In Washington, Nolan said, "It's time to take the shaping and molding of public policy out of corporate boardrooms, away from the corporate lobbyists, and put it back in city halls—back with county boards and state legislatures—and back in the Congress where it belongs."
That legislation is what advocates from Move to Amend have been fighting for since forming just three years ago, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case to remove many restrictions on corporate spending in political elections.
"This movement is growing even faster and more deeply than most of us had even hoped for so that's exciting," said David Cobb, a national spokesman for Move to Amend.
Cobb spoke to CL on Tuesday, days before he visits Tampa and St. Petersburg, about Move to Amend.
There are more than 263,000 people involved with Move to Amend who are calling for a constitutional amendment that would include two provisions. The first is that rights strictly belonging to human beings — and not to what Cobb calls government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies — are recognized under the Constitution. The second would declare that political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.
Cobb said more than 25 different local governments across the country have put the "We The People" initiative in front of voters, and it has passed every time. He attributes his group's success to its nonpartisan message.
"We are the only group that says we must abolish all corporate constitutional rights, with no exceptions to any artificial entity, and make it clear that money is not speech, so that local, state or federal government agencies have the authority to make campaign finance laws," he said.
Cobb said "every single reader of Creative Loafing has inherit, inalienable rights — free speech, the right to worship or not to worship, the right to assemble. You have the right to petition the government. You have all these rights, but any law that tries to infringe on those rights is illegitimate by definition, and it's inappropriate to say that the corporation form somehow has these constitutional rights."
David Cobb will speak in Ybor City at the Roosevelt 2.0 (812 N. 15th St.) on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. On Monday he'll be in St. Petersburg at the Universalist Unitarian Church (719 Arlington Ave N) at 7 p.m.
CL will post more on our interview with David Cobb in the next 24 hours.