Constitution needs 28th Amendment

To the Editor:

Thanks to YWCA Piqua for hosting the Nov. 24 candidate forum. Because of limited time, my question to the candidates didn’t get asked. That’s too bad because it addressed a solution to the biggest problem facing our nation today — the outsized role of large corporations and big money in our elections and governance, a role that influences everything people care about from education, living wages and healthcare to immigration and environmental protection.

The solution is a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that makes two things clear: (1) constitutional rights belong to people only — not associations, corporations, unions or other artificial entities; and (2) money is not speech. Artificial entities such as corporations are important, but they should have statutory rights, not constitutional ones. Money is property, and if money spent on elections is not regulated, those with the most property will have the loudest voice.

Why an amendment? Without an amendment, the Supreme Court will continue to let the ostensible constitutional rights of artificial entities trump the genuine constitutional rights of people. Without an amendment, the Supreme Court will continue to rule that spending money on elections is a protected form of speech. Currently in Congress, H.J.R. 48 proposes such an amendment.

Here in Ohio, similar resolutions have been introduced in Columbus (S.R. No. 37 and H.R. No. 74). Across our state, more than 20 communities have expressed support for a 28th Amendment through council resolutions, ordinances and ballot initiatives.

My question to the candidates was this: If elected, will you support these resolutions? Why or why not?

— Deborah Hogshead