No, this is not a post about HB6 and First Energy, now Energy Harbor, or whatever. That said, Simply Living has a history of supporting renewable energy policies, and this most recent scandalous corruption of the Ohio legislature has had the benefit of motivating Ohio citizens to pull back the curtain and wake up to the undue influence of corporate interests. The oil and gas industry has hired the most lobbyists targeting our legislators, and their success just might spell the end of their influence if enough citizens wake up and vote for candidates who refuse their campaign contributions (aka legalized bribery). See the digital billboard above (OhioCitizen.org).
In 2016 Simply Living hosted Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet, as the featured speaker at our annual Gift To Be Simple fundraiser. Her message, however, was not just about the impact of our food system and eating habits on the environment, but stressed equally the importance of reclaiming our democracy from the corporate interests who lobby our federal and state legislatures.
Reclaim democracy? What exactly does that mean? Lappé’s message comes down to this: We cannot change our harmful industrial, factory farming food system until we change our current system of democracy: voting for candidates who raise the most money in order to buy 30 second television ads. Why? Because those candidates reward their corporate donors by passing laws and appointing industry lobbyists that put corporate interests above the interests of the voters. And here is the kicker: it is not just about food and farming (Big Ag), but every sector of the economy: Big Oil and Gas, Big Pharma, Big Box Retail, Big Grocery, Big Banks, Big Cable, etc. and now we have Big Internet – Google, Facebook, and Amazon!
What is the Solution? Move To Amend is a growing movement to “end corporate rule, legalize democracy.” How? By championing the We The People 28th Amendment to the Constitution. It’s a simple, elegant solution that declares two things:
1) Corporations are Not People. This ends past decades of giving to corporations the same rights that individual citizens possess; and
2) Money is Not Speech. This ends past judicial decisions that makes corporate donations of cash to our elected representatives equivalent to our individual rights of free speech.
This is the context needed to understand how to address the mess created by HB6. Greg Coleridge, the National Outreach Director for Move to Amend, is a native buckeye and he recently posted a brilliant Opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch, called First Energy Should Be Put Out of Business. Greg explains step by step what needs to be done, including both how and why we the people need to reclaim our democracy by reasserting individual citizen rights over corporate rights.
Normally a link to an Opinion piece in the Dispatch would be available online. In this case, the Dispatch made the decision to remove it, but luckily Greg took a picture and posted it on his website. You can view it below.
“…corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.” ~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010
We don’t yet have the We the People 28th Amendment added to the constitution. However, consider adding your signature to Move To Amend’s Motion to Amend petition on their website.
Greg Coleridge is the author of Citizens Over Corporations: A Brief History of Democracy in Ohio and Challenges to Freedom in the Future. You can meet Greg Sunday, August 29 (on Zoom) when he will lead the discussion and Q&A following the screening of The New Corporation on August 28. Simply Living and the Ohio Community Rights Network are co-sponsoring the event. More on the Democracy film festival series here . Link to the trailer here.
Posted by Chuck Lynd, Outreach Volunteer for Simply Living. Contact Chuck@simplyliving.org.