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SCOTUS Destroys STRONG KY Const. Language Outlawing Corporate Influence on Elections

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 12:42 AM
Original message
SCOTUS Destroys STRONG KY Const. Language Outlawing Corporate Influence on Elections
It is not just federal statutes of recent decades that fall to Citizens United, but strong state constitutional provisions prohibiting corporate influence in elections like the one from Kentucky below.

As a penalty for corporate direct or indirect influencing of elections, it provides for revocation of their corporate charter (aka the "corporate death penalty")



This, the most recent and current KY Constitution was adopted in 1891, has had 78 amendments sent to voters since then, but the key provision below, Section 150, has stood unscathed since 1891.

In 2004, KY voters approved a "Defense of Marriage" amendment, but even then, they have not thought to open the floodgates for corporate influence by repealing or modifying Section 150 of their Constitution, below.

This just shows how radical, sweeping and backwards the US Supreme Court ruling really is, in its sweeping annihilation of uncontroversial state laws and constitutions that have stood unchallenged for 120 years!



Kentucky Constitution of 1891 (current) SECTION 150



{...} if any corporation shall, directly or indirectly, offer, promise or give, or shall authorize, directly or indirectly, any person to offer, promise or give any money or any thing of value to influence the result of any election in this State, or the vote of any voter authorized to vote therein, or who shall afterward reimburse or compensate, in any manner whatever, any person who shall have offered, promised or given any money or other thing of value to influence the
result of any election or the vote of any such voter, such corporation, if organized under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall, on conviction thereof, forfeit its charter and all rights, privileges and immunities thereunder; and if chartered by another State and doing
business in this State, whether by license, or upon mere sufferance, such corporation, upon conviction of either of the offenses aforesaid, shall forfeit all right to carry on any business in this State {...} The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult or other improper practices.

Full text at:
http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legresou/constitu/150.htm (adopted in 1891 and
never since amended)

Additional Provisions of Kentucky Constitution Re Corporations



SEC. 190. No corporation in existence at the time of the adoption of
this Constitution shall have the benefit of future legislation without
first filing in the office of the Secretary of State an acceptance of
the provisions of this Constitution.

SEC. 192. No corporation shall engage in business other than that
expressly authorized by its charter, or the law under which it may
have been or hereafter may be organized, nor shall it hold any real
estate, except such as may be proper and necessary for carrying on its
legitimate business, for a longer period than five years, under
penalty of escheat.

SEC. 195. The Commonwealth, in the exercise of the right of eminent
domain, shall have and retain the same powers to take the property and
franchises of incorporated companies for public use which it has and
retains to take the property of individuals, and the exercise of the
police powers of this Commonwealth shall never be abridged, nor so
construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such
manner as to infringe upon the equal rights of individuals.


SEC. 205. The General Assembly shall, by general laws, provide for the
revocation or forfeiture of the charters of all corporations guilty of
abuse or misuse of their corporate powers, privileges or franchises,

or whenever said corporations become detrimental to the interest and
welfare of the Commonwealth or its citizens.

See http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/legresou/constitu/intro.htm

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2 Much Tribulation Donating Member (522 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's not just McCain Feingold's overruling that killed democracy n/t
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 01:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. dam liberal states...about time they face the facts of life
corporations are just like human beings...they can walk,talk,drink ,eat, and defecate. hell they even have sex relations!
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. If corps were persons, wall street would be a slave trading post (as someone here on DU posted) n/t
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R.
Geez, I've got a lot to digest about this. I'm very glad to have your viewpoint on this.

:thumbsup:
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. So are you proposing...
that people wanting to organize and do public service work (nee activism) should design projects that aim to cost corporations their charters? The framing here is intriguing to me. Strategically it moves the goal posts for a win much closer than a campaign for a Constitutional Amendment. Plus it creates an endless number of targets for such projects, therefore making many possible wins (even after one or more losses), representing momentum toward a tipping point with each one (as opposed to an Amendment, which not only would take forever, it creates an all or nothing outcome). What are some ways that citizens or groups can bring a formal challenge to a corporation's charter?
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2 Much Tribulation Donating Member (522 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. It's a good idea to consider, what you say... n/t
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. kick n/t
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
8. k&r and r again!
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. if organized under the laws of this Commonwealth,
I think that could easily be evaded. How many big corporations are organized in Kentucky?
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