Berwyn Township Votes YES to Amend

This past election on November 4, 2014, the Near West Suburban Chicago (NWSC) Move To Amend affiliate was supporting three different Township referenda. Two were related to over-turning corporate personhood in the Berwyn and Proviso townships. The third referendum was related to rejecting the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement fast-track process.

The results were as follows:
Berwyn Township Referendum Question:

Should the United States Constitution be amended to clearly state that only individual persons, and not corporations, associations, or any other organizational entities are entitled to the rights enumerated in the Constitution?

The “Yes” vote was 77.60% in Berwyn Township.

The Oak Park Township Referendum on the Trans Pacific Partnership was supported by our Affiliate as well. The language was a somewhat controversial and very long. Thus, it entailed some resistance, but still passed by a significant margin, with a “Yes” vote of 73.70%. It is the only referendum on the TPP in this election to the best of our knowledge.

The Proviso Township referendum never got on the ballot. When we followed up with the Township administration, they admitted that the Township personnel made a serious mistake. They stated that the clerk at the Township meeting where the referendum had passed, was new and unfamiliar with the process. They stated that those personnel didn’t realize that it would actually go to the voters for a vote. I requested and received a signed letter of apology on Township letterhead to that effect. The language was the same as the Berwyn language.

On all three of these referenda, members of our affiliate led the process with our support. However, the Berwyn and Proviso referenda did not use the language suggested by our group. The result was the issue of money as speech was omitted. We plan to address that with referenda in 2016. The TPP referendum was primarily the effort of the Green Party and the DSA. We supported the effort in principle, but the language was not vetted by us.

Edwardsville Township, Madison County, Illinois Voted to support a constitutional amendment.

The people of Edwardsville Township (Madison County, Illinois, part of the Metro-East region of the St. Louis, MO) voted overwhelmingly in nonbinding ballot referendum to support a constitutional amendment to state that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
Edwardsville Township came through. The referendum won by 76.6%! We have to change the course of history and get the money out of politics. Thanks to everyone who worked hard for this victory.

YES 8,771 76.64
NO 2,673 23.36

Here are the results. Also here under EDWARDSVILLE TOWNSHIP PUBLIC POLICY

Illinois 2014 Candidates Pledge To Amend (and some who did not)

Illinois Move To Amend asked 2014 midterm Election candidates for Illinois to respond to these to questions:

“I support amending the U.S. Constitution to make clear that corporations and other artificial entities do not have Constitutional rights and that money is not speech and campaign spending should be limited through regulation.”

“I will use my office to support the Movement to Amend the Constitution by passing resolutions, proposing legislation, and publicly speaking out about the need for this Amendment.”

If you are a candidate and would like to submit a response, or if you would like to encourage candidates missing from below to respond, please use this link.

We will update this page with new responses every few days. To see candidates nationwide whom have respond go here.


Candidates who responded
Candidates who DID NOT RESPOND

D: Democrat
G: Green
L: Libertarian
R: Republican
I: Independent


Responded YES to both questions:

Illinois Governor

Scott Summers (G) Challenger

Illinois Secretary of State

Sheldon Schafer (G) Challenger

U.S. Senate

Sharon Hansen (L) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 03, Illinois

Daniel Lipinski (D) Incumbent

U.S. House of Representatives, District 05, Illinois

Nancy Wade (G) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 06, Illinois

Michael Mason (D) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 09, Illinois

Susanne Atanus (R) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 12, Illinois

Paula Bradshaw (G) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 14, Illinois

Dennis Anderson (D) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 15, Illinois

Eric Thorsland (D) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 16, Illinois

Randall Olsen (D) Challenger

Illinois State House, District 115

Gary Shepherd (G) Challenger

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

  • Nancy Roothaan (G)
  • George E. Milkowski (G)

Kane County Board of Supervisors, District 17

Deborah Allan (R)

Responded NO to both questions:

Illinois State House, District 43

Jeffrey A. Meyer (R) Challenger

DuPage County Board District 6

Kevin R. Wiley (R) Challenger

Candidates were asked but No Response to our questions:

These candidates have not responded to Move To Amend despite the fact most were contacted in person or by email.:

U.S. Senate for Illinois

Dick Durbin (D) Incumbent
Jim Oberwiess (R) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 08, Illinois

Tammy Duckworth (D) Incumbent
Larry Kaifesh (R) Challenger

U.S. House of Representatives, District 06, Illinois

Peter Roskam Incumbent

U.S. House of Representatives, District 14, Illinois

Randy Hultgren (R) Incumbent

Illinois State Senate, District 42

Linda Holmes (D) Incumbent

Illinois State House, District 45

Jenny Burke (D) Challenger
Christine Winger (R) Challenger

Illinois State House, District 43

Anna Moeller(D) Incumbent

Illinois State House, District 66

Michael Tryon Incumbent

Illinois State House, District 83

Linda Chapa LaVia (D) Incumbent

Illinois State Comptroller

Sheila Simon (D) Challenger
Judy Baar Topinka (R) Incumbent

DuPage County Board District 6

Lauren “Laurie” Nowak (D) Incumbent

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Michael Smith (G)

Kane County Board of Supervisors, District 21

Rebecca Gillam

Visit to Senator Richard Durbin’s Office

On October 6th Lyle Hyde, Evelyn Miks, Terry Grace, David Melton and Kaye Gamble had a meeting with Senator Durbin’s, Chief of Staff, Clarisol Duque. The purpose of the meeting was to thank Senator Durbin for including language in SJR19 (Udall Amendment) that references corporate personhood. It was expressed to her that the Coalition to Restore Democracy is sincerely committed to helping Senator Durbin in an effort to pass an amendment to the Constitution. His Chief of Staff will get back with them in December as to what is happening with a possible amendment. They are hoping to establish a collaborative relationship with Durbin’s staff for the purpose of serious campaign finance reform.

Citizens Divided Debate – David Cobb v. James Bopp

Debate of the Century:Human Beings v. Corporations

Indiana University in Bloomington hosts a public debate between David Cobb of Move to Amend’s National Leadership Team and James Bopp, General Counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech and lead attorney for Citizens United.

Watch as Bopp argues the complete integration of the corporation and the person as he speaks about living humans as a corporation and vice versa. He truly believes that corporations are living, breathing, natural entities.

Bopp said a lot of ludicrous things, including:

  • Being absolutely unable to distinguish the difference between a corporation and a person
  • Arguing that there should be absolutely no limits on campaign spending
  • That the key to democratizing electoral access is finding rich people to underwrite our campaigns too, when the rest of us run for office.

But the most ridiculous and out of touch thing that Citizens United’s lawyer James Bopp said is Move to Amend “has no legs and is going nowhere.”

Only someone in favor of corporate and oligarch rule over the people would come to that conclusion.

Pledge to Amend, a Special Webinar

specialSpecial Webinar for Pledge to Amend
MTA is launching a new campaign called Pledge to Amend which will help us organize, educate and lobby local, state and U.S. congressional candidates for 2014 about our “We the People Amendment”. You can learn all about it on a webinar that Move to Amend has produced.The webinar will give ideas about bird-dogging, questions to ask the candidates, social media ideas and a place we can download videos that we have taken. MTA gave an example of the Romney video that went viral when he said in Iowa: “Corporations are people, my friend”.The goal of this campaign is to educate the newly elected officials and incumbents so that in 2015 when they go to Washington they are explicitly aware that this is an important issue to people and they better pay attention. MTA national spokesperson, George Friday says that the goal of the “Pledge to Amend” campaign is to build a legacy of power. It is breathtaking the power that big money wields over our so-called democratic/republic. The corporations have the power and the influence. We the people are ruled by them. We want that to change that. You can view the webinar. Please contact Kaye Gamble for the link and/or your ideas about joining this campaign at mkgamble@ameritech.net

Young Students’ Solution To Corporate Rule


mediacreek

The video above was researched, written and produced by students in the Medea Creek Middle School Economics Club from the Oak Park Unified School District in Southern California. According to the school’s website, the students meet weekly “to develop and use their skills and knowledge in multiple content areas, especially mathematics and social studies.”

Here is more information from their website about the club and this video:

We discuss many issues and events from both the present and the past that relate to the economy of our country and the world. Some of the topics we have covered are: the role of money, the creation of money, international trade, banking, banking laws, fractional reserve lending, odious debt, multinational corporations, international trade, bailouts and bail-in,s austerity & privatization, digital currency and much more.

Congratulations to the 2014 economics club. After they arranged and completed an interview with former economic hit-man John Perkins, they wrote, directed, filmed and edited a successful submission for the C-SPAN documentary contest. Despite not placing in the C-SPAN competition, they received praise for their work from former assistant secretary of the treasury and editor of the wall st. journal Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, journalist and author Nomi Prins, and investigative journalist James Corbett. They even had requests from citizens in foreign countries to release it in different languages.

When this video was brought to our attention, we thought it would be important to share it with our readers. The students explain the current economic and political environment in a clear and concise manner that people of all ages will appreciate. And they put forth a positive solution. They are role models for other students and teachers who might also want to research what is going on in order to understand the challenges we face and to find solutions to those challenges.

Congratulations Medea Creek Economics Club – Popular Resistance applauds you!

Thanks to Popular Resistance:http://www.popularresistance.org/young-students-solution-to-corporate-rule/

Trans Pacific Partnership Activity

Trans Pacific Partnership

On July 5th four members of MTA (Sandy Nickerson, Mary Shesgreen, Leanne Reis-Ong and Kaye Gamble   picketed a fundraiser held for Bill Foster to ask him if he was going to vote for Fast Track for the TPP.  The following editorial is written by Tom Broderick for OakPark.com

The old democracy ain’t what it used to be

 To the tune of “The Old Gray Mare”: “The TPP is bad for democracy, bad for democracy, bad for democracy. The TPP is bad for democracy. It’s bad for you and me.” Two dozen of us sang this outside a fundraiser held in Oak Park recently.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, of Illinois’ 11th Congressional District, came to Oak Park on Sunday, June 22, to raise money for his political campaign. Illinoisans from four Democratic and two Republican districts were outside a home in the 600 block of Fair Oaks, protesting his position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as the secretive negotiation procedure.

Rep. Foster is one of four Democrats representing Illinois who refused to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter opposing “Fast Tracking” the TPP. Fast Track empowers the Executive Branch to present the TPP to our elected representatives for an “up” or “down” vote. There will be little time to review a document composed of thousands of pages. Standard amendment and debate procedures will be bypassed. Why Rep. Foster would condone such an undemocratic approach to governing is bizarre.

Three members from our picket were in the alley when Rep. Foster showed up for his fundraiser. They caught up to him before he reached the backyard. He told us he would only support TPP if it brought jobs. Recall presidential candidate Ross Perot warning of the giant sucking sound of lost American jobs should NAFTA pass?

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the Korean U.S. Trade Agreement (KORUS) have only increased the U.S. trade deficit. While enriching U.S. and foreign multinational corporations, these trade agreements have been destructive to the U.S. economy.

The Maine State Legislature passed the Maine Jobs, Trade and Democracy Act in 2004. This created a first-in-the-nation commission “to assess and monitor the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements on state and local laws, working conditions and the business environment; to provide a mechanism for citizens and legislators to voice their concerns and recommendations; and to make policy recommendations designed to protect Maine’s jobs, business environment and laws from any negative impact of trade agreements.”

Our state senator, Don Harmon, who was invited to the Foster fundraiser, should lead the way in providing Illinois with such safeguards.

There will be a referendum on the November ballot in Oak Park calling for the village to be a TPP-Free Zone. Make your voice heard. For information on the TPP, visit www.citizenstrade.org, www.flushthetpp.org, and www.exposethetpp.org.

Tom Broderick

Oak ParkTPP