Posted by | November 23, 2010 16:09 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

The number one issue plaguing this country, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is corporate political spending. Without real campaign finance reform that takes corporate (and union) money out of politics, both political parties will be beholden to special interests and lobbyists on every single important issue that affects the economy. That is why it extremely encouraging that, according to a poll commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), voters by a margin of 46-36 want Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United that allows unlimited corporate spending on elections.

Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland (pictured) already has the text of an amendment ready to go:

‘‘SECTION 1. The sovereign right of the people to govern being essential to a free democracy, Congress and the States may regulate the expenditure of funds for political speech by any corporation, limited liability company, or other corporate entity.

‘‘SECTION 2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.”

Edwards’ amendment has strong support from law professors and former Attorney Generals currently serving in Congress. The real question, of course, is can we make this happen? Is it even possible to pass an amendment to the Constitution in these highly polarized times? A constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. That is a herculean task in this day and age, especially because corporations already have control over both parties and are unlikely to give up their stranglehold on the entire American political process without a fight.

But this is a fight that must be won. Without purging the corporate communism out of the system, which is destroying the country from within like a cancer, insurance companies will continue to control health care policy, financial regulatory policy will continue to be dictated by Wall Street, environmental policy will continue to be decided by Big Oil, foreign policy will forever be at the whims of the military-industrial complex, and tax cuts for the rich will ALWAYS take priority over more funding for public education.

This is one issue that needs to be closely monitored by liberals and conservatives alike because it is the fight that will determine if we will have a functioning democracy in this country going forward. So have your pitchforks ready, folks, and be prepared to hold your own elected officials accountable on this issue, at every level of government.

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