Brunswick Town Council Public Comment Nov, 5th

Good Evening. I’m Julie Pease, 13 Chestnut Road, District 2 in Brunswick.

Thank you for the opportunity to exercise my freedom of speech during the Public Comment
time. This is just the second time in 12 years that I’ve spoken before the Council. I don’t take
this privilege lightly. I am motivated tonight by my grave concern that our right to free speech
and our right as a democratic society to free elections has been seriously undermined by
money, power and influence. I also want to acknowledge the group of fellow citizens that are
here tonight as an expression of support for these same concerns.

In 2010, when the Supreme Court made its ruling in Citizens United vs. the FEC, they relied
on an illegitimate doctrine of Corporate Personhood to side 5-4 with the wealthy elite and the
corporations against the interests of the vast majority of the American people. They extended
the idea that corporations have the same constitutional rights as individual citizens.

When corporations have constitutional rights, individual human rights rights become
meaningless. How can one human being’s power to speak compare to a massive corporation’s
ability to speak? A corporation has no mind, no conscience, and no motive but to make money
for its shareholders. A human being thinks, tries to make ethical decisions, and is motivated
by obligations to family and community. How could we say that these two dramatically
different kinds of “persons” have an equal voice in a democracy?

The problem is not just corporate personhood, but unrestricted contributions. The Citizens
United decision has allowed corporations AND unions AND the wealthy AND outside special
interests to spend unlimited and anonymous money to buy our elections. For the first time in
Maine, outside groups have spent $3 and a half MILLION dollars on state races, shattering
the $1.5 million dollar record set in 2010. In addition, outside interests have spent over $7
million in the US Senate race alone. This is a far cry from five or six years ago, when I helped
my neighbor purchase yard signs for her school board campaign, and I was listed as a “major
donor”!

With the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that money equals speech.
The corollary is this: people who have money can speak, and people who don’t, can’t. This is
a plutocracy, not a democracy. Today, candidates need so much money to compete for office
that they are beholden to corporate sponsors even before they are elected. With Congress
in the pockets of wealthy special interests, it won’t be easy obtaining enough votes for a
constitutional amendment.

This is why I am appealing to you, our Town Councillors. You are the elected officials
who are our friends and neighbors, who are most closely connected to “We, The People”.
You are not controlled by wealthy special interests. I urge you to add your voice and your
collective conscience, joining over 2 dozen Maine city and town councils, hundreds of
Brunswick residents, thousands of Mainers, and tens of thousands of U.S.citizens in support
of a resolution that calls on our Congressional leaders to support an Amendment to the

Constitution of the United States: to Abolish Corporate Personhood and return our democracy
to We The People.

Thank you.

Maine cities and towns passing local resolutions related to Citizens United:

Amherst: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Amherst, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s interpretation
of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Arrowsic: On June 13, 2012, the town Arrowsic approved an article denouncing the Citizens United decision.

Bangor: On March 26, 2012, the Bangor City Council passed in a 5-3 vote a resolution calling for a constitutional
amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision and stating that corporations are not entitled to the same rights of natural
persons.

Bar Harbor: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Bar Harbor, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision. On May 15, 2012,
the Bar Harbor City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens
United decision and stating that corporations are not entitled to the same rights of natural persons.

Bethel: In June of 2012 the Bethel Board of Selectmen have passed a resolution denouncing the Citizens United decision.

Brooklin: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Brooklin, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s interpretation
of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Bucksport: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Bucksport, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Cranberry Isles: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Cranberry, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision

Ellsworth: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Ellsworth, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Fairfield: On April 11, 2012, the Fairfield City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for a constitutional
amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision and stating that corporations are not entitled to the same rights of natural
persons.

Freedom: On March 11, 2012, Selectmen of the town of Freedom unanimously agreed to allow citizens to vote on a
resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to clarify that corporations are not people. The Town Meeting was held on
March 11 and a majority of the 65 meeting participants were in favor of a non-binding vote to abolish corporate personhood.

Great Pond: On February 26, 2012, the town of Great Pond passed a resolution in support of a constitutional amendment
that would overturn the Citizens United decision.

Gouldsboro: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Gouldsboro, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Hancock: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Hancock, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s interpretation
of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision

Lamoine: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Lamoine, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s interpretation
of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Leeds: On June 2, 2012, the attendees of the Town Meeting of Leeds passed a Town Warrant to call for a constitutional
amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Liberty: In June of 2012 the town of Liberty, ME has passed a resolution denouncing the Citizens United decision.

Monroe: On June 14, 2010, the town of Monroe passed a resolution denouncing the Citizens United decision.

Mount Desert: On June 4, 2012 the town of Mount Desert, ME passed an article denouncing the Citizens United decision.

Newcastle: On June, 18, 2012 the Newcastle Board of Selectmen passed a resolution denouncing Citizens United and calling
for an end to corporate personhood.

Orland: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Orland, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s interpretation of
the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Penobscot: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Penobscot, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution inCitizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Portland: On January 18, 2012, the city council of Portland, Maine, passed a resolution in support of a constitutional
amendment that would provide that corporations are not people.

Sedgwick: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Sedgwick, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Shapleigh: In June of 2012, the city of Shapleigh has passed a resolution denouncing the Citizens United decision.

Southwest Harbor: On June 26, 2012 Southwest Harbor Board of Selectmen passed a resolution denouncing the Citizens
United ruling.

Stonington: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Stonington, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s
interpretation of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Sullivan: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Sullivan, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s interpretation
of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Tremont: On Feb. 26, 2012, The town of Tremont, ME passed a resolution opposing the US Supreme Court’s interpretation
of the Constitution in Citizens United vs. FEC and in support of overturning the decision.

Vassalboro: In June of 2012, the town of Vassalboro, have passed a resolution denouncing the Citizens United decision.

Waterville: On February 21, 2012, the city council of Waterville passed a resolution in support of a constitutional
amendment that would overturn the Citizens United decision.

Winslow: On May 14, 2012, the city council of Winslow passed a resolution supporting an amendment to the U.S.
Constitution that would clarify that money is not speech and corporations are not persons.

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