Washtenaw County activists form group to push back against corporate influence in elections
The announcement comes as David Cobb, a former Green Party presidential candidate, is in town to give a speech about corporate influence in politics.
Among the founders of the new local group are Stuart Dowty, former chairman of the Washtenaw County Democratic Party, and Wes Vivian, a former U.S. Congressman.
The U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision held the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting political expenditures by corporations and unions and paved the way for Super PACs that can accept unlimited contributions.
Cobb is giving a talk called "Creating Democracy & Challenging Corporate Rule" at 7:30 p.m. today at the Pittsfield Township Administration Building, 6201 W. Michigan Ave.
Cobb is an organizer and national spokesman for MoveToAmend.org, a coalition of more than 200,000 people and organizations whose goal is to amend the U.S. Constitution to push back against the influence of corporations in American politics.
"On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government," the group's website reads.
"We, the people of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights."
Local organizers of the movement have launched a Wordpress blog and are calling themselves Michiganders for Keeping Big Money Out Of Elections.
The group's first blog post claims the wealthy few have taken control of elections. It calls for citizens to unite to ban "big money" from elections and "let the people rule." It calls itself a nonpartisan working group and says all are welcome to participate.
Following tonight's talk, the group's next meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. July 16 at the Pittsfield Township Administration Building.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.