Friends, we have just read and signed this online petition to prevent corporate abuse (Maine Code for Corporate Citizenship) and hope that you will read the petition by visiting the link below and sign if you agree. Thank you. — Judy and Peter
On Jan 3, 2012, at 3:27 PM, Bob Hinkley wrote:
Dear Judy and Peter,
I am writing you to ask you to consider signing a petition on www.change.org <http://www.change.org> . The petition asks the Maine State legislature to pass the Code for Corporate Citizenship. Maine is the first state I have tried. I chose Maine because Annie, Jack and I once lived there and it’s a place we love and visit frequently. Once 1,000 are gathered in Maine, I intend to state on a national appeal to include the other 49 states (and ultimately foreign jurisdictions as well).
As I am sure the Supreme Court recently held that corporations are entitled to the rights of citizenship, including specifically the right to free speech in connection with elections. Many of us despaired when this ruling came out. What it means is that corporations now have all the rights of citizenship, but none of the obligations.
Corporations not having the obligations of citizenship is a bigger problem, than corporations having constitutional rights. Our form of government is founded on the premise that human beings can rule themselves (and protect the public interest) with a system of laws. It treats big corporations the same way it treat individuals. Both are free to harm the public interest until laws are passed prohibiting their behavior that causes the harm. This works with individuals who have little capacity or inclination to intentionally harm the public interest. They are more likely to stop behavior that seriously harms the public interest than continue it even before a law prohibiting such behavior is passed.
It doesn’t work so well governing corporations which have plenty of capacity and inclination. The corporate law in Maine and elsewhere sometimes has the effect of giving corporate directors a compelling need to continue harming the public interest when no law prohibits it. It is imperative that this part (Section 831 of the Maine Business Corporation Act) of the law be changed so that the inclination of corporate directors to pursue corporate self-interest at the expense of the public interest be eliminated.
The Code for Corporate Citizenship will impose citizen-like duties on corporations to ensure their pursuit of self-interest (profit and survival) no longer can come at the expense of five elements of the public interest: the environment, human rights, public health and safety, dignity of employees or the welfare of the communities in which the corporation operates.
Please check out the petition to the Maine state legislature on www.change.org <http://www.change.org> by putting “Code for Corporate Citizenship” in the search box. You can also directly to the petition by following this link: http://www.change.org/petitions/maine-state-legislature-pass-the-code-for-corporate-citizenship. If you agree it’s time to change the corporation, please sign and pass this message on to as many Maine residents as you are able and feel comfortable and especially the other members of Peninsula Peace & Justice.
For those of your contacts who want to know more about the Code, please refer them to my recently released book, Time to Change Corporations: Closing the Citizenship Gap on www.amazon.com <http://www.amazon.com> . It’s now also available on Kindle.
Thank you for your help. Regards. Bob
Robert C. Hinkley
4610 Morgan Drive
Chevy Chase, MD 20815