Move to Amend

At the October 8 Corvallis City Club meeting, Rachel
Ozretich and Bob Ozretich, co-founders of Corvallis Area Move to Amend, will
briefly summarize the history and some of the consequences of the U.S. Supreme
Court’s classification of:

a) artificial entities (e.g., corporations, unions, and
non-profits) as “persons” with constitutional rights; and
b) money as speech protected by the First Amendment.
Rachel Ozretich
Bob Ozretich

The role of corporations in the political and economic life
of the nation has grown over the past 200 years. While states have retained the
right to grant charters to corporate entities, federal courts, including the
United States Supreme Court, have gradually granted to those entities the
rights originally recognized in the Constitution as inherent to natural
persons. In 2010, the Court held that government cannot restrict corporations, nonprofits and unions from spending unlimited
money to speak on issues in political campaigns, as long as they do not
coordinate with a particular campaign. The ruling did not affect the existing
ban on direct corporate contributions to candidate campaigns or political

This talk will be relevant to the advisory question on the
Corvallis City ballot, Measure 02-81, which reads as follows:


U.S. Constitutional Amendment Addressing Artificial
Entities’ Personhood and Campaign Contributions


Shall the City urge elected representatives to support a
Constitutional Amendment denying artificial entities’ personhood and rejecting
money as speech?


This non-binding advisory question regards legal decisions
that affect campaign financing of elections at all levels (city, county, state,
and nation), based on the Supreme Court interpretation of the U. S.
Constitution. This question asks whether the City should inform elected
officials that the voters in Corvallis believe the United States Constitution
should be amended to limit constitutional rights to natural persons only, and
to specify that campaign contributions and money spent in election campaigns is
not speech protected by the First Amendment. Decisions by the U. S. Supreme
Court currently afford inalienable constitutional rights to artificial
entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and unions. The
Court also currently extends the free speech provision of the First Amendment
to the expenditure of money by both natural persons and artificial entities in
election campaigns. The proposed amendment would guarantee the ability of
governments at all levels to limit the privileges of artificial entities. The
amendment would guarantee the ability of governments to regulate, limit, or
prohibit contributions and expenditures for election campaigns.

Register by October 4

As always, there is no charge for attending Corvallis City Club meetings. However, since space is limited, please register by October 4
by sending email to Roger Lizut,, with City Club Oct.
8 in the subject line. Please indicate if you are having lunch ($8 for
members, $10 for nonmembers). Meetings are held from 12 noon to 1:15
p.m. in the Banquet Room of the Renaissance Building, 136 SW Washington.

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