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Antonio, Smith Call for End to Corporate Personhood

May 22, 2024
Nickie J. Antonio News

Today, Senate Democratic Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and state Senator Kent Smith (D-Euclid) provided sponsor testimony on Senate Resolution 180, which calls on state and federal legislators to support an amendment to the United States Constitution that would eliminate corporate personhood and the idea of money as speech.

“The Citizens United decision has allowed the wealthy and well-connected to have undue, outsized influence on our democracy,” said Antonio. “Our government was founded by the people for the people, and their voice must be listened to. It’s time for Ohio to join the call to end dark money and the culture of corruption.”

The federal constitutional amendment refers to the Citizens United decision that removed legal limits on corporate spending in elections, creating an uneven playing field that allows unlimited spending by wealthy individuals, corporations, and other entities to influence elections and policy decisions. 

“The ongoing FirstEnergy bribery and money laundering scandal indicates the pressing need for this legislation,” said Smith. “This resolution seeks to remove the concentrated, corrupting influence of money from our elections and our politics. Just as litigants have the right to impartial justice, citizens should have a right to a senator who will weigh the interests of all constituents, not merely moneyed corporations.”

According to Move To Amend Ohio, 17 states and over 600 municipalities in the United States, including 27 in Ohio, have already approved resolutions or voted for ballot initiatives calling for a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to affirm only human beings have constitutional free speech rights while defining money as property, not speech.

S.R. 180 awaits further hearings in the Government Oversight Committee.