Stamping $1s to amend the Constitution & kill Citizens United

Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's is riding around the country in a rainbow colored van, stamping $1 bills with messages like "not to be used for bribing politicians," as a way of raising consciousness about the impact of money in politics in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court verdict, which opened the doors to infinite campaign financing by special interests.

He's seeking a constitutional amendment that overturns the verdict, and he's got 15 states onboard. You can sign a petition, buy a stamp and stamp your own money, and hold stamping parties with your friends. The full list of stamp messages is:

"Not to Be Used for Bribing Politicians".
"Stamp Money Out of Politics"
"Corporations are Not People"
“Not To Be Used for Buying Elections”

Stamp Stampede


    1. That was just what I was going to say! We need this here too!

      Is it illegal in the UK to deface banks notes though…

    1. Cash is still the easiest way to split up a lunch tab. Also it’s a lot harder for stores to track what you purchase if you use cash.. it’s one of the few tools left you can use to remain anonymous.

      1. I agree with the latter, but not the former. I hardly ever go into any restaurant anymore that doesn’t offer the option to split the check up by seat.

      2. “Cash is still the easiest way to split up a lunch tab.”

        I find “I’ll get the next one” works just as well.

      3. Cash is still the easiest way to split up a lunch tab.

        In my world, people usually take turns picking up the tab.

        1.  Bending that bone white 300g/m**2 is far too difficult and wound definitely render the Silian Rail illegible.

    2. Cash is the way to buy.  You can often get discounts.  Direct deposit the paycheck, and pull a couple centuries from the corner breadbox whenever the wallet gets too skinny.

      Meh, I do use a card for online purchases, but I have a “special” card for that.

    3. Plastic is inconvenient.

      I often have to wait for people paying with plastic, which shits me because I conduct my own transactions much faster with cash.

      This morning I almost missed the train because I needed to top up my RFID ticket and there was a guy growing his beard a bit while he tried to pay with plastic…

      I just don’t see the problem with cash, unless you live somewhere you’re likely to be mugged a lot, and/or you’re drunk all the time.

      That said, our paper here in Oz is plastic, so I guess we’d have to use permanent marker ink, which would still rub off…

      1. Plastic holds up the lines? I would of thought it was Granny trying to pay in spare change. Swiping a card is significantly faster on even a slow connection than having to take up cash, count cash, provide change, etc.

      2. You must live in a primitive technology area. I swipe my card, hit one button to agree if it’s under $50 and I’m done. That takes less time than handing over cash and getting change.

        1. Not sure how a primitive technology area would be consistently rated as one of the 20 best cities in the world to inhabit…

    1. “In response to the increasing circulation of banknotes scribbled with anti-government slogans the Central Bank said this week that it would no longer accept graffitied banknotes as valid currency.”

      Iran, since you ask.

  1. If it were just an amendment to overturn Citizen’s United, that would be one thing, but it’s an amendment to strip all constitutional rights from all non-natural persons.

    Corporations, unions, organizations like NARAL  or the ACLU, churches, civic leagues, universities, and many other types of organizations would have no right to prevent the government from searching them at will without a warrant; no way to stop the government from seizing any of their property without compensation; obligation of contract could be dispatched at will for any contract except between two real people; regulation of any speech by said organizations, not just political speech before an election, could be censored; their right to sue in federal court would no longer exist.

    The federal government will certain be able to end corporate money in politics after it’s passed, but think, for a moment, how states like Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, etc, will use such a law. Any organization will lack standing to challenge it in federal court.

    That amendment is one of the most bog-stupid political efforts in the history of imbecilic political efforts.

    1. Its all a farce anyway. 

      Its simply I don’t like your speech and the only way I can stop you is by amending the constitution.

      Citizens United is perfectly fine. Money is Speech. If you want a law overturned that cripples minority speech, its McCain-Feingold.

      1. “I don’t like your speech”

        Yeah, people are just jealous.

        How ridiculous. opponents of Citizen’s United believe that access to “speech” should be more egalitarian, proponents think it should be monopolized by the elite. *

        *more than it already is.

        1.  If you want speech to be egalitarian you should be a full-bore supporter of the CU decision.

          Citizens United was a political action group that wanted to publish a documentary critical of Hillary Clinton.  In other words, people who wanted to engage in political speech banded together to create a documentary and have it aired on television so other people could see it.  

          That’s precisely egalitarian.  A bunch of people who could not individually afford to engage in that sort of political speech were able to act in concert to have their viewpoint aired before the world.

          If corporations are not allowed to do that sort of thing, then that is a very *non-egalitarian* state of affairs.  Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Sam Walton, these people are wealthy enough to fund such speech directly and personally out of their own bank accounts.   You are effectively arguing in favor of a state of affairs where only people wealthy enough to run their own personal presses get to engage in political speech. 

      2. If money is protected speech, why isn’t violence protected speech? It has an equally august history.

        1.  Is this a sincere question?

          Violence can be protected speech.  I can engage in violent actions towards, say, a United States flag.  I can destroy it, burn it (subject to content-neutral restrictions on burning things), and so on.

          Violence towards non-consenting people isn’t protected speech because it violates *their* rights.  My speech doesn’t do that except under very specific circumstances (See U.S. v. Brandenburg; despite what the Jerk below me suggests, speech that is likely to incite imminent lawless action is not protected speech).

          There’s a pretty basic distinction between violence directed towards non-consenting people and…anything else. 

    2.  Where are you reading all these things that the amendment will do?
      I’m not seeing any of that in the links in the article.

    3. The article you cribbed that from is here, on UCLA professor Eugene Volokh’s site.  It’s worth reading, although I personally think Volohk’s waxing hysterical.

      It seems to me extremely unlikely that with the passage of a single amendment suddenly the US congress and state legislatures will go on an extended binge of passing additional laws designed to attack churches and universities, which is Volokh’s premise.

      Read the article, it gives the text of the amendment that Volohk believes will lead to human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

      1.  “It seems to me extremely unlikely that with the passage of a single
        amendment suddenly the US congress and state legislatures will go on an
        extended binge of passing additional laws”

        Excuse me? 

        Have you paid attention to what’s going on in Texas recently?  If you don’t think that a place like Texas or Mississippi would target organizations like Planned Parenthood or the ACLU were those corporate bodies stripped of any and all Constitutional protections, you are living in fantasyland.  If Planned Parenthood enjoys no 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, since it’s a corporation and therefore has no rights, then what in your view would prevent Rick Perry from just ordering the cops to go in and “search” every PP office in the state and “seize” their computers?  What would prevent the Texas legislature from making it illegal for PP to publish and disseminate information about abortion?

        “I think that would be unlikely” is not really a good answer. 

      2.  I didn’t crib it from anything. I’ve been against this idiotic amendment from the start, when I heard it would strip corporations of all constitutional rights, which is when I read through the constitution to find what those rights are, together with the definition of “corporation”.

        Volokh apparently did the same, except he missed the prohibition of Congress to interfere with contracts.

        One of the most important tools of free speech we have against the government is the 1965 case New York Times v Sullivan. Without the corporate rights to free speech that case would have instantly been dismissed, and the racists would have won.

        1. Your text bears remarkable resemblance to Volokh’s, but maybe if you edit it a few times you can fix that.  Where did you hear “it would strip corporations of all constitutional rights” might I ask, if not Volokh?

          A point you seem to be missing is that corporations contain individuals, and if there are no special rights afforded to conglomerates, except in those cases clearly provided for by law, the individuals can do anything the corporations could do.  The only things that corporations do that aren’t going to be done by individuals are either undesirable things, or things that can be provided for in laws that do not confer false humanity on inhuman organizations.

  2. Unilever bought Ben and Jerry’s in 2001.

    Unilever has given $2,320,032 in contributions to political candidates and PACs.

    Of that, Unilever gave $372,100 to the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition in California, that would have required food manufacturers to disclose whether or not they used GMO in their products. You can read more about that here:

    Just sayin’

    1.  I guess that makes it more surprising that Unilever hasn’t put a stop to Cohen or tamed him down in some way. I’m wondering what the terms of the sale were.

      1.  Huh?  Ben Cohen doesn’t work for Unilever.  He’s not on the board, he’s not employed by Unilever.  He founded a company and then sold it.  What exactly could Unilever do to “put a stop to Cohen”?  Put out a hit on him? 

  3. Only slightly relevant, but I think the best bill defacement I ever saw was a Sharpy scrawled message: “I AM A PIECE OF PAPER AND I CONTROL YOUR LIFE.” I always meant to have a rubber stamp made of that.

  4. I’d like to see stamps with the names of the dirty politicians on them.  Something like “On Dec.25, 2012, Tommy Tofaced took $25,000 from ALEC for a trip to the Bahamas”
    Specifics get them investigated.

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