Democracy Over Corporations by John Howell

Surveys indicate that 96% of Americans think that big money should be eliminated from political campaigns, but that 91% of Americans think that nothing can be done about it. DOC is made up of the 9% who have not given up hope. DOC began in 2010 following the 5 to 4 Supreme Court Citizens United decision opening the doors to corporate spending on (buying of) elections. Our goals were to educate ourselves on the issues and find out how we might play a role in rescuing at least what little remained of American democracy – free elections. We wanted to act locally while joining with others around the country through the national org. Move To Amend.

As a result of our efforts in 2012, the Athens City Council passed a resolution urging support for a constitutional amendment that would force the Supreme Court to recognize the obvious, that corporations are not people to whom constitutional rights do apply and that campaign contributions do not represent speech protected by the First Amendment. Two groups that spun off from DOC over the past two years are 1) a successful effort of the Bill of Rights Committee to get a water protection/anti-fracking ordinance on the Athens ballot, and 2) a congressional campaign pushing for real solutions to contemporary problems. The ordinance initiative will appear on the November ballot. It will give Athens citizens an opportunity to join with citizens of many other communities across the country who have said no to putting oil and gas development and corporate profits ahead of local quality of life and who claim an inalienable right to secure water supplies as necessary for the “safety” guaranteed in Article 1 of the Ohio constitution.

Gregory Howard, a DOC member and local organic farmer, has stepped forward to run in the primary to represent Ohio’s 6th District in Washington. Greg is well informed and is pushing for the fundamental reforms needed for democracy, a prosperous economy and social justice. These include a constitutional amendment and the monetary reform both of which are necessary to avoid economic and environmental collapse. People willing to work for democracy in anticipation of the primary election on May 6, should contact Greg through his website at Monthly DOC meetings continue the self-education process on topics related to real democracy and social justice including monetary reform, energy, environmental protection, agriculture and food safety, education and the media. Everyone is welcome. Contact John Howell at to get on the DOC mailing list. Also see the DOC website at


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