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Letters to the Editor

Wed., July 24, 2013

Corporations not people

The Spokesman-Review has given much print to persons hyperventilating over the loss of speech rights they would suffer if the Clean and Fair Elections Ordinance were to pass. Not true: Only paid corporate spokespersons (paid lobbyists) would be barred from speaking privately to elected officials. This is necessary to prevent the speech of humans from being drowned by the din of campaign cash.

It’s ironic that Gary Crooks used examples from battles over racial equality to make the point. The 14th Amendment was created to support the rights of former slaves. But in the first 28 years after its passage, it was used 135 times in court cases to advance bogus “rights” for corporations, and only 15 times to defend the rights of freed slaves and their descendants. Crooks uses the same tactic that corporate lawyers have since 1868.

Brick by brick, corporate lawyers and colluding courts have built this fallacy of corporate personhood to the detriment of human citizens. It is time to tear that down. We’ll keep repeating it: Corporations are not people! Phony “rights” wrung from the courts does not give them a heart, a brain or a conscience.

Ted Hensold


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