Citizens United v. FEC has to be one of the dumbest Supreme Court decisions since Dred Scott (if you exclude the ruling sanctioning the theft of the 2000 presidential election). In this spirit, NPR featured probably the funniest news story of the day covering a campaign for Congress–by a corporation! That wacky notion begins with this quote from Justice Stevens dissent in that case:
Under the majority’s view, I suppose it may be a First Amendment problem that corporations are not permitted to vote, given that voting is, among other things, a form of speech.
Murray Hill, Inc. is taking that one step farther, it’s going to run for Congress in Maryland. The satiric possibilities here are endless and I’ll quote a few of the choicer lines from Eric Hensal who’s running the company’s campaign. Here he notes his intent to run in the Republican primary and his frustration that Maryland election officials have refused to register his company as a voter:
…We need to be a registered voter to run in the Republican primary, which is the place we feel would be most hospitable to a corporate candidate. At least initially, but I guess down the road, you know, the logic of the decision again plays out, and the parties really won’t be so relevant.
Hensal here bemoans the fact that politicians have bid up the price of political influence. Instead, he urges voters to save money by installing a company directly in Congress and so avoiding the middleman:
Well, we just believe that we should take the middleman out of politics. If you’re going to let the ability to have unlimited money flow from corporations, you know, into campaigns, well, you’ll just have greedy politicians sort of bidding up the price to do politics.
…The consumer would suffer over time, you know, paying a politics tax. So we’re just advocating taking the middleman out and directly electing corporations…
I love this killer campaign slogan:
…Clearly our one of our campaign themes is to put people second or even third, but we do, for now, need to make sure we have some votes.
Murray Hill, Inc., who Robert Siegel affectionately refers to as “Murray” throughout the interview, also has its own Facebook page with this slogan:
Corporations are people, too…I think the Supreme Court majority’s decision really brings that home. I think they set aside this whole old-fashioned notion that we are somehow endowed by a creator with inalienable rights, and it’s a superstition that they just put aside and really focused on what speech is for them, which is a product.So for us, why not run for Congress? I mean, we’re challenging a political system that’s, frankly, sort of biased towards bodied people.
Here, Hensal explores the brilliant notion that corporations suffer discrimination just like ethnic minorities and are deserving of protection under the Civil Rights Act:
…We’re fighting an uphill battle, but we need to challenge these things just like civil rights movements have challenged boundaries for, you know, generations.
Political satire can provide such delicious revenge for right-wing stupidity!
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- Murray Hill PR Firm Plans (Satirical) Run For Maryland Congressional Seat (huffingtonpost.com)