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Brecksville Ballot Issue- Citizens Petition: Corporations are not people & money does not equal speech

Brecksville Ballot issue #25 - in support of constitutional amendment to declare that "corporations are not people" and "money is not speech". Please vote yes on this important issue

On Oct 25th, Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics appeard on NPR's Sound of Ideas to discuss Ballot Issue #25.  The Mayor's representative was also there.  I've included the link below:

Discussion of our ballot issue on NPR's ""Sound of Ideas this morning". There are 2 segments. The show starts with our ballot issue and then briefly talks about a different ballot issue. The show then returns to our issue about 32 minutes into the tape.

http://www.ideastream.org/soi/ entry/49812

We are asking for your "YES" vote on our issue.  The Mayor seems to be worried that unions are not included in our ordinance.  The fact is that our ordinance includes:  Corporations, unions, PACS & Super-PACS.  The language of ballot issue #25 doesn't fully explain what we're trying to accomplish.  This movement seeks to restore to congress and the states the right to REGULATE political contributions.  We do not seek to eliminate the speech of corporate entities.  The main thrust of our ordinance is to have a public hearing to examine the effects of political contributions by corporations etc..on our city.  In 2011 our City had revenue of $25,000,000.  How appealing is that pot of money to special interests?  We have contracts, zoning issues, water & sewer issues etc.  These are the questions our public hearing would address.  It never hurts for public officials to know that we're paying attention.  

While the Mayor continues to say that this is not the proper forum for our ballot issue, the Secretary of State and the Ohio Supreme Court disagree.  Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics won this issue at every level at which this was litigated.  We feel this is exactly the place to begin a grass roots movement to save our democracy from the smothering effects of unlimited cash flooding our system and buying our government.  Neighbor to neighbor, community to community,  we will build the momentum for this issue.  At some point, our elected officials will hear our amplified voice.  We have to start somewhere.  We have to preserve our one person one vote democratic process.  We cannot stand for the wholesale disenfranchisment of our individual voices.

The anti issue #25 advertisement in the Oct 24th Gazzette is full of lies.  Issue #25 does not intend to silence unions or corporations.  Issue #25 seeks reasonable regulations of contributions by corporations, unions, PACS & Super-PACS. Issue #25 does not "conflate the authority of local government beyond it's chartered boundaries."  Again, the Ohio Sureme Court has decided this issue by a vote of 5 - 0 saying that our city does have the authority to deal with issue #25 because it calls for a public hearing on the effects of political contributions by corporations, unions, PACS & Super-PACS.  City Council never took a public vote opposing issue #25.  City council was hoodwinked into allocating over $15,000 to keep our proposed ordinance off the ballot.  Since we won, they haven't taken a public vote.  

Per the Brecksville Magazine November 2012 "Both Hruby and Petsche stressed this is not a partisan issue, and the mayor said he respects the members of BCFTP and that they feel strongly about their cause.  "These are our own residents and we're not pitted against each other.  We just have a difference of opinion on the process."  To reiterate again, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the process required in the Issue #25 ordinance, a "town hall meeting every 2 years to be held after the general election" is a proper forum for the residents of the City of Brecksville.

The Mayor continues to say that this public meeting is not within the charter of the city.  I don't understand why he continues to make this statement when the Ohio Supreme Court has said this is perfectly within the city's authority.  This town hall meeting can be a great asset to our city.  Bringing citizens together to discuss a very important issue, giving residents a chance to air their views and hopefully involving our schools in the civic process of democracy.  We can set an example for the rest of Ohio.  We can energize other communities to take a stand against the wholesale purchasing of our democracy.    

PLEASE VOTE YES ON ISSUE #25

 

movetoamend.org/brecksville                                                                          FB:  move to amend - brecksville                                    brecksville@movetoamend.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kate October 26, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Keeping the communications open between the citizens and our Brecksville officials is important. I would think that our Brecksville government would be thrilled to share their process and getting the involvement of the citizens in the City that we all love. I think this is an opportunity that the Mayor should embrace rather than attempt to block.
David K. Ream October 26, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Citizen's free speech expressed as a ballot measure, creating a mechanism for elected officials to provide them a forum to discuss whether corporations are people and the corporate money is drowning out the citizens' voices, is being suppressed by local government. Should not local government be promoting discussions about the rights of citizens and whether they are being expanded or infringed?
Fred E. Pedersen October 26, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I think Kate is exactly right, it is important to keep communications open between the citizens and our Brecksville officials. I am surprised at the resistance expressed by our elected officials to this ordinance in favor of more individual freedom of speech. What is particularly surprising to me is their continued resistance in view of the Ohio Supreme Court's decision 5-0 that it is appropriate as a local, community ballot initiative.
Jeff Mihalich November 01, 2012 at 02:17 PM
This is a misappropriation of city resources and an attempt to limit the free speech. Vote NO on Issue 25 http://brecksvillefreespeech.info
Rose Petsche November 01, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Hey Jeff, do you want to know an actual misappropriation of city resources? How about paying more than $15,000 in taxpayer funds to fight this issue all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in our favor. You need to explain how a town hall meeting once every 2 years to discuss the effects of money on our city, state etc is a waste of resources? Is there some reason you are against people getting together to focus on this issue? This whole line of attack is absurd. With $25million in revenue we are an attractive target for dark money or outside influences to obtain some of that pot. After the Citizens United decision we are no longer able to know who pays for our politicians or who contributes to their campaigns and what their agenda might be.
Rose Petsche November 01, 2012 at 04:38 PM
We all need to be concerned about this influx of money into our political system at every level. Vote YES on Ballot Issue #25
Jeff Mihalich November 01, 2012 at 06:10 PM
President Obama's campaign has raised $1 billon in funds not including his Super Pac money, do you want to also limit these funds? What about the "volunteers" that unions and other groups employ to campaign. This will NOT limit spending on campaigns but it will limit certain private citizens, businesses and groups from utilizing their own, private resources in the political process. Vote NO on Issue 25, Save Free speech and protect our local government for being used as a tool for this special interest group.
Rose Petsche November 01, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Jeff, we want to give congress & the states back the ability to regulate ALL money in our political process, no matter who or what party they represent. As I said before, I don't believe this is a partisan issue. I'm not sure what is so hard to understand about that. I just have to scratch my head at the inability of people to see the damage that is being done and has been done to our democracy. Give it up, Jeff. You don't have a leg to stand on...;> VOTE YES on ISSUE #25

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