Witt: Proposed amendment should be approved

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, May 30, 2017

By Chuck Witt

A national organization is working to have a 28th amendment added to the Constitution of the United States. This organization has composed a governing council consisting of historians, CEOs, former senators and representatives, governors and university professors.

The result of this 28th amendment would be to overturn the Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to exercise the same rights as individuals regarding having a voice in elections.

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According to a Bloomberg poll taken in 2015, the percentage of people supporting this amendment was nearly 80 percent and was fairly consistent among liberals, conservatives and moderates.

It seems likely the support for this amendment is even greater now that the country has endured another presidential election which was characterized by the flow of money from powerful special interests.

Recently, it was reported that 18 states and over 800 cities and towns have passed resolutions supporting this amendment which has also allegedly garnered support from 48 U.S. senators and 160 U.S. representatives.

If the amendment is adopted, it will remove special privilege from concentrated money interests, corporations, unions, political parties and superPACs, all of which are presently exerting undue influence on American elections, to the detriment of the individual voter.

Conservatives don’t want unions to have influence, liberals don’t want corporations to have it and moderates don’t want either to have it, so now is the time for all these factions to come together and place the authority of election choice back into the hands of the common citizen.

It will require resolutions by two-thirds of the states, 34, to require Congress to call for the amendment. The movement is over halfway there. It is time for the extra necessary states to step up and join the movement, and to do so before the next presidential election in 2020.

There’s an old joke: “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one”.

Of course, corporations are made up of people. As are unions. As are political parties. But none of these groups acting as conglomerates should be allowed to unfairly influence the outcome of our elections.

It is unfortunate that our representatives in Congress find it so easy to garner huge sums from a few moneyed entities because it places them in a position of being beholden to those interests or the flow of cash gets cut off. Congressmen and congresswomen constantly espouse that taking money from anyone, individual or corporation, does not bind them to act in behalf of those individuals or corporations. Poppycock!

The prospect of having their monetary largesse terminated is enough to cause an elected official to hyperventilate and turn blue.

The 5-4 ruling that created Citizens United, which was passed by the Supreme Court in 2010, demonstrated the Court was fundamentally divided on the question.

Seven of the 17 amendments to the Constitution which have passed since the Bill of Rights were amendments that overruled previous rulings of the Supreme Court.

Citizens United is the most recent heinous Supreme Court ruling that is a slap in the face of all American voters. This proposed 28th amendment should be adopted without delay to correct this situation.

Apparently a bill was introduced in 2013 in the Kentucky legislature to support this Constitutional amendment but no legislative action has yet been taken.

It’s time for Kentucky to get ‘off the fence’ and support this important amendment and for Congress to pass it forthwith.

Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at chuck740@bellsouth.net.