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December 2011, Week 2

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Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 9 Dec 2011 21:07:15 -0500
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Readers on David Montgomery and
Bernie Sanders on Corporate Personhood.

Dear PS: Thank you for your voice and especially for
the last article on David Montgomery. His story gives
me comfort and courage as we work to recall an
anti-union govenor, fight for freedom of speech at the
capitol, work to keep Occupy Madison going, and face
the fear in general of what corruption and greed does
to this world. (oh, and my husband, a union
electrition, just found out he will be laid off) I'm a
former library worker and a history nerd. I preach
history to people in the movement. For real, if
everyone of us knew the people's history, they could
not pull this crap on us. So thank you for your work -
its brave and vital. 

In Solidarity, Cindy Johnson from Wisconsin (near Madison)


I remember clearly Dave Montgomery working at the
Premier Machine Shop near Houston and Greene Streets in
Manhattan. This was from 1952 to 54. I was a young kid
of 21, having just found that Marxist theory and its
world outlook explained so many things for me. He was a
taciturn fellow working on this big Warner and Swayzee
turret lathe #5 in the basement, the most delicate
machine in the shop. Knowing nothing about working in a
machine shop I was assigned to filing burrs off metal
pieces and then graduated to various machines. He as
married at the time to an African American woman and
they had a new born child. The shop was represented by
the United Electrical Workers union, Local 475, a left
wing union where famous people like W.E.B.duBois would
be guest speakers at shop stewards meetings.

I lost track of him after that and then realized years
later that the David Montgomery I would hear about was
the same fellow.

Ezra Birnbaum


You may want to let your readers know about the
availability of this recent recording of David
Montgomery. Five radical American historians, in the
tradition of Howard Zinn, offer their observations on
the impact of the Bush-Cheney legacy.  The questioning
audience includes Eleanor Roosevelt biographer Blanche
Wiesen Cook, and for Mainers, Justin Jackson.  Now a
graduate student in history at Columbia, Justin and his
twin brother, while in high school, published a great
political zine out of Jefferson, Maine in the late 90s.
Great to see a radical Maine youth making it out in the
world.

Radio Free Maine presents The Bush-Cheney Legacy:
Historians Against War Roundtable featuring

Alice Kessler-

David Montgomery 

Vijay Prashad 

Ellen Schrecker 

Barbara Weinstein

Moderated by Margaret Power and Van Gosse

Sponsored by Historians Against War
www.historiansagainstwar.org Recorded by Joe Friendly
on January 3, 2009 at the American Historical
Association Convention in New York City

Available on DVD and VHS video and dual audio CD.

For more info, please contact Roger Leisner Radio Free
Maine P.O. Box 2705 Augusta, Maine  04338
[log in to unmask]



'Saving American Democracy Amendment'

http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=d4a61731-be04-4b9a-95b9-7fdba12febd2

December 8, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 - Warning that "American democracy
in endangered," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today
proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a
Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and
secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S.
elections.

The first constitutional amendment ever proposed by
Sanders during his two decades in Congress would
reverse the narrow 5-to-4 ruling in Citizens United vs.
the Federal Elections Commission. In that controversial
decision almost two years ago, justices gave
corporations the same First Amendment free-speech
rights as people.

"There comes a time when an issue is so important that
the only way to address it is by a constitutional
amendment," Sanders said of the effort to override the
court decision that he labeled "a complete undermining
of democracy."

Sanders' Saving American Democracy Amendment would make
clear that corporations are not entitled to the same
constitutional rights as people and that corporations
may be regulated by Congress and state legislatures. It
also would preserve the First Amendment guarantee of
freedom of the press. It would incorporate a
century-old ban on corporate campaign donations to
candidates, and establish broad authority for Congress
and states to regulate spending in elections.

Sanders proposal in the Senate is a companion measure
to a constitutional amendment introduced in the House
by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.). "The dominance of
corporations in Washington has imperiled the economic
security of the American people and left our citizens
profoundly disenchanted with our democracy," the
congressman said. "I look forward to working with Sen.
Sanders to save American democracy by banning all
corporate spending in our elections and cracking down
on secret front groups using anonymous corporate cash
to undermine the public interest."

Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen,
praised the proposal. "Sen. Sanders' amendment returns
us to shared understandings that democracy is for
people. Public Citizen applauds and endorses the
amendment, and thanks Sen. Sanders for his long-time
campaign to reduce excessive corporate power."

Marge Baker of People For the American Way said the
Sanders amendment "takes a comprehensive approach to
stopping the flood of corporate money in our electoral
system. Our democracy belongs to all of the people, not
just the wealthy, and not to large and powerful
corporate interests," she added.

Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media
and Democracy, also applauded the amendment. She said
it would "root out the rank corruption of our elections
by for-profit corporations." No other amendment
proposed in the Senate, she added, "has so definitively
confronted the twin problems created by judges who have
improperly granted rights to corporations, without
democratic consent, and who have used their seats on
the bench to favor the wishes of corporate CEOs."

A proposed amendment originating in Congress must be
approved by a two-thirds majority in the House and
Senate in order to be submitted for consideration by
the states. Ratification by three-fourths of the states
is required to amend the Constitution.

To read the amendment,or For a fact sheet on the amendment,
go to.

http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=d4a61731-be04-4b9a-95b9-7fdba12febd2
 
 

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