JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Some good things are happening in the Aloha state. In addition to House Speaker Joe Soukiâ€™s push to legalize recreational use of marijuana for â€śrevenues-equitablyâ€ť after Washington and Colorado voters passed ballot measures to do the same, House Judiciary Chairman Karl Rhoads introduced a bill to limit free-speech protections to â€śnatural personsâ€ť.
At first glance, limiting free-speech sounds suspicious, but the key phrase here is â€śnatural persons.â€ť From the time corporations were ruled by the Supreme Court as â€śpersonsâ€ť corporate entities have been given all the rights entitled to individuals; and yet, we all know that corporations are not persons.
Thus when the Supreme Court Justices ruled in favor of Citizens United, it paved the way for a flood of advertisements during political campaigns from corporations and other entitiesâ€”all in the name of â€śfree speech,â€ť as though these corporate entities were individuals, which is the equivalent of calling Wal-Mart or Bank of America individuals with constitutional rights.
Citizens United really has nothing whatsoever to do with free speech and everything to do with corrupting politicians and elected officials with their bondage of money and tight strings to do as the corporate masters demand, and to ignore what is morally and ethically right for the people and for the preservation of our environment. Think of Big Oil and Big Pharma as merely a couple examples of Big corrupt campaign money to politicians and you get the picture.
The measure would amend the state Constitutionâ€™s counterpart to the U.S. Constitutionâ€™s First Amendment free-speech protections to cover only â€śnatural persons.â€ť The purpose, according to the bill, is not to cover â€śa business entity.â€ť
As reported in the Star Advertiser, Rhoads said that he introduced the bill because of what he called the â€śterrible decisionâ€ť in the Citizens United case. It is a â€śprotestâ€ť vote to let the Justices and D.C. elitists know that Hawaii doesnâ€™t agree with the Courtâ€™s Citizens United decision.
Common Cause Hawaii said the amendment would â€śsend a strong signalâ€ť to Congress that the state holds that freedom of speech should apply only to natural persons. Both the state House and Senate must approve the proposal to place the amendment on the ballot for voter ratification.
Weâ€™re keeping our fingers crossed for the legalization of Hawaiian Pakalolo, which would increase revenues for the state of Hawaii by billions of dollars, and that Hawaiiâ€™s amendment measure will send a strong message to Congress and to the Supreme Court that corporate entities are NOT persons, and that buying politicians via a flood of campaign money has nothing to do with free-speech.