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Why are you trying to amend the Massachusetts Constitution, based on “Corporations Are Not People, Money Is Not Speech”? There are many reasons, but mainly to get the corrupting influence of large corporations and big money out of the political process. See a long list of additional reasons at this link.
Is this about Citizens United? The Citizens United case is federal. What we are doing applies to Massachusetts. But we are concerned about large amounts of money from outside our borders influencing our local elections.
Given Citizens United, won't the Supreme Court shoot down what you're doing? We can amend the Massachusetts Constitution and the Supreme Court would not get involved until a law was passed, someone sued, and it could then go to the Supreme Court. It would be the early 2020s before anything to do with our Amendment would make it to SCOTUS. By then, SCOTUS, would not consist of the same Justices.
Will businesses still be able to hold contracts and own property? The only rights that a corporation has in Massachusetts are granted by the Legislature through the Massachusetts General Laws and their charter. We consider our Amendment to be a clarification, which changes no law.
What about Unions? The largest perceived problem with unions is their spending of money to influence elections. Limiting union money in elections is covered by Section 2 of our language, which includes all people and “entities”.
Is this Move to Amend? No, Move to Amend is working on a Federal amendment. There are many different groups out there working on Federal Amendments. We feel that we are helping to jump-start a process that will benefit all. Many people within Move to Amend are committed to helping our effort; this includes the endorsement of Cape Cod MTA.
Why bother if we don't know for sure if the government will let this happen? This is a DIRECT ACTION. It's like protesting, except we are guaranteed a Supreme Judicial Court hearing as to whether corporations have constitutional rights or not in Massachusetts and whether money is considered speech. When we gather the required signatures (64,750 certified) if we were to lose in the SJC, remember this, every signature over the 64,750 required, adds volume to the voice of the people, putting pressure on our Representatives in the Statehouse to act. (We're aiming for 90,000 signatures because that's what experts tell us we need to get the “required” 64,750 “valid” signatures).
Why petition, if you have Legislative Bills in the Statehouse? Because we have enough experience to know that if we don't continue to build a network of petitioners, that this will never happen. AND because our legislative sponsors (see the list at the website) tell us that it helps them help us to get this to the floor, if the signatures increase. Where can people find petitions? This is an “official” petition to make “binding law”. It's not a lobbying petition. The petitions will become available from the state of Massachustts, on the second Wednesday of September. Then we can petition til mid-November. You'll be able to get plenty of printed petitions and you'll be able to download one and print from your site, as well.
Will people be able to download a petition form to help petition, sign themselves, and/or get a few of their friends to sign? Absolutely! But they won't be available til early September! Stay tuned!