Uncategorized — March 9, 2012 at 7:56 am

Jocelyn Benson launches effort to remove corporate influence over our elections


Corporations are NOT people

One of my favorite Michigan political movers and shakers, Jocelyn Benson, has launched a petition drive to strip away corporate influence on our elections in Michigan. The petition drive, if successful, would lead to the formation of “The Corporate Accountability Amendment”.

Benson and others held a press conference yesterday on the steps of the state Capitol Building to kick off the petition drive:

It’s really important when you think about our role not just as voters, but as consumers – when we buy products, we deserve and we have a right to know if the money we spend on companies or on products are being spent to influence political campaigns or lobby elected officials. This amendment would create that right.

From their About page:

Michigan has some of the weakest lobbying and ethics laws in the country, with no disclosure requirements for the tens of millions of corporate dollars spent to influence our elections and elected officials.

The Corporate Accountability Amendment has two main goals:

  1. Disclosure: Ensuring citizens know when CEOs and lobbyist are influencing elections and public policy by requiring instant disclosure of Corporate Funded Political Communications and Lobbying in Michigan.
  2. Disclaimer: Ensuring large corporations and CEOs “Stand By Their Ad” by requiring them to identify who funded the political and lobbying communications on the ads themselves, just like candidates for office and unions have to do right now.

Pay-to-play politics is out of control when wealthy corporate interests can elect their preferred candidates and get special favors and tax breaks. This grassroots initiative takes the first step for us as citizens to address the lack of disclosure for corporate political activity.

You can sign up for updates & volunteer, read the petition and get more information HERE.

[Image credit: Michigan Democratic Party]