ROAD (Reviving Our American Democracy) invites concerned citizens to attend a presentation on and a discussion of Money in Politics.
Bruce Froelich, a retired attorney and local citizen, will report on “Move to Amend,” a nationwide coalition dedicated to advancing a remedy by way of a constitutional amendment.
The meeting will be at the White Lake Community Center, 8741 Ferry Street in Montague, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7.
Money in politics has been a key issue for ROAD since the group was formed in 2010. Now, three years after the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United ruling, ROAD reports over 80% of the American public believe money has too much influence in politics. The Supreme Court in the Citizens United case held that corporations are persons with First Amendment rights and that spending money in political campaigns is free speech protected by the First Amendment. These twin rulings expanded the flow of corporate money into political campaign committees where there are disclosure requirements.
More insidiously, ROAD shares that the Citizens United decision also greatly increased the number of outside groups which have nondisclosed and nontransparent corporate and individual funding for their political efforts. These outside groups include both Political Action Committees and so-called tax-exempt IRS Code Section 501(C)(4) “educational” committees. ROAD indicates the result is that those who control large checkbooks get to shout in the political arena, while those with smaller checkbooks only get to whisper. .
To correct this problem, a remedy would be to amend the US Constitution, according to ROAD. Such an amendment would make clear that only natural persons have First Amendment rights, not corporations. It would also state that money is property, which can be regulated, and that spending money is not protected speech. The amendment would not affect the right of free press under the First Amendment.
Reviving Our American Democracy (ROAD) is a civic action group based in the White Lake Area. For more information on this event, citizens can email email@example.com or call 231-894-4535.