Posts Tagged ‘money in politics’

What can you do if you want to help stamp money out of politics? Well, Ben Cohen, the Ben from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, has an idea: stamp money.

The founder of one of the biggest ice cream brands in the country is teaming up with Public Citizen, Move to Amend and People for the American Way to garner support for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations to spend unlimited money to influence elections, and related cases.

To raise awareness, Ben & Jerry’s are calling on concerned citizens to stamp dollar bills with slogans such as “corporations are not people” and “not to be used for buying elections.” These stamps are being sold at cost at the Stamp Stampede website (http://stampstampede.org/shop/).

“It’s some monetary jujitsu – using money to get money out of politics,” Cohen told the USA Today.

The Stamp Stampede calculates that every bill will be seen by approximately 875 people in its lifetime. If 100 people stamped 10 bills every day, the entire population of the United States would have seen the message at least once within a year. Activists are being encouraged to stamp as many bills as they can to exercise their right to free speech and raise awareness of the dangers of corporate money in politics.

Cohen has consulted with his lawyer and assures activists that stamping dollar bills is legal. The First Amendment protects the stamps because they are political messages that don’t damage the bills or render them unusable.

You can get more involved with Public Citizen’s efforts for a constitutional amendment at www.democracyisforpeople.org.

 

Written by Ben Moran, Intern, Democracy Is For People Campaign.

This is an exciting time here at the Democracy Is For People Campaign! Congress is responding to a groundswell of support for an amendment to rein in corporate influence over our democracy.  U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s (D-N.M.) constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United v Federal Election Commission ruling has continued to gain co-sponsors, while several members of the House of Representatives also have introduced amendments.

Today, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) introduced an amendment that would go even further.  Public Citizen President Rob Weissman commented, “We herald the Deutch amendment and applaud the efforts in Congress to seriously address this issue at the crux of challenges to our democracy. Rep. Deutch’s amendment would clarify that constitutional rights are intended for real, live, breathing human beings. It would end corporate spending on elections. And it would give Congress authority to adopt a sensible campaign finance system. It would make America stronger, more democratic and more just.”

Reports from the Grassroots. We are getting closer to the January 21 National Day of Action, and the house parties held last week to plan for it went very well! This past week we have been receiving more and more encouraging reports from house-party hosts. They have been coming up with plans for the January 21 Day of Action to call out corporations for posing as human beings, and being ‘citizen impersonators’ and ‘imposters’ in our democracy. Democracy is for people, and as house-party host Laura from Pennsylvania remarked, “If corporations are people, they should be able to produce a birth certificate and show us their belly buttons.”

Continue Reading

People are taking action across the country to mark the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that corporate political spending is the same thing as real speech by real people.

Left unchecked, the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling will have grave consequences for our democracy. In last fall’s elections, corporate spending soared, and sources of outside spending were kept secret. This outside money was a major factor in 80 percent of the races where power changed hands.

Now, any lawmaker who is interested in standing against corporate interests has to figure out how to say ‘no’ to corporate lobbyists wielding the resources to replace him or her with a more corporate-friendly lawmaker.

But We, the People are mobilizing to fight back.

From Massachusetts to Oregon, Florida to Alaska, more than 100 demonstrations are being held throughout the nation.
Even a group of socially conscious business corporations, led by Ben & Jerry’s, is standing up to assert that we need a constitutional amendment to stop the corporate takeover of our democracy.

Nearly a million concerned citizens have signed petitions calling on Congress to pass such a constitutional amendment — petitions that will be delivered to Congress at noon today (Public Citizen’s petition is at www.DontGetRolled.org).

If you’re participating in today’s actions, be sure to take pictures, make videos, blog and tweet about what you’re doing. You can share your photos, videos and other documentation with us by sending an email to action@citizen.org, sending a tweet to @Public_Citizen or posting it on our Facebook page.

Continue Reading

© Copyright Public Citizen. All Rights Reserved.