Proposed constitutional amendment would curb corporations but not unions

Dec 14, 2011

The Bellingham Herald

By John Stark

December 14, 2011

A proposed constitutional amendment to curb corporate political activities would not apply to labor unions.

This post from Tuesday, Dec. 13 noted that U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen has signed on to the amendment, prompting some discussion in this space about the scope of the amendment.

I asked Bryan Thomas, a Larsen spokesman, for clarification, and he replied in an email that the proposed amendment applies to corporations only. Here is the text:

`Section 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

`Section 2. Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.

`Section 3. Such corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the people.

`Section 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.’.