Posts Tagged ‘partisan court’

The “Murray Hill Inc. for Congress” campaign was ready to hit the trail running, armed with a dynamic strategy and catchy slogans like “Corporations are People Too!” “Privatize Gain…Socialize Risk,” and the surefire vote-getter, “The People Should Always Come 2nd …or 3rd!”

But, a by-the-book state elections official has rejected the corporation’s voter registration application, effectively ending the campaign before it had begun.

Murray Hill Inc., the first American corporation to openly run for Congress (as opposed to the more traditional “candidate-as-corporate-proxy” model) has had its hopes of corporate candidacy dashed by the Maryland State Board of Elections on a technicality. Even though Murray Hill Inc. did have a “Designated Human”(DH) representative, the Board rejected the corporation’s application on the specious grounds that it was “not a human being.”

Judging by the candidates elected to the 112th Congress, Maryland’s “human being” standard must be one of the toughest in the nation.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections informed the corporation of the rejection after receiving the following instructions from the State Board of Elections:

To the Montgomery Board of Elections:

I am in receipt of a copy of the recently filed voter registration application from the abovementioned corporation attempting to register to vote.  Since it is a corporation that is attempting to register and not a human being, this application should be rejected and not entered into the statewide voter registration database.  A corporation “designating” a human being does not meet the qualifications to register.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Mary Cramer Wagner, Voter Registration Division, Maryland State Board of Elections

Murray Hill Inc.’s Response

In a press release posted yesterday at the “Murray Hill Inc. for Congress” website,  the would-be corporate candidate makes it clear that it considers the Board’s decision nothing more than a speed-bump on the road to corporate freedom.

“But this is only the first step in our stand for corporate civil rights.,” says Murray Hill’s Designated Human, Eric Hensel. “We are sure you agree, our campaign is at the forefront of an historic movement that will eventually win all the rights our founding fathers meant for corporations to have.” Murray Hill Inc. is weighing its legal options.

Corporations are People Too!

The inspired—though perhaps short-lived—campaign was one-part publicity stunt for Murray Hill Inc., a 5-year-old Murray Hill, Maryland public relations firm—and three-parts pointed and hilarious response to the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

The Court’s January decision overturned 63 years of precedent, giving corporations and unions the same 1st Amendment status as human citizens regarding political free speech and campaign contributions.  In other words, while individuals send whatever they can afford to candidates of their choosing, Exxon Mobil will be free to send whatever it can afford to its favorite candidate or policy initiative.

In a KCRW interview
, Hensel noted that dissenting Associate Justice Stevens’ reference to corporations being barred from voting or running for office was the spark that ignited Murray Hill Inc.’s campaign. Hensel explained how corporations holding office would have the extra benefit of cutting out greedy politicians who have been “eating up” money from corporations in more subtle and devious ways. “We say, eliminate the middle man!”

The “Murray Hill for Congress” campaign has captured the attention (and laughs) of many who find this to be the perfectly outrageous response to the Court’s perfectly outrageous decision. With 10,000 Facebook fans and over 200,000 views of its YouTube presentation so far, Murray Hill Inc. has only just begun its campaign for Congress and Corporate Rights.

Go, Murray Hill!  Bring transparency back to the best government money can buy.

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Hollywood’s latest “advance” in product placement technology and the Supreme Court’s decision to make a gift of America’s electoral process to big business could combine to make for interesting, though somewhat cluttered, TV.

TV production companies, apparently dissatisfied with their paltry earnings from placing, say, a jar of Skippy’s Peanut Butter on a TV family’s table (label facing camera), are now increasing product placement revenue by offering to place the advertiser’s product or message on the screen—after the show has been shot.  In other words, if some character from your favorite TV show is having brewskies with his buddies, those beers—through the magic of post-production manipulation—can become Millers, Heinekens, Coors Lights or whichever suds factory comes up with the most cash. With a few clicks of the mouse–hey presto–the plain, beige baseball cap worn by one of the buddies becomes a magenta Nike cap.  Passing billboards, tattoos, sky writing, anything is fair game. If there is a way to display a product or message in their TV show, they can do it—for a fat fee.

But, why stop with product placement? TV production companies could be in Samolian City by offering political placements.

The Supreme Court’s gutting of McCain-Feingold and virtual removal of any limit on the amount corporations are allowed to spend hypnotizing Americans into voting for “favorable” candidates and bottom line-boosting issues is the Court’s most jaw-droppingly partisan maneuver since Bush v Gore.  With avaricious TV networks and production companies, modern technology and this Supremely un-democratic decision, you may now look forward to watching your favorite TV cop take down his perp in front of a bus stop that screams in bright red, block letters, “Vote for [insert name here]” or “Socialized Medicine—Next Stop, the Gulag.”

Sounds outrageous?  If you think corporations would exercise restraint with these placed messages, just look at the blatantly misleading anti-health care reform spots they’ve been running on TV, or remember some of the signs (and nooses) held high at the “I’m not telling where the money comes from” Tea Parties: Hitlerized Obamas, “Deathcare,” swaztikas, etc.  But hey, would TV producers really permit such blatancy in their shows?  See “fat fee” above.

And, the real beauty of this high-tech hocus-pocus is its ability to change with the times. Once insurance companies have vaporized health care reform and no longer need the show’s bus stop, the production company can re-sell the space before that episode’s rerun.  Same hero, same setting, only now, as our hero beats the kapok out of the bad guy, the bus stop bench in the background features a message from the Coal Mining Association of America: “So the World Gets a Little Warmer—Wear Shorts.”