Artificial People by Rand Clifford + Thom Hartmann: Are Corporations People?

Corporations Are Killing Us

The Case Against Corporate Speech by Ralph Nader and Robert Weismann

Citizen Radio interviews Greg Palast about Citizens United VS. FEC

Bill Moyers Journal: Responding to Citizens United + What’s next for campaign finance? + Margaret Flowers + Lobbyists