, Salem, MA


October 24, 2012

Anderson: Remembering McGovern, pondering ballot questions


My fourth ballot question asks if our congressman should propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution affirming that (1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and (2) both Congress and the states may place limits on political contributions and political spending.

This is a response to the Supreme Court’s recent “Citizens United” decision. While the First Amendment makes it clear that there can’t be limits on political contributions from people, I don’t understand how either a corporation or a union can be a person. Both groups have individual (person) members who disagree with the candidate or issue on which the corporation or union spends money.

If I ran the world, only individuals who can directly vote for a candidate could contribute money to that campaign, so our senators and congressmen would work only for their own constituents. But that’s not the issue here. I’ll vote No, until I see a resolution that treats corporations and unions the same.

The fifth issue on my ballot asks if our congressman should support a resolution preventing cuts in all “entitlements” and “investing” in government while providing new “revenues,” including higher taxes on incomes over $250,000.

I like the part about reducing the federal deficit by closing corporate tax loopholes and am also ready to end the war in Afghanistan and “bring U.S. troops home safely now.” But I think everything should be on the table for discussion about downsizing or reform. Don’t forget the fat in government is marbled throughout all the programs, no matter how worthy the original concept. And of course I’m not directing my congressman to “provide new revenues” until I see that fat melting out. Voting No.

Sixth question directs my congressman to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to repeal the federal prohibition of marijuana, so that states may regulate it as they choose.

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