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Bernie Sanders Proposes ‘Saving American Democracy Amendment’

By Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders

08 December 11


arning that “American democracy in endangered,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S. elections.

Warning that “American democracy in endangered,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S. elections. The first constitutional amendment ever proposed by Sanders during his two decades in Congress would reverse the narrow 5-to-4 ruling in Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission. In that controversial decision almost two years ago, justices gave corporations the same First Amendment free-speech rights as people.

“There comes a time when an issue is so important that the only way to address it is by a constitutional amendment,” Sanders said of the effort to override the court decision that he labeled “a complete undermining of democracy.”

Sanders’ Saving American Democracy Amendment would make clear that corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as people and that corporations may be regulated by Congress and state legislatures. It also would preserve the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press. It would incorporate a century-old ban on corporate campaign donations to candidates, and establish broad authority for Congress and states to regulate spending in elections.

Sanders proposal in the Senate is a companion measure to a constitutional amendment introduced in the House by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.). “The dominance of corporations in Washington has imperiled the economic security of the American people and left our citizens profoundly disenchanted with our democracy,” the congressman said. “I look forward to working with Sen. Sanders to save American democracy by banning all corporate spending in our elections and cracking down on secret front groups using anonymous corporate cash to undermine the public interest.”

Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, praised the proposal. “Sen. Sanders’ amendment returns us to shared understandings that democracy is for people. Public Citizen applauds and endorses the amendment, and thanks Sen. Sanders for his long-time campaign to reduce excessive corporate power.”

Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, also applauded the amendment. She said it would “root out the rank corruption of our elections by for-profit corporations.” No other amendment proposed in the Senate, she added, “has so definitively confronted the twin problems created by judges who have improperly granted rights to corporations, without democratic consent, and who have used their seats on the bench to favor the wishes of corporate CEOs.”

A proposed amendment originating in Congress must be approved by a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate in order to be submitted for consideration by the states. Ratification by three-fourths of the states is required to amend the Constitution.

To read the amendment, click here.

For a fact sheet on the amendment, click here.


Nestlé tells Pakistan contract workers ‘Give up your rights, now and forever!’ Mass dismissals, jail, beatings and now blackmail

Management at Nestle’s giant Kabirwala dariy factory in Pakistan is deepening its policy of punishing contract workers who demand their legal rights. Casual workers employed for nine months are entitled by law to direct, permanent employment status, but Nestlé has responded to their demands by dismissing over a hundred, fabricating legal charges against the workers and by recently offering 50 dismissed workers the possibility of returning to their precarious employment (‘no work, no pay) on condition that they permanently renounce all current and future claims against the company! Nestlé management continues to pressure union president Mohammad Bhatti to drop his support for the contract workers, who face fabricated criminal charges for claiming their rights. In the course of their struggle, workers have been physically assaulted by a vengeful labour contractor and goons.

Now Nestlé is cynically creating new, permanent positions for contract workers who are not union members and who have not supported the union’s fight for justice, sending a clear message that those who claim their rights will be punished!

Use the form below to send a message to Nestlé, telling them to Stop Nespressure and respect trade union rights in Pakistan!

The Socialist Solution: An Article Calling on All Unemployed People to Join Socialist Organizations

The Socialist Solution: An Article Calling on All Unemployed People to Join Socialist Organizations.

Unemployed people should join socialist organizations because socialist organizations would give these unemployed people a place to use their talents, gifts, and abilities collectively, toward a common goal. Socialism has been given such a negative stigma by the propaganda machine that people simply shudder at the mere thought of it; the Soviets, the Chinese, and the Cubans (among others) all have been portrayed as sworn enemies “in the name of freedom”. There is nothing free about America whatsoever. Capitalism and democracy obviously are not cutting it when you see unemployment rates skyrocketing, as they are now. This is nothing new. The capitalist system thrives on cycles of crisis, depression, revival, and boom. The majority of the time, when the economy is struggling, this is when wars begin in an attempt to stimulate the economy. This is nothing new; it has been happening as far back as the two great World Wars.

People are struggling, starving, or reducing themselves to lawless acts in order to do basic things like eating and having a roof over their heads. The capitalist society is a failure, and always has been. There is no place for people that do not do things the “right” way, hence the prisons remain packed and the all-powerful, oppressive police force remain quick to arrest those who fail to do things “the American way”. If these unemployed brothers and sisters would simply understand that they have been fed propaganda their entire lives by the media and the educational system, among many other sources, and that socialism, the notion of everyone being equal, will not only save the country but the world as a whole. China, since adopting socialism, has been the most prosperous nation in the world. America should follow suit, and soon, before the economy collapses for good. If they don’t give it to us, we’ll just have to take it. At the end of the day, what is green paper really worth anyway?

K.K. El
Party Member  #7359