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New York State Senate stymies amendment progress

Protester waves corporate flag in front of Supreme Court
Protester waves corporate flag in front of Supreme Court
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Previously, it was reported here the NY4Democracy coalition needed to "side-step" a resolution barrier in the New York State Senate to instead circulate a letter to Congress for signatures in the Assembly and the Senate asking Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution such to (1) establish that artificial entities created by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state are not entitled to the same rights and protections as natural persons under the Constitution and that (2) assures the power of the federal, state, and local governments to limit, regulate, and require full source disclosure of all money spent to influence elections." Currently, New York State is three Senate signatures away from being the 17th State of the Union to call on Congress to restore the First Amendment to its original meaning and thereby restore democracy in the United States.

A majority of Assemblypersons, including two Republicans, have signed their letter to Congress; but in the New York Senate, not one Republican and three "Democrats" have not signed their letter. Not one Republican. Most of the Republicans in the Senate have refused to sign, but Senator Patrick Gallivan, Senator Mark Grisanti, Senator Carl Marcellino, Senator Kathleen Marchione, Senator Joseph Robach and Senator Thomas O'Mara are still considering adding their signature.

The three Senate Democrats that have not signed the letter are Senator Simcha Felder, a DINO, who caucuses with the Republicans, Senator Ruben Diaz, who does not want to question anyone giving him money, and Senator Stewart-Cousins, the minority "leader" who would become the majority "leader" if the Independent Democratic Caucus were to caucus with the Democrats rather than the Republicans next year. Steward-Cousins may reconsider her refusal if two of the remaining Republicans decide to sign the letter. Three more signatures are required to reach a bare-thread majority. The entire IDC has signed the Senate letter.

Because this is a letter and not a formal vote that needs to be taken on the floor of the legislature, signatures can and will continue to be collected right up until the next legislative session scheduled for next year. It's possible a lame-duck Senator will sign it after defeat in this year's elections. It's possible that one or more of the six remaining Republicans will see the institutional corruption established by the corporate-oriented Roberts Five in the coming weeks and sign the letter to help bring an end to American corporate plutocracy. It's also possible that this fight will have to start over again next year.

Most citizens in New York State consider the state government to be corrupt. The six remaining NY Republican Senators, considering signing the letter to Congress, have a chance to distance themselves from structural, legalized corruption brought on by the Citizens United decision. Voters will have a chance in November to help restore democracy in the U.S. by unseating the Republicans and Democrats who have refused to sign the letter to Congress.

Politicians need to choose: democracy or plutocratic, corporate rule. Voters can help by making this a key issue when the enter the polling place on November 4th. In fact, how all issues before legislatures and Congress are resolved going forward depends upon whether or not voters make restoration of democracy the key issue when they cast their ballots in coming elections.