The Money Out / Voters In coalition organized a “28th Amendment” conference held at the Law School of the University of California at Los Angeles, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. The conference attempted to share information and build a consensus for action to combat the corrosive effects of money on the US government, estimated at between $20 and $200 for each $1 invested in lobbying and political campaigns by the ultra-wealthy and major corporations.
The keynote address was given by Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School professor and author of Republic, Lost and One Way Forward, two seminal analyses of the current ills of American democracy. The fifteen organizations in the Money Out / Voters In coalition sponsoring this conference included Occupy Wall Street and Lessig’s organization, Rootstrikers.
The agenda included presentations by other experts, including Greg Colvin, who provided a dozen questions that he thought should be answered for any proposed amendment on this issue. The conference web site also includes a comparison chart of 21 alternative amendments, 18 that have already been introduced in the US congress plus language proposed by Free Speech for People, Greg Colvin, and Move to Amend. Of the proposed amendments, five were identified as primarily attempting to limit the constitutional rights of corporations; the other 16 were described as dealing more with campaign finance, though there is overlap. The conference ended with breakout sessions and a call to further action.