|Keep corporations out of elections, voters away from Senators|
Last Thursday, about 45 voters showed up at Sen. McCain's Arizona office to ask him to co-sponsor the Democracy For All Amendment. The amendment would effectively overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision that called corporations 'people' and allowed vast sums of money into campaign financing. This Thursday, a dozen people again went to the senator's office to ask that he at least vote to support the amendment. After all, McCain was once a proponent of campaign finance reform. In 2012, he even called the Citizens United decision "the worst decision ever". What a difference two years makes!
As the group of constituents assembled outside the building, holding 'Corporations Are Not People' and 'Keep Corporations Out Of Elections' signs, McCain's office manager, Meghan Kielty, came out to greet them and put up at least an initial facade of friendliness. While starting out by telling the group they were welcome to come into the office, she immediately put her hand over the camera lens of CBS 5's photojournalist, Juan Magaña, and said, "No filming" — a directive which Magaña ignored. After all, we were still standing outside.
The group moved indoors to the lobby, but before they could enter the senator's office, a male staffer stood in the door and stated that only ten people could come in. The week before, the stated limit was ten to fifteen. Nevertheless, the group cooperated and counted out ten as they entered. Kielty barred journalist Magaña from entering, so he stood and filmed from the lobby, through the glass wall.
The spokesperson, Dan O'Neal of Progressive Democrats of America, began to tell Kielty what the group wanted but was immediately interrupted by the male staffer who demanded to search all purses as a 'security measure' — a new strong-arm tactic that not only didn't come into play the week before, but which he gave up after searching only half of the purses. Security? Obviously not. The move was pure harassment. He immediately disappeared into the inner sanctum. O'Neal's statement was completed in less than a minute and this oh-so-threatening-looking 'crowd' left.
|Mary Baumbach enforcing '3 people at a time'|
|The journalist had to stand in the lobby, too|
All this unfolded at the very moment when, in Washington, D.C., Senators McCain and Flake voted to betray the people's will. They and every other Republican senator voted to stop the Democracy For All Amendment in its tracks, even though a majority of Americans want limits on campaign donations. It's not that the senators don't know how to set limits. They have refined the process into an art — when it comes to their constituents. However, with corporations and the millions they pour into campaign coffers, there's no sign our duly elected, and well-funded, representatives will ever call a halt.
Welcome to America, where politicians recognize corporations as people, but give scant respect to human beings.