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Durham City Council comes out against "corporate personhood"

By Virginia Bridges

The Durham City Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution ending “corporate personhood.”

The resolution, presented by Occupy Durham’s Committee to End Corporate Personhood, rebuts the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 landmark decision in 2010 that said the First Amendment’s freedom of speech guarantee prohibits governments from restricting political contributions from unions and corporations.

The Durham resolution states that only human beings have constitutional rights and that political spending is not equivalent to free speech.

"The current campaign finance system creates an unequal playing field and allows unlimited corporate spending to unduly influence elections, candidate selection, and policy decisions,” the resolution states.

Sunday in The Chapel Hill News

Here is a look at today's local headlines:

MOM'S WORDS: Jurors in Brian Minton's trial sat through horrific testimony. But, as Tammy Grubb reports, equally if not more emotional were the words of Steve and Julie Bailey, the parents of Josh Bailey.  Read interviews with three jurors in today's paper.

OCCUPY'S NEXT PHASE: The alternative commencement at UNC is under way this morning alongside the main event. Read why some activists are protesting New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as UNC's commencement speaker and what's next for the movement. Monica Chen reports.

DUAL LANGUAGE REPORT: If you're a betting person, the recommendation to end Dual Language Mandarin instruction is probably DOA after massive opposition. But turning Frank Porter Graham into a Spanish magnet elementary? More complicated, Dave Hart reports.

For those who missed it, Chapel Hill's cell phone ban is on hold (new towing rules too), the county commissioners are getting close to deciding whether to put a sales tax on the ballot for mass transit (read what Benjamin Haven and James Carnahan have to say about that), and Virginia Lee graces us with her first guest column, 'Stories Grandmama never told me.' (I met 'V,' a few months ago and she dropped the opening line of today's column in conversation. I said you have to write about that, and so she did.)

I caught "Marley" yesterday at the Chelsea. If you've already seen the Avengers or comic book movies aren't your thing, this documentary is a riveting, rollicking look at reggae icon Bob Marley, an amazing, creative life cut short at 36.

Thanks for reading,


Kinnaird suggests Wells Fargo CEO lower his salary

State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird reports on local Occupy Wall Street-related matters in her latest newsletter to constituents.

The Orange County Democrat says  the Chapel Hill Friends Meeting provided Thanksgiving dinner for the Occupy Chapel Hill group.  "The homeless have, of course, found Occupy, so presumably some of them enjoyed it too," she says.

"At N.C. State, the CEO of Wells Fargo (John Stumpf), newly arrived in North Carolina having bought our historic Wachovia Bank, had his speech interrupted by various students and Occupiers," Kinnaird continues. 

"I wrote him a letter suggesting the protesters have a valid message and that he could take an important step by reducing his $18.9 million compensation to no more than 100 times his lowest paid worker.  Japan’s ratio is 12:1 and after the U.S., the highest is Venezuela’s at 50:1; the U.S.’s ratio is a startling 475:1.  He could also set a policy to only award bonuses for stellar performance (as opposed to driving the economic bus into the ditch and ruining the lives of families)."

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