Petitioning Government - Who has Rights?
Every election ‘season’ we hear the politicians tell us again and again that they represent “the working man” or “the people”. We hear them tell us that they promise to work against “special interests”. Imagine my (lack of) surprise when every year, things get worse. Ever ponder why? The fact is, your interests are secondary to the interest of the “people” who write big checks. People that write big checks ARE “special interests” so how do you think the ‘representatives’ of the “people” are going to vote?
Want to solve that? Join with me in supporting an Amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution. I propose a simple, non ambiguous Amendment to Article 32 to clarify who these people work for. Article 32 of New Hampshire’s Constitution currently reads : “The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the common good, give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.”
I would add the following to Article 32: “In this regard, ‘artificial People’ (corporations) are constructs of the state and have no expectation under the Constitution the Rights attributable to ‘Natural People’” How would this minor change in our Constitution effect Citizens? First, it would codify that “corporations” (defined as “A fictitious legal entity/person which has rights and duties independent of the rights and duties of real persons“ are created by the state to essentially be ‘artificial people’). They would have no Rights to free speech or other Rights articulated in the Constitution intended for Citizens (human beings) or ‘natural people’ versus artificial constructs. As such, activities of lobbying groups and political action committees, hidden under the guise of “freedom of speech” and the People’s Rights to “petition the Government” would be re-categorized (correctly) as attempts to bribe public officials. Lobbyists would cease to be a factor in politics since they could no longer contribute to campaigns, write legislation or in any way interact with members of government without being prosecuted for bribery and subversion of government. Tell me THAT wouldn’t change how responsive government is to its Citizens.
Think about it for a moment and then, before you say that’s unfair, go ahead and Google “corporations don’t pay taxes” and see the results. Here’s one from Reuters in August: “The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005. More than half of foreign companies and about 42 percent of U.S. companies paid no U.S. income taxes for two or more years in that period, the report said. No wonder they have the deep pockets to ‘support’ all our representatives into working so hard to protect their “special interests”.
In 2005 the GAO found: 28 percent of large corporations paid no taxes. (It defined large corporations as those with assets of at least $250 million dollars or gross receipts of at least $50 million dollars.)
So, these corporations essentially pay little or no taxes, have money to burn,‘influence’ your representatives with the untaxed income, get a cute, inoffensive name of “special interests” pinned on them and, of late, convinced the government to hand over trillions of dollars of taxpayer money to bail them out. In New Hampshire, Article 10 (our Right of Revolution clause) tells us that: “Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”
So, Article 10 confirms the rumor we all heard in civics class (back when they actually taught it) that the ‘People’ created “government” for the “common benefit” of the “community” and NOT “for private interest”. It also confirms that if “the ends of government are perverted” and our requests for specific change aren’t met and our “means of redress are ineffectual” we may DO something aboutit and that “nonresistence against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd”.
Guess where that leaves us.
So folks, I’m a little old to be grabbing my rifle, which was hopefully made in New Hampshire, and heading for Concord and we all, likely, have a few other things on our plate this year that might be interfered with were we to kick off a rebellion against the government as authorized by Article 10. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to add one (1) simple sentence (only 24 words) to our Constitution that might actually have the same effect as reforming government through a revolution?
If we did it here in New Hampshire, added one sentence, 24 words, to our Constitution and it slammed the door shut on “special interest” control over our elected officials, returning control of them (government officials) to us (their employers) it might just catch on. Other states might follow suit. That said, even if the other 49 states were sissies and didn’t implement similar Amendments, we would still have recaptured OUR state for the People who pay the bills. When they (the agents of “special interests”) cry foul, ask why artificial people should have the same Rights as flesh and blood human beings? When they (the agents of “special interests”) cry foul, ask why we should give up 24% of our ‘earned’ income to government when the artificial person skates on their responsibility yet expects equal representation? When they (the agents of “special interests”) cry foul, ask why flesh and blood human beings go to prison for trying to bribe public officials but artificial people can?
One sentence, 24 words... Too much to ask?
Christopher T. Sununu
Mike J. Cryans
Russell E Prescott
Theodore L. Gatsas
Debora B. Pignatelli
Click on the above photos to read about each of our council members.