Wamend.LincolnRally(By Stacey Cossey) Saturday, April 25th marked the launch of Wamend’s Initiative 735: Get BIG Money out of Elections!   Over a hundred Spokane and Northeastern Washington citizens took to the streets to protest the ‘big’ money that is flowing into our political system, influencing the outcome of our elections.

Ordinary citizens carried signs, marched across the Monroe Street Bridge and gathered around the statue of Abraham Lincoln.  In a statement of political art, Abraham is seen to ask “Whatever happened to a government of, by and for the people?”while the people reply “Get BIG Money out of Elections!”

At the core of this issue is the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that gave corporations access to the people’s rights of the Constitution. These rights, which were designed to protect the people against potential governmental over-reach, have now been handed to corporations.

Wamend.LincolnWhat Americans recognize as the first amendment right to freedom of speech, corporations recognize as the right to buy elections through the use of unlimited and undisclosed money as an expression of free speech.  What Americans recognize as the fourth amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, corporations recognize as the right to be notified before a regulatory agency can search their property for evidence of polluting activities.  Add the fifth and fourteenth amendments and corporations have a variety of avenues to assert their right to harm the environment.

Wamend’s solution to this problem calls for a Constitutional amendment to clarify that the rights of the Constitution belong to human beings, not artificial entities.  It would reverse corporation personhood and the right for money to be used as an expression of free speech.  It calls for transparency and disclosure of all campaign contributions.  If passed, the Washington state legislature would join 16 other states calling on our U.S. Congress for a Constitutional amendment to clarify that the rights of the Constitution belong to only human beings, not artificial entities.

This opportunity to speak up and take meaningful action is rare. Wamend is creating a volunteer network to solicit 320,000 signatures statewide by December 31, 2015.  For more information visit our website at www.wamend.org or ‘like’ on Facebook Spokane County for I-735 or phone Stacy Cossey, WAmend Spokane Organizer at 509-893-9771.

(WaMends work builds upon that of others who are committed to taking big money out of politics, such as that of previous work of Washington Public Campaigns)

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Filed under: Initiatives, Propositions, Levies, and Bonds

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