Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Testimony at the Ft. Bragg (CA) City Council meeting

Kudos to the folks who took to the podium at the recent Ft. Bragg city council meeting to speak in favor of a resolution asking legislators to call for an Amendment to the US Constitution to abolish corporate personhood. Quotes from the testimony are below.

Tom Wodetzki: "For decades millions of citizens have worked to reduce corporate money in elections, thru legislation and ballot propositions. This route, tho, has repeatedly met a dead-end. That dead-end is called Corporate Personhood...the concept that corporations have the same rights as natural persons, like you and me. This means that, while corporations are fictitious entities charted by state governments, that can live many lifetimes and never go to prison, nevertheless they have 'free speech' rights like natural persons. And one year ago this month, the US Supreme Court decided, in the infamous “Citizens United” case, that these rights include nearly unlimited spending in our elections.

"While 93% of those polled last year want to limit corporate spending in elections, efforts to do this was blocked once again by this judicial concept called Corporate Personhood."

Rebecca Aum: "CropLife America, composed of all the major biotech corporations, and Monsanto, Dow chemical Dupont, and more, spent more than $620,000 in Mendocino county to defeat measure H, the measure outlawing GMOs. Only $5000 of that came from this county."

Susan Nutter: "Unbeknownst to local government and residents, toxins have been discarded and buried by corporations in the area, polluting the soil and endangering human health. Using their 4th Amendment protections against search and seizure, corporations are able to hide their pollution until long after they have left the area. Industry's successful efforts to release harmful chemicals can be attributed to corporate involvement in writing legislation and setting regulations. Without corporate personhood, local governments and state agencies could more easily discover and prevent such activity."

Peter Sears: "In a county that passed the first ban on growing genetically modified foods, people would like to know if the food they are buying contains genetically modified foods. But the corporate food industry has claimed that their free speech rights gives them the right to not tell us if they have put GMO foods in their products.

"How about if there is another unhealthy product that a community becomes concerned about, like certain pesticides or herbicides used in corporate agriculture and hence embedded in the food we eat. Shouldn't there be labeling on the package telling us that these chemicals were used to produce a product? Once again, corporations claim that they do not have to tell us this information...How can local governments protect the well being of their constituents if they cannot pass the necessary ordinances to provide the necessary protection?"

Linda Jupiter: "The Personhood of corporations has been going on for such a long time that we the people think it’s normal. It’s not. Corporations are entities with more rights than people; their purpose is to accrue huge amounts of money for their stockholders by any means they can.

"The recent Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited corporate spending on federal elections means they’re now free to actually buy elections. This decision must be overturned. We the people govern our elections and our campaigns, not corporations."

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