Is BP a person?
Tell your legislators:
Dear Working Families supporter,
The U.S. Supreme Court recently made one of its worst rulings in decades: It said that large corporations are legally considered "people" with the same Constitutional Rights as you or I to speak out - and spend money - in political campaigns.
That stunning ruling opened the floodgates for big business to influence our elections. BP or Goldman Sachs can now spend millions more to help elect candidates who will do their bidding in office.
But real people like you and me can still fight back - and if we act now, New York State can lead that fight.
Our State Legislature is about to vote on a law that would make all New York-based companies get shareholder approval before they spend money for political purposes. Can you e-mail your State Legislators right now to make sure they support this bill?
If this compaign finance reform bill passes, anyone who owns stock in a New York corporation will get to vote on what candidates or political causes that company can support. If a majority of shareholders vote against certain political spending, then the corporation can't do it.
This law -- proposed by Senate Majority Leader John Sampson and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver -- would give real people a say in corporate political spending without violating the Supreme Court's ruling. It's an important first step to limit corporate influence in our elections, and could become a national model.
And that's not all this reform bill does. It also requires all people or groups who spend over $1,000 to influence a New York election to publicly report their spending, and it will make it easier to investigate election irregularities.
Tell your elected officials to pass this bill now:
Out-of-control corporate spending is one of the most harmful parts of our political process, and one of the hardest to stop. Only a system of public financing of elections can truly limit the power of big special interests and restore our democracy -- but we need to take the first step now.
If you believe that corporations shouldn't have the same political rights as real people, will you take a moment to email your legislators and urge them to pass this law ASAP?
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