BuisnessWeek Hawaii: Limits sought on companies'.

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hughey2000
hughey2000's picture

My name is Justin Hughey.  I herd about a resolution on Thom's show that passed in Oregon.  So I passed it in Hawaii.  It is actually passed the house! Hawaii: Limits sought on companies' political pull

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HONOLULU

Companies shouldn't have the same campaign contribution rights as people, according to a resolution unanimously passed by the Hawaii House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The resolution asks Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution so that the rights of "natural persons" are distinguished from the rights of corporations.

The vote comes in response to a January U.S. Supreme Court ruling that business and union spending on campaign ads may not be limited.

Supporters of the resolution said companies shouldn't be granted the same freedom of speech rights guaranteed to individuals.

"The term 'person' should match reality," said JoAnn Maruoka of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii. "Corporations and unions are legal entities. Money is not speech. And human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights."

Businesses are increasing their influence on the political process at the expense of real human beings, testified Josh Frost, co-chair of the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii.

"As corporations are the creations of society and of governments, they should not and cannot be recognized as existing on equal footing as a person," Frost said.

Also Thursday, the state Senate passed a campaign finance measure requiring companies to disclose when they make direct donations to candidates totaling more than $1,000 during a two-year election period.

But the bill does not require companies to make contributions through political action committees, a provision sought by good-government advocacy groups. Instead, businesses would continue to be allowed to directly donate as much money to candidates as individuals.

"Corporations already have too much power in determining public policy," said Sen. Les Ihara, D-Kahala-Palolo, speaking from the Senate floor. "People, not corporations, should be the primary sponsors of candidates running for public office."

The bill also would relax limits on mainland contributions to state candidates, allowing contributions from out-of-state donors to amount to 30 percent of total money raised by a candidate. Current law caps mainland contributions at 20 percent.

The legislation passed the Senate 19-4 and now advances to a conference committee.

The constitutional amendment resolution will next be considered by the full House.

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The resolution is HCR282. The bill is HB2003.

Comments

maraden
maraden's picture
Good news. IMO, the TEA Party

Good news. IMO, the TEA Party should make Corporate political influence their #1 issue if they ever get to the political platform phase. Most Americans could get behind that issue with the right framing.

fagusabello
fagusabello's picture
Finally found Justin's actual

Finally found Justin's actual resolution link is located at::

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/bills/HCR282_HD1_.htm

REQUESTING CONGRESS TO PROPOSE AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES TO PERMIT CONGRESS AND THE STATES TO REGULATE THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS BY CORPORATIONS ENGAGING IN POLITICAL SPEECH.

This is still in process but I think it would be great if we can get each of our own State Legislature to pass likewise resolutions.

Cheers, JJ

DRC
DRC's picture
It is a good first step, but

It is a good first step, but until we ban any money from the revenue streams of Commerce to be given directly to candidates or used to purchase ads, etc., the game will still be corrupted by a highly imbalanced finance structure.  The point is that corporations and private businesses all need to be banned from any political advocacy.  The people who own and work in these businesses are perfectly free to join together as private citizens to express the interests of a business they think operates in their interest.  If they can convince the public that it serves the public good, they have done it the correct way.

The personhood argument needs to be parsed, but why corporations or private businesses are allowed to dump money in to our politics directly instead of through the real person citizens does not follow the premise.  Only real people and real citizens ought to be able to donate to political advocacy.  It has to be their personal money, not some channel to put corporate money into public politics under a phony front.

polycarp2
Persoally, I'd like to see

Persoally, I'd like to see corporations reigned in as they once were....if they got involved in any way in the political process they were given the death pealty.

When a corporation is brought into being by a state charter...the charter includes what a corporation may or may not do. It's a power states have thrown away in the competition to compete with one another.

Incorporate in our state, and you can do anything you want...just give us our fee. Incorporate your  bank in our state, and you aren't subject to usury laws (caps on interest) by any state."  Sometimes, competition isn't a good thing.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

MikeK
MikeK's picture
polycarp2 wrote: Persoally,

polycarp2 wrote:

Persoally, I'd like to see corporations reigned in as they once were....if they got involved in any way in the political process they were given the death pealty.

When a corporation is brought into being by a state charter...the charter includes what a corporation may or may not do. It's a power states have thrown away in the competition to compete with one another.

Incorporate in our state, and you can do anything you want...just give us our fee. Incorporate your  bank in our state, and you aren't subject to usury laws (caps on interest) by any state."  Sometimes, competition isn't a good thing.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You're quite right.  And have a look at who found a home in Senator Joe Biden's state:

American Express
301 N. Walnut St, #1002, Wilmington, Delaware 19801

Apex Credit Cards
1000 N. West St, Wilmington, Delaware 19801

Bank of America
1100 N. French St, Wilmington, Delaware 19884

Chase Manhattan Bank
500 White Clay Center Dr, Newark, Delaware 19711

Discover Card Services
P.O. Box 15251, Wilmington, DE 19886

The closer we look the more interesting it gets.