Brainerd Lakes Area Move To Amend Protests Against Big Money In Politics
“We need to get big money out of politics,” Roger Lynn, Brainerd Lakes Area Move to Amend Co-Chair, said.
And just for that reason, dozens of people protested through downtown Brainerd Saturday afternoon in a non-partisan effort to eliminate corporations’ influence in elections.
“This isn’t an issue about one party or another party,” Peter Neifert, a psychiatrist at St. Joe’s Hospital, said. “This is about which politicians are going to respond to their constituents, and which politicians are responding to the people that pay them the big donations.”
This protest and movement comes after the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, and [say that] when corporations are giving money to politicians they are just speaking to them, and that it is not corrupting them,” Neifert said. “But we know that that money is corrupting the politicians.”
“A democracy is a competition of ideas, goals, and desires that are human,” Roger Grussing, Brainerd Lakes Area Move to Amend Co-Chair, said. “It is not a competition of piles of money.”
Brainerd Lakes Area Move to Amend hosted the protest and invited all of the local candidates in this year’s midterms to speak, but only Democrats Dale Menk, Phil Yetzer, and Joe Radinovich attended.
“I’m excited to be out here with people who are dedicated to removing the corrupting influence of money from our political system,” Joe Radinovich, Democratic nominee in the 8th District congressional race, said. “I agree with them wholeheartedly. What we have seen is, unfortunately, unfettered corporate interest, and the interest of the wealthiest people in this country can drown out the voices of those who are interested in democracy.”
Move to Amend’s ultimate goal is to change the constitution after the Supreme Court’s Citzens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.
“We want to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which says, ‘corporations are not persons and money is not a form of free speech,’” Grussing said.
The petition to amend the constitution has almost reached its goal of 500,000 signatures. To support the movement, you can sign the petition or join your local Move to Amend organization at movetoamend.org.