The Olympian (Olympia, Washington)
BYLINE: JANET JORDAN; Olympia
Most people are aware that the Citizens United decision allowed corporations to buy up elections as “persons” in their own right, and that it set the interests of corporations against the interests of real people. But are we aware that it also sets the interests of localities against the interests of centralized government?
Big corporations obviously like the decision. But centralized government also stands to gain by it. Most members of Congress got there by using corporate money. They won’t willingly agree to a constitutional amendment correcting it.
It’s we the people, in our cities, towns and countrysides, that understand the implications of Citizens United, and it’s we who will have to change it. True, it needs to happen nationwide. But all the action has to happen in cities and counties, by citizen initiative, using local government as the mouthpiece.
It’s starting. Resolutions have been passed in over 130 localities already, with many more are in the works – (go to movetoamend.org/resolutions -map).
Olympia City Council needs to understand this. Ever since the Nuclear Free Zone decision, the City Council has avoided national issues, focusing on potholes instead.
But in this case, a strong resolution by the City Council would be a signal that our city is ready to stand for our local interests, and as an ally with other local governments, against the interests of more powerful units. That makes it a local issue – perhaps the paramount local issue of our time.
Copyright 2012 The Olympian (Olympia, Washington)
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