April 19, 2012
Nancy Pelosi wants to amend the First Amendment. She thinks corporations have too much speech and she wants to limit it.
When Pelosi says “special interests,” she means the interests of those opposed to establishment Democrats. Clear Channel is a corporation. So is Fox News. There are thousands of websites, newspapers, think tanks and political action committees that Pelosi and the Democrats consider corporations.
In Citizens v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that the free speech of corporations is protected by the First Amendment. Corporations that produce political books, documentaries, and other materials have the same freedom of speech rights as individuals.
Pelosi and the Democrats want a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling. It is part of a “three-pronged strategy that also includes promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which would increase disclosure requirements for organizations running political ads,” writes Terence P. Jeffrey of CNSNews.
In order to sell the scheme, Pelosi and the Democrats have tied it to campaign finance reform.
“We have a clear agenda in this regard: Disclose, reform the system reducing the roll of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution to rid it of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns,” Pelosi said on Thursday.
In ruling in favor if a First Amendment right for corporations, the “Supreme Court had unleashed a predator that was oozing slime into the political system, and that, indeed, is not an exaggeration,” said Pelosi. “Our Founders had an idea. It was called democracy. It said elections are determined by the people, the voice and the vote of the people, not by the bankrolls of the privileged few. This Supreme Court decision flies in the face of our Founders’ vision and we want to reverse it.”
Pelosi was joined by the usual suspects, including People for the American Way and Common Cause.