HIGHTOWER: Corporate Assault On Local Sovereignty
Time for another Hog Report!These fat porkers are not merely chowing down at the trough ... they're trying to chew up our rights as a sovereign people. They include such blue-chip corporations as AT&T, Boeing, Caterpillar, Colgate, Kodak, GM, Mobil, Pepsico -- some 600 corporations banded together in a group called the National Foreign Trade Council. But you have to wonder what nation this piggish outfit stands for.The NFTC is suing the sovereign state of Massachusetts in federal court. The state legislature, you see, has had the audacity to try to direct the way state agencies spend state money to make purchases. Specifically, the legislature said no purchases shall be made from corporations that are doing business with the thuggish, repressive, military dictatorship that rules Burma. Some 30 U.S. cities have joined Massachusetts in this principled stand, asserting their sovereign right over their own spending rules.But the corporations have howled, claiming that their right to free trade is superior, and that We the People -- through our state and local elected authorities -- must bow down before them. So, using their NFTC front group, they are asking a federal judge to strike down the Massachusetts law. Their particular claim is that such local laws are unconstitutional because only the federal government should have the power to make foreign policy.In an interesting twist, a foreign government has joined NFTC in this attempt to overturn local rule inside our borders. The European Community, acting on behalf of European corporations that do business with the bloody thugs of Burma, has filed a formal brief with the court asking that the people of Massachusetts be forced to back down.This is Jim Hightower saying ... Time for another Boston Tea Party. To join the fight for our local rights, call the New England Burma Roundtable at 617-423-6655.