St. Albans Declares Corporations Not Citizens

Edited from a Press Release

Saint Albans, WV. The City Council tonight unanimously approved a resolution calling for a Constitutional amendment reversing the Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment equating corporations and human persons.

The resolution was submitted by Council Member Stephen Donelson (Ward 9) at the request of West Virginians for Democracy, an affiliate of West Virginia Citizen Action Group. The resolution is one of hundreds around the country being considered this spring by City Councils, County Commissions and State legislatures. All are protesting the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision allowing corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to political action committees.

In West Virginia, the cities of Martinsburg and Charles Town have passed similar resolutions this year, along with the Jefferson County Council. The WV House of Delegates and Senate failed to pass the resolution, which was not allowed out of committee for consideration before the end of the session.

Saint Albans resident Barbara Frierson addressed the Council before the vote was taken. She gave a brief summary of the Citizens United case, including the majority and dissenting opinions. “The Court's majority said 'There is no such thing as too much speech',” she said. “But that ignores the fact that too much speech from one source drowns out all other points of view. How can the average citizen hope to be heard when corporations are dominating the airwaves?”

Council member Stephen Donelson was pleased by the vote. “The citizens were concerned, and they have been heard,” he said after the meeting adjourned.

The Saint Albans resolution will be forwarded to the Clerks of the WV House of Delegates and Senate, and to West Virginia's representatives and senators in Congress.

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