Russell Simmons Backs Constitutional Amendment
Hip-hop mogul and Occupy protest supporter Russell Simmons was in Boston yesterday to introduce a constitutional amendment he says would keep corporations from interfering in American politics.
Authored by an anonymous "leading senior congressman," according to the Def Jam founder, the bill would ban private donations from federal elections, leaving candidates for the U.S. Congress and White House to finance their campaigns with public funds.
"Boston has a history... of the American Revolution ... it's just the perfect place," Simmons told the Hollywood Reporter, explaining why he picked Beantown for the big announcement.
He went on to attack New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg for evicting Occupy Wall Street protestors from Zuccotti Park, the home base of the Occupy movement.
"Only one percent of the one percent don't want this country to be better and that was an example of one," Simmons told the industry mag, referencing the concept of "the 99 percent," the group of Americans not part of the wealthiest one percent. "He broke the law."
With respect to the proposed amendment, Simmons said that corporations are somehow responsible for much of what negatively impacts the 99 percent.
"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," Simmons said. "That is the core of demands of all of the occupations."
Watch Russell Simmons Speak in Boston
Watch 'Russell Simmons Chats with Popeater'