Petition: force Congress to display logos of their corporate backers on their clothes

The idea of forcing Congresscritters to wear NASCAR-style coveralls with the logos of their financial backers has been bandied about before, but here it is in official White House petition form.

Since most politicians' campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company's logo, or individual's name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate's clothing at all public appearances and campaign events. Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those "sponsor's" names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. For example, a $1 million dollar contribution would warrant a patch of about 4" by 8" on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button. Individual donations under $1000 are exempt.

As funny as this is, it would be easy-ish to turn this into a browser plugin that looked for politicians' names in the pages you looked at, and automatically surrounded them with a semi-opaque halo of corporate logos that you could click on to see more.

Require Congressmen & Senators to wear logos of their financial backers on their clothing, much like NASCAR drivers do. (via Beyond the Beyond)

(Image: Bobby Labonte, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from mulsanne's photostream)


  1. I’d like to see a way to superimpose the logos directly on their suits when they show up on C-SPAN.

    If they can put the first-down line on a football field on TV, surely someone can do this.

    1. Right! that’s what I was thinking. This is a perfect niche for an augmented tv-reality app.

    2. Maybe a website embedding the c-span player along with the logos. The logos could appear in a ticker with their contributions.

      I wonder if has an embeddable player/api of some sort?

  2. Absolutely not! This would violate the Congressperson’s right of privacy, and deny the sponsors of their First Amendment right to free expression!

    Why do these petitioners hate freedom so much?

      1. Oh, I’m well aware of that.

        I learned about it doing my high school social studies final. It was student choice of topic, so I wrote a 12 page paper on the US’s involvment in South American dictatorships and banana republics. I was looking for a challenge. We didn’t even cover south america my senior year. We mostly did modern global trade (focused on China and OPEC), economics and currency.

        I’ll never be able to just look at a banana again without a feeling of national guilt.

      2. But when they’re flecked with brown and have a golden hue, they taste the best and are the best for you.

  3. Here’s a less intrusive idea.  Even a dog needs to wear a collar with the name of their owner – why not our Representatives as well?

    1. I’d rather they carry chains, like Jacob Marley’s, forged link by link throughout their entire careers “it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel.”

      1. I like the idea of branding the logos on their foreheads, so all may know them as political prostitutes and harlots. *This* from a woman.

          1. Like regular harlots they have many clients during their career, so brand a “harlot” tag and leave space to stick the current John in Sharpie.

  4. What’s a good source for data on contributions to politicians? It would be pretty easy to make this app if the data were accessible.

  5. This would be better served as an augmented reality-app or browser plugin. 

    I suspect that if done as proposed otherwise, some legal department will find a way to make sure that the same politicians suddenly got a lot of “individual” $999.99 donations so reporting wouldn’t be necessary.

  6. There should be a law where a politician can accept as much funding as is being given to him or her, so long as the politician can remain impartial by being forced to find as much funding for any opposite viewpoint(s).

    Basically, it would go like this: say you’re accepting $100,000 in funding from a pro-life organization, then you must secure an equal amount from a pro-choice organization.  If you can only find $25,000 from the pro-choice camp, then you can only accept $25,000 from the pro-life camp.

    If it’s about businesses fighting for government contracts, then all the competitors silently bid what they’re willing to give to the politician, and the politician receives the smallest amount that was bid, but from all the competitors.  For example, let’s say there’s 3 banks lobbying a politician, banks A, B, and C.  A bids $1 million.  B bids $5 million.  C is a small credit union, and only bids $50,000.  The politician can only accept $50,000 from each bank, for a total of $150,000.

    I know there are many flaws with this, but maybe we can make it work?

    1.  The major flaw is that you’re basically encouraging the fuckers to go around collecting twice as much money and not providing ANYONE with a resolution…

      1. They’d be paying him to remain neutral.
        Reminds me of the old Illuminati card game (non-collectable vers.) where one player would spend money to succeed in doing something, and everyone else could spend money to make him fail. 

        Great scam for the parties involved. 

  7. This is more than phenomenal!  Once a year on ‘corporation sponsorship day’ they’d have to get dressed in as much of the related regalia for photos as possible – Ronald McDonald’s shoes, toothpaste tube sleeves, Colt joke guns … 

  8. I was never good at history or civics, but Congress includes both the House and the Senate (Representatives and Senators). Therefore, Senators ARE in fact Congressmen. 

    I’m embarrassed to sign the petition lest Obama thinks I’m as stupid as the petition’s author.

    1. Oh, come now.  As “Senator” is the title for a member of that august (ahem) body, so has “Congressman” or “Congresswoman” long been a title for the jokers in that particular gang.  Sure, “Representative So-and-so” might be more formally accurate, but if we wanted pure accuracy, we’d just call Boehner “Stooge #6″ and number upward from there.

  9. Great idea, but don’t forget the office of the president and the cabinet officers too. Let them show how proud they are for who they associate with.

  10. Definitely a browser plugin!  It should simply add corporate logos at the end of a rep’s names in line with text.  Mose-over the logos to get a short run-down of total cash per corporation donated for that year.

  11. While I do love this, I think Jello Biafra had a solution that would go hand and hand with this.

    Jello wanted all businessmen to wear clown suits during working hours.

  12. I would love to see someone come up with a program that has the face of lobbyists programmed into it.

    So when someone held up their android or ios phone the program would recognize the persons face and then put a list of all the corporations that person lobbys for.

  13. “…while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button”

    Now that’s a lot of flair!

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