Ben and Jerry’s co-founder explains ‘monetary jiu jitsu’ to get money out of politics

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, September 24, 2012 22:42 EDT
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During an appearance on Current TV’s Viewpoint, Ben and Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen explained the rationale behind his Stamp Stampede campaign.

“I think that over two-thirds of all Americans — that’s Republicans, Democrats, Independents — all agree that money in politics is destroying our democracy,” he said. “Neither party has done anything about it. Clearly what’s needed is a constitutional amendment to overturn the rulings that money is free speech and corporations are people.”

The campaign urges people to stamp phrases like “corporations are not people”, “money is not free speech”, and “not to be used for bribing politicians” on dollar bills.

“The idea is that if you have more and more people that are stamping these things, it helps spread the movement — it’s monetary jiu jitsu.”

The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that limits on outside campaign spending by corporations and unions violated the First Amendment, because political spending was a form of speech.

The ruling paved the way for Super PACs, which can receive unlimited sums of money to influence elections as long as they do not coordinate with a candidate’s campaign. Super PACs have spent $272 million in 2012 so far.

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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