NewYorkRawVideos on Jan 21, 2012
Filmed January 20, 2012. Chris Hedges, Lawrence Lessig, Virginia Rasmussen on the eve of the 2nd Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision “Citizens United v. F.E.C.”. The video begins with a march from Liberty Plaza a/k/a Zuccotti Park to the rally point at Foley Square across the street from Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Centre St. The Rude Mechanical Orchestra plays their “Smash a Bank Polka” followed by Chris Hedges giving an update to his lawsuit against Barack Obama and Leon Panetta. Virginia Rasmussen offers a historic perspective on the Citizens United decision. Lawrence Lessig gives an inspirational speech on restoring democracy. Other speakers: Alexis from Occupy Wall Street, Camille Rivera, and Amy Muldoon. The video ends with the Rude Mechanical Orchestra finishing of their song.
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.
Citizens Unite for a Constitutional Amendment
By Dennis Kucinich
Jan. 21, 2012
Let us change our campaign financing system so that we can truly claim to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Two years ago today, in the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court opened the doors of our electoral process and democracy to shadowy, undisclosed, unlimited corporate spending in our elections. In his dissent Justice Stevens remarked “The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation.”
It has undermined our democracy. Citizens United allowed more money to be spent in 2010 than any prior midterm election, and will allow even more money to be spent in 2012 than any prior presidential election.
The funding of our electoral contests has a direct effect on who controls our political process. Corporations are overwhelming our political system with massive contributions leading directly to corporate control of the government. A government truly responsive to the public interest requires public financing of the political process.
To save our democracy, we shall turn to the document that established it. This week, I introduced a Constitutional Amendment which would require that all federal campaigns be financed exclusively by public funds and prohibit expenditures from every other source.
My amendment, H.J. Res. 100, would change the way we finance the elections of our Presidents, Senators and Representatives. It is our chance to return the government to the control of the people.
Our Constitutional Amendment, H.J. Res 100 would also prohibit independent expenditures on behalf of or against any candidate to further protect our democratic process from private influence, while safeguarding our First Amendment rights.
Public financing of federal elections is critical to the restoration of our American democracy. How we fund our elections is not an academic argument. Progress on every important issue in American society today – economic, social and political – will not be achieved until we use the vehicle of a Constitutional Amendment to gain public control of the financing of campaigns. We cannot wait. We must declare and enshrine the public interest: Please sign the petition today.
The problems we face right now are too serious to allow our government to keep drifting towards a plutocracy. We must begin NOW the long, difficult process of amending the Constitution. The Constitution is a living, breathing document and it is up to us to claim its power to deal with the threat which Citizens United brings to our government, our nation and our way of life.