On Monday, two brothers from Minnesota, Robin and Laird Monahan, made a detour to Denver on their cross-country walk to encourage people to reclaim democracy and restore the citizen sovereignty that has been displaced by the "corporate stranglehold on all three branches of U.S. government."
The Monahans' trip was prompted by the January U.S. Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission) reinforcing the supremacy of corporate rights of "personhood" under the Bill of Rights, as well as endorsement of unlimited corporate spending on elections.
The brothers have enlisted the aid of Move to Amend -- a consortium of over 50 organizations promoting a Constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood. Their journey from Pacific to Atlantic Oceans, begun on May 16, tracks U.S. Highway 50. Their goal is to reach the Atlantic by mid-October, after a stop at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Their Colorado trek has taken them from Grand Junction to Pueblo, the most challenging portion over Monarch Pass (reportedly the motivation for Laird to quit smoking).
En route, the Monahans encourage local action for citizen sovereignty at every level, urging people to lobby City Councils, Boards of Supervisors, County Boards, Labor Councils and other bodies for passage of a nonbinding resolution in support of democratic principles and in opposition to corporate personhood and the notion of money as speech. Thus, they lay the groundwork to elect legislators who will support bigger change in the form of a Constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood.
Laird invokes Edward R. Murrow, "...we cannot defend freedom abroad while deserting it at home."
The brothers rallied at the Denver Capitol for "the Other 98%" of America, with a local Move to Amend group and MoveOn.org. MoveOn members in Colorado have thus far visited the offices of half of our federal legislators, urging that they take the "Other 98% Pledge for a Better Democracy," including support for the Fair Elections Now Act, a Lobbyist Reform Act, and a Constitutional Amendment to reverse the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC.
At the Capitol on Monday, U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff signed the pledge, in keeping with his expressed intent to restore the role of people as the legitimate source of power in American democracy. Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kinsey is the only other Colorado candidate/legislator who has signed the pledge to date.
Follow the Monahan brothers' progress across the country.