Russell Simmons Proposes Constitutional Amendment at Occupy Boston
Def-Jam co-founder Russell Simmons is backing a proposed contitutional amendment that would bar private donations to candidates for federal public office.
Simmons presented the legislation to Occupy Boston protesters Tuesday.
He told The Hollywood Reporter he chose the city to introduce the amendment because "Boston has a history... of the American Revolution.. it's just the perfect place. And the timing with all the attacks, the illegal attacks by Mayor Bloomberg on the protesters and the ignoring of a court order to allow them back in. Breaking the law, a one percenter.
"Only one percent of the one percent don't want this country to be better and that was an example of one. He broke the law."
The amendment was authored by a "leading senior congressman" whose identity is being withheld until he gathers more support for it in Congress.
The amendment reads:
Section 1. All elections for President and members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate shall be publicly financed. No political contributions shall be permitted to any federal candidate, from any other source, including the candidate. No political expenditures shall be permitted in support of any federal candidate, or in opposition to any federal candidate, from any other source, including the candidate. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.
Section 2. The Congress shall, by statute, provide limitations on the amounts and timing of the expenditures of such public funds and provide criminal penalties for any violation of this section.
Section 3. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 4. This article shall be inoperative unless it is ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution.
Simmons has been a vocal proponent of the Occupy movement from the beginning, mingling with protesters in New York and encouraging citizens to "support the 99 percent" via his Global Grind website and his Twitter account.
He told THR, "All the things that ill effect the 99 percent are in some way connected to corporations getting priority over people. I'm not saying capitalism is bad, [that] corporations shouldn't sit around and conspire on how to take the money out of people's pockets -- they should do that, that's their job, turn a profit to their investors, but it should not be a job to pay off politicians. That is the core of demands of all of the occupations."