Resolution on Citizens United Case Goes to San Jose City Council

As lawmakers around the county urge Congress to create a constitutional amendment to overturn the controversial Citizens United decision, the City Council on Tuesday may vote in favor of supporting a resolution to overturn the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case.

Councilmembers Sam Liccardo, Don Rocha and Xavier Campos already forwarded a memo voicing opposition to Citizens United. Most recently, District 2 Councilman Ash Kalra submitted his own memo against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which allows corporations the same First Amendment rights as citizens and protects political spending as a form of free speech.

“I share their concern that the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has opened the door for the further erosion of the democratic process and core democratic principles by expanding the role that corporate money plays in elections,” Kalra writes in agreement. “As Justice Stevens stated in his dissenting opinion, ‘A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.’ The decision gives corporations, special interest groups, and lobbyists even more power to bankroll legislative efforts that serve only their interests. This is an anathema to the basic principles of democracy.”

Other items on the San Jose City Council agenda for May 7, 2013:

• The San Jose Police Department flubbed a rape investigation several years ago and now the former accused is demanding a $150,000 settlement for lost time and damages. The council will hear a report about the lawsuit and vote on whether to accept the final conditions of the case.

• The city’s software is a few generations behind and staff is asking for a $413,000 annual contract to buy the latest and greatest in Windows operating software, Microsoft 365. And here we thought everybody was using a Mac.

Contracts for legal services for the city’s pension plans are about to sunset, so there’s a consideration Tuesday to renew a couple agreements, each for $250,000, to extend the terms for another year.

• Several pieces of legislation going before California lawmakers propose lowering the vote threshold to pass special taxes. The council will consider whether to vote in support of one, some or all of those measures to make it easier to pass a new tax. The bills aim to change the threshold from a supermajority to 55 percent.

WHAT: San Jose City Council
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

14 Comments

  1. The report said that the newest Office suite was determined to be better than Google Apps for the City’s use.  It didn’t state the price differential between Office 365 and Google Apps.  $413.7K is a lot of money to spend for spreadsheets, word processing and Powerpoint.

    • I think google apps (google doc’s)  is freeware.  SJI’s own Pierluigi Oliverio did his own study years ago and found the cost savings were significant. There are issues with information storage and security in the “cloud.”  and probably costs associated with data storage.

      from that software memo I love this quote, “…version, and there is lower
      employee productivity because the City’s workforce is unable to take advantage of new and advanced features and functionality available in the current software version…”

      I can’t possibly be that there is the same amount or more “work” haveing to be done by fewer employees that is causing “lower productivity.”  Could it???

      Nahhh, not in San Jose where doing more with less has been the standard forever.

  2. The ruling in Citizens United also applies to labor unions. I don’t know about you, but in SJ politics, I see much more independent expenditures by labor unions than by “evil” corporations.

    Stevens observation cuts both ways.

  3. But of course the “evil” unions need to be able to support initiatives beneficial to their workers.  ALL of their workers.  The Corporations are only interested in their CEO pay/benefits, and loopholes for more tax protections.  Nice dodge……

    • > The Corporations are only interested in their CEO pay/benefits, and loopholes for more tax protections

      This is Mr. Globalists’ Narrative, and I’m sure you believe it, but it’s really not true.

      Corporations are interested in other things, like finding employees who will show up to work, make things that people will pay money for, not steal, and in making big profits to pay dividends to their stockholders.

      If you think that corporations aren’t interested in ALL of these things, let us know which of these things they can safely ignore and still be able to deliver all the tax juice that the greedy Obama wants to spend.

      • “…like finding employees who will show up to work, make things that people will pay money for, not steal…”

        When the gentle readers of SJI/METRO/SJMN/BANG or listeners of KLIV/Mayor Reed and council cohorts rail against San Jose’s Public Employee Unions which one of these things are they highlighting or ignoring?

        (i left out shareholders for obvious reasons but you can consider them if you like since all profits are “reinvested” into redevelopment schemes, welfare and City Department Head salary increases, department head office staff increases….in these tough financial times, hedge funds to continue defending illegal ballot measures…0

  4. > “I share their concern that the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has opened the door for the further erosion of the democratic process and core democratic principles by expanding the role that corporate money plays in elections,” Kalra writes in agreement. “

    The United States is NOT a “democracy”; it is a Constitutional Republic.

    “Democracy” is government by the stupidist, greediest, least informed, most easiest manipulated fifty-one percent of voters.

    If we allow our life, liberty, personal freedom, and individual prosperity to be at the mercy of what fifty-one percent of voters FEEL we should be allowed to have, heaven help us.

    What rational business is going to invest in the U.S. economy when a business can’t argue its case to the American people, and the Obama regime can can buy the votes to tax it out of exiestence simply by offering free Obamaphones, free contraceptives, and free abortions.

  5. Lib icon George Soros will never allow an amendment especially if he can wrangle Bill Gates and Warren Buffet into his corner.

  6. The “money is not speech” resolution passed unanimously today.  (The meeting was long and Khamis, Oliverio, Constant and someone else had already left.)

  7. > The “money is not speech” resolution passed unanimously today.

    Oh, wow!

    If “money is not speech”, then advertising is not protected by the First Amendment.

    That includes political advertising.

    > Councilmembers Sam Liccardo, Don Rocha and Xavier Campos already forwarded a memo voicing opposition to Citizens United. Most recently, District 2 Councilman Ash Kalra submitted his own memo against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which allows corporations the same First Amendment rights as citizens and protects political spending as a form of free speech.

    I think this tells us all we need to know about these petty authoritarians.

    A “corporation” can be as few as two or three people.

    If the two or three people choose to advocate their lawful collective economic interest through paid advertising, why does local government think they have the privilege to suppress that lawful advocacy?

    Sam Liccardo, Don Rocha and Xavier Campos, and Ash Kalra are dangerous, extremist, anti-American nuts.

    They need to be put on a government watch list.

    • Lou states: ‘If “money is not speech”, then advertising is not protected by the First Amendment.’

      Lou is implying that advertising is money.  Online dictionaries say otherwise.

      • > Lou is implying that advertising is money.  Online dictionaries say otherwise.

        Conrad:

        I’m sure you’ve made a really brilliant point, but I’m not so sure I know what it is.

        It also seems that your really brilliant point depends on which online dictionaries you are referencing.

        If you’re referencing a really dumb dictionary, you could be making a really dumb point. I just don’t know.

        But, since you seem to have a lot of excess brainpower just waiting be be unleashed, why don’t you take a stab at defining “money”. A lot of people, the Obama administraion in particular, seem to be a bit muddled in their understanding of “money”.  They seem to be especially unclear on the idea of who money belongs to.

        If you have a really good grip on the concept of “money”, maybe you could help debunk the Federal Reserve.