Friday, October 22, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Ohio Voices Resonate to End "Corporatocracy"

Play

Wednesday, January 21, 2015   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Five years ago, the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling gave corporations the same free-speech rights as individuals to contribute money to political campaigns. Momentum has grown since then in Ohio to end what's known as "corporate personhood."

Newburgh Heights is among six Ohio communities that passed ballot measures asking Congress for a constitutional amendment to confirm that only human beings have constitutional rights, and that money isn't speech. Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins said he believes the nation's founding fathers never intended for corporations to have the same rights as people.

"The doctrine of 'money is equivalent to speech' has to go," he said. "It simply is not the case - otherwise, what you're saying is, the more money you have, the more speech you have."

Six public hearings will take place over the next two months across Ohio, as mandated by the citizen ordinances, about what they perceive is the "threat to democracy" posed by the court ruling. The first hearing, slated for Thursday in Cleveland Heights, coincides with today's fifth anniversary of Citizens United.

A recent report on spending in U.S. Senate races by the Brennan Center for Justice found that campaign spending by outside groups has doubled since Citizens United. Sally Hanley, a volunteer for Cleveland Heights' Move to Amend chapter, said that kind of money can influence the decisions of elected leaders.

"We're becoming a 'corporatocracy.' It affects our health care, our environment, our educational system," she said. "Corporations have way too much say in how we live our daily lives."

Elkins said he's convinced that more people are realizing the ways "corporate personhood" can mute the voices of ordinary citizens. When more communities work together and speak up, he said, change can happen.

"Individually, a small community like Newburgh Heights, sure it means something, it says something to my Congressional delegation," he said. "But when the larger communities start to add their voice to that, it begins to resonate more."

Several other Ohio communities are working on similar ballot measures this year or next, including Cleveland, Parma and Toledo.


get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Gov. Tom Wolf already has increased the minimum wage for state employees and contractors, which is set to reach $15 an hour by July 2024. (Gov. Tom Wolf/Flickr)

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

Health and Wellness

BEND, Ore. - Veterans returning home sometimes struggle to find a place where they feel like they belong. In Central Oregon, a ranch is supporting …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021