Alliance for Democracy

Citizen United Anniversary/Single Payer/Oregon State Bank events

Posted in Barbara Dudley, Citizens United, corporate personhood, Dan Meek, Dr. Flowers, Jon Batholmew, Oregon State Bank, OSPIRG by Alliance for Democracy Portland OR on January 20, 2011

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision one year ago (January 21) opened the flood gates of direct corporate money into America’s elections.  Prior to this decision, corporations had been banned under the Tillman Act of 1907 from using corporate funds to fund federal political campaigns.  According to President Teddy Roosevelt in advocating for the corporate ban said, “All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law; directors should not be permitted to use stockholders’ money for such purposes.” 

The Supreme Court removed that prohibition in its Citizens United v FEC decision.  And because corporations had not been allowed to contribute before, there were few disclosure requirements in place.  When corporations give, the American people don’t know who is giving and who is receiving.

But we do know from known sources that corporations increased their political contributions from zero in the 2008 election to $230 million in 2010. Their actual giving was much greater.  This influx of money changes the character of American governance.  Elected officials will think twice about challenging business agendas.  People thinking about running for office will be discouraged from doing so unless they adopt pro-business positions.  Business lobbyists will use the threat of future corporate funding, either for or against an elected official, to change the positions and policies of government.

So to mark the first anniversary of the end of democracy and the beginning of plutocracy, the Alliance for Democracy is sponsoring a couple of events – the March of the Judges and a community forum – Stand Up to Citizens United.  Details for both follow along with details on the conference for Single Payer Health care and a community Forum on the Oregon State Bank.

Additional information on Citizens United and the movement to end corporate personhood is available on several website – national Alliance for Democracy, Move to Amend, and Movement for the People.

David Delk, Alliance for Democracy, 503.232.5495,

First Annual Judges’ Ramble!!!
Rambling for 2 hours at lunch in downtown Portland to Pioneer Square, City Hall, & the Federal Courthouse !
To Commemorate the First Anniversary of the infamous US Supreme Court Decision Citizens United v Federal Election Commission
In which the Supreme Court on January 21, 2010 in a 5 to 4 decision granted corporations the right to “Personhood”
On January 21, 2010 , the US Supreme Court changed the nature of America ’s democracy, and gave corporations First Amendment Free Speech Rights. This opens the floodgates for corporate cash to purchase elections. Obviously corporations give only with a view to the corporate bottom line, and what the company will get in return.

The Alliance for Democracy presents Nine Oregon Voters attired as the Supreme Court Judges of the January 21, 2010 Supreme Court who rendered this decision, the 4 Judges who votes against it, and the 5 Judges who voted to give corporations the power to change American policy and to purchase elected officials.

And the “good” judges were…
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg      Played by Ms. Hollis Benedict
Judge Stephen Breyer                 Played by Mr. Ethan Scarl
Judge Sonia Sotomayor              Played by Ms. Nancy Matela
Judge John Paul Stevens            Played by Mr. Colm Brennan
And the “bad” corporate-leaning judges (we present them plastered with the logos of the corporations who bought them) were…
Judge Antonin Scalia                  Played by Mr. Brent Schauer
Judge Anthony Kennedy            Played by Mr. Mike Munk
Judge Clarence Thomas             Played by Mr. Don Baham
Chief Justice John Roberts        Played by Mr. Phil Wikelund
Judge Samuel Alito                     Played by Mr. David Delk

*With Special Thanks to Joan Horton, Gisela Ray, and Keturah Pennington

You are cordially invited to catch our act on Friday noon in downtown Portland.

THE ROUTE: Beginning @ 11:15 AM, an assembly of nine costume attired Portlanders will parade a casual sidewalk ramble, single file, on the following route: two blocks on SW Oak to SW Washington, up Washington to SW Broadway, SW Broadway to Pioneer Square, circumventing Pioneer Square two or three times at 11:45 to @ noon, ambling over to PDX City Hall at 1221 SW 4th at @ 12:30, then over to the Hatfield Federal Courthouse on 1000 SW 3rd Avenue at @12:45-ish, then back up to Broadway and return to SW 4th and SW Oak, probably by 1:45 or so with a few side trip.

Standing up to Citizens United – a Community Forum
Tuesday, Jan 25, 7-9 PM, First Unitarian Church, SW 12th and Salmon

One year ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that money from corporate coffers could be directly used in elections with almost no limits. Democracy is government of, by, and for the people.  Now the US Supreme Court has given us government of, by , and for corporations.

What does this mean for democracy and what can we do about it.

Dan Meek, Public Interest Attorney, campaign finance reform advocate
Barbara Dudley, former Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild and head of the Oregon Working Families Party

Sponsored by Alliance for Democracy
Co-sponsored by the Economic Justice Action Group of the 1st Unitarian Church, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Independent Party of Oregon, Progressive Party of Oregon, Oregon Working Families Party.

Single Payer Health care – Should Oregon Go First?
Join the movement for Single Payer Healthcare

Saturday, January 29, 8:30 – 4:30 PM, First Unitarian Church, SW 12th and Main St.

During the national debates on health care, President Obama said that Single Payer was the only solution that would address all of the major goals for health care reform but ruled it out. Learn about Single Payer.  Attend workshops to learn how to be a better advocate for comprehensive, universal health care.  Learn about Oregon legislation for Single Payer.

A day of Speakers and Workshops
US Representative John Conyers, Sponsor of HR676
Dr. Margaret Flowers, Physic ans for a National Health Program
Katie Robbin, Health care Now
Mark Dudzic, Labor Campaign for Single Payer
Sponsored by Justice with Justice and Physic ans for National Health Program.  Cosponsored by Alliance for Democracy and others.

A Community Forum on Creating the Oregon State Bank

Tuesday Feb. 1, 2011, 5:30 – 6 pm Reception, 6 pm – 8 pm Public Forum
New Song Community Church, 2511 NE MLK Blvd.

The Oregonians for a State Bank coalition will hold a forum on the legislative proposal to create a publicly owned bank in the state of Oregon.  The Oregon Working Families Party (WFP) will host the event which is co-sponsored by numerous other organizations including the Alliance for Democracy.  Full list at end of this message..

Speakers from the WFP, Oregon Action, and others will discuss the proposal, the need, and the campaign to establish the Oregon State Bank.

Why a State Bank?

Currently the state of Oregon deposits literally billions of our tax dollars into the very same Wall Street Banks that crashed our economy.  This legislation would bring our money home to Oregon and put it to use creating jobs here in the state.  This bill is modeled after the successful state Bank of North Dakota, where a majority of the resident’s tax dollars and fees are not sent to the big banks but are instead deposited and reinvested in the state.

It’s time we educated ourselves on what we can do as an individual, as a community, as a state to achieve the financial sovereignty away from Big Banks on Wall Street and back to community banks on the Main Streets of Oregon.  Please join us as we discuss the efforts and the hurdles to creating a publicly-owned State Bank for Oregon.

What is Oregonians for a State Bank?

Over two years ago, 800 people gathered in Portland to develop unified responses to the financial melt down.  One of the ideas that emerged from that gathering was to pursue the creation of the Oregon State Bank.

Since then a coalition of business owners, community bankers, family farmers, and concerned individuals have joined together to form Oregonians for a State Bank.  We seek to answer our State’s need for financial independence from the big banks that failed to protect Oregonians like you and me.

List of Forum Co-sponsors Grows
AFSCME Council 75
Alliance for Democracy
American Association of University Professors, Code Pink PDX Chapter
Communication Workers of America Local 7901
Economic Justice Action Group of the First Unitarian Church
National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 82
National Lawyers Guild Portland Chapter
Oregon Action
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Oregon Renewable Energy Policy
Portland Alliance
Portland Jobs with Justice
Real Wealth of Portland
The Northwest Alliance for Alternative Media & Education
UFCW Local 555
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom

More infor, contact: Tarana Jhane:  971-645-1944 or  Steve Hughes:  503-412-8041,


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