ND Democrats To Business Community: Shut Up

A group of Democrat lawmakers have introduced an amendment to the state constitution which erase free speech rights for people acting through corporations.

Here’s the text of the proposed amendment which was introduced by Rep. Ben Hanson (D-Fargo).

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That language is fantastically broad, and you’ll notice it doesn’t just target campaign activities. These Democrats are saying corporations – businesses, since pretty much everyone is incorporated these days – can’t use their funds to even lobby the state legislature or local government.

Thats a shocking proposal given its scope.

Consider that if a grocery store wants to fight a city council ordinance on parking spaces or something their options to speak out would be limited. By my reading of the amendment’s text, the grocery store couldn’t spend one red cent on communicating with policymakers or expressing their point of view on the policy to the public. Because, according to the Democrats, corporations are not people even though they are created by people and staffed by people and cannot do anything without people making decisions.

Democrats would silence businesses from speaking out on elections and policies. Which is downright un-American. And the implications are far-reaching.

Our state’s media outlets are for-profit companies, for instance. Would the Bismarck Tribune or the Fargo Forum even be allowed to express their editorial viewpoints on candidates and policies under this amendment?

You’ll notice that Democrats are being a little hypocritical in this, too. These limitations apply only to for-profit companies. Labor unions and the like would be exempt.

Meaning that if a group of people voluntarily or organize themselves into a union and campaign for candidates or lobby on policies it would be ok for them to act through that union to influence elections and policy. But if a group of people organize themselves into a business, they’d only be able to act independently of their business.

Convenient, isn’t it?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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