Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and the Move to Amend campaign are working together to get a constitutional amendment repealing Citizens United.
The Citizens United Supreme Court decision has opened the floodgates to unlimited money in elections from extremely wealthy individuals and corporations.
They and Occupy activists across the country are distributing stamps to be printed on US dollar bills that says: "Corporations are not people," "Money is not speech;" and "Not to be used for bribing politicians."
Although the stamps can be advanced ordered on the website now, the campaign kicks off July 4 at the Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia. Later this summer, the group will launch a giant traveling money stamping machine to visit communities across the nation.
By stamping currency, news of the repeal with circulate throughout the economy. And it is legal to put a stamp on currency, the groups say.
"This action is a way for citizens to express their outrage at the ties between big money and political corruption," says David Cobb, National Spokesperson for the Move to Amend coalition. "Politicians rubber stamp legislation that benefits profit over people. We are rubber stamping money to remind lawmakers that they serve ‘We the People,’ not ‘We the Corporations.’"
In the wake of the 2010 Citizens United decision, close to $2 billion is expected to be spent to influence the 2012 presidential election. Polling indicates that almost 80% of Americans are in favor of overturning this decision, with a majority supporting an amendment to establish that corporations are not entitled to Constitutional rights.
Move to Amend seeks to abolish corporate personhood by passing a constitutional amendment that says: 1) Corporations and artificial entities are not people; and 2) Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.
In April, the 78 member Congressional Progressive Caucus voted unanimously in support of a constitutional amendment, the first in Congress to do so. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on amendment proposals July 17, led by Constitution Subcommittee Chair Richard Durbin (D-IL). 13 amendments have been introduced by Democrats in Congress.
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced a constitutional amendment and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) introduced a similar amendment in the House.
Hawaii, New Mexico and Vermont passed state resolutions endorsing an amendment, as well as many cities: NYC; Los Angeles; Boulder, CO, Madison, WI and Missoula, MT and West Allis, WI. 70 towns in Vermont and over 200 City Councils have passed resolutions calling on Congress to send a Constitutional amendment to the states for ratification.
See where resolutions have been passed:
38 states plus two-thirds of Congress must approve amending the Constitution.
For the first time, institutional investors are asking corporations they hold shares in to completely refrain from making donations on political campaigns.
In February, Ben & Jerry’s brand launched a "Get the Dough Out" of politics campaign.
How States Are Reacting to Citizen’s United
Since the Citizen’s United decision many states have reacted, according to a new report which grades them, "Sunlight State by State After Citizens United."
Of the 22 states that have responded in some way, 13 states receive a perfect score of 100 for their disclosure requirements of political spending. North Dakota is the only state that scores zero.
Montana, the lone state that has a law preventing corporate contributions, is defending its century-old law in the Supreme Court against the right wing group, American Tradition Institute. That’s the same group that wants to turn public opinion against renewable energy.
Alaska, California and North Carolina require top contributors to be named in advertisements; Iowa requires corporate board members to approve of independent political spending; Maryland requires that shareholders be directly informed of corporate political spending; and Connecticut required the CEO to appear in ads.
"With a Supreme Court majority intent on pushing a corporate political agenda, a dysfunctional FEC and deadlock in Congress, it is more important than ever that states push," says Blair Bowie, democracy advocate for U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
Learn more about Move to Amend stamps:
You might have a good argument except for: 1. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to deface currency; so to encourage people to do so seems questionable 2. By associating with the hyper-hypocrates in the Occupy Movement, you weaken the credibility of your argument.
It’s not illegal to put the stamp on, they specified that in their press release. We are not associating with the people in this article, this is a News Story about what they are doing.