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Letter to the editor: Time to reclaim our democracy
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From Jeanette Kelty


To the editor:

The article in the July 22 Monroe Times, "Groups raise $32M to support Walker" should cause us all to start thinking. Is the average voting citizen concerned about what negative influences these super PACS may be having on our elected officials?

Looking back in history, we know our founding fathers were concerned about the influence of the wealthy elite having too much power in our government and its policies. After the American Revolution there were limits to the wealthy/corporate influences in the legislature to protect against abuses of "big money" in politics. Slowly over time state legislatures and the courts, as well as corporate attorneys, pressed for Constitutional rights that are reserved for individual "human rights" to be granted to corporations through case law. In 1886, almost 100 years after the Constitution was ratified, the concept of corporate personhood was first introduced through the U.S. Supreme Court. In Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad (1886), there were statements suggesting that corporations are "persons" under the 14th Amendment. Santa Clara has been used as legal precedent in subsequent cases to continue to support corporate personhood.

Now comes 2010 and Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. With this law, corporations with huge wealth and power can contribute massive amounts of money to political candidates. The court interpreted the Constitution to include corporations as "persons" in Citizens United First Amendment rights or protected speech which makes corporate contributions unlimited in influencing our elections. It isn't a far stretch to conclude that if a candidate is successful in the election process because of the advantages of large corporate contributions that the candidate would certainly be "beholden" to the corporate sponsors and would serve the corporate agenda. This indicates legislators are working in the best interests of large corporations/billionaires and not their constituents.

There is a national movement to bring about the change to reclaim our democracy by permitting limits on how much money can be contributed and spent in our political contests. To do this we must amend the U.S. Constitution. To learn more about this strategy, go online to, or Work is underway in Wisconsin. Monroe has a grassroots volunteer group providing information/education with plans for our referendum to be included on the ballot in 2016. For local support, questions, or to volunteer contact Jeanette, or Tim,