A series of public hearings are scheduled over the next two months in Ohio communities that have passed ordinances asking Congress to declare that corporations are not people, and money is not speech.
The ordinances are in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that gave corporations and labor unions the right to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. Newburgh Heights is one of six Ohio communities that passed ballot measures supporting a constitutional amendment that would curb corporate power in elections. Mayor Trevor Elkins says the measures show citizens are working together on an important issue.
A recent report on U-S Senate races by the Brennan Center for Justice found that since Citizens United, campaign spending by outside groups has doubled. Activist Sally Hanley of Cleveland Heights says that unfairly influences the decisions of elected leaders.
Activists in several other Ohio communities are working to place similar measures on ballots in 2015 or 2016, including Cleveland, Parma and Toledo.