California – This week, in collaboration with Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, the Move to Amend campaign launched a fundraising drive to fund a national tour of the "Amend-O-Matic" to travel the United States as part of the group's "Stampede to Amend" campaign.
The Amend-O-Matic is part art spectacle, part money-stamping machine, part road-worthy vehicle, and will allow participants to insert their dollar bills to be printed with messages calling for an amendment to the US Constitution. Slogans to be printed include, "Corporations are not people," "Money is not speech;" and "Not to be used for bribing politicians."
Move to Amend and Cohen plan to kick off Stampede to Amend tour in Los Angeles in late September to encourage "thousands of people to buy rubber stamps and stamp any currency that comes into their possession," Cohen told Yahoo News. This campaign targets the highly controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate money in elections.
"This action will be a way for citizens to express their outrage at the ties between big money and political corruption," said David Cobb, National Spokesperson for the Move to Amend coalition. "Politicians rubber stamp legislation that benefits profit over people. We are stamping money to remind lawmakers that they serve 'We the People,' not 'We the Corporations.'"
Citizens can help launch the project by contributing funds via the group's fundraising site. Move to Amend is seeking to raise $20,000 by September 23 to finance the tour from September-December. Ben Cohen has agreed to match that amount if the group meets its goal. After just one day of solicitation the group had already raised $15,000. Donors will receive their own stamps so that they can begin stamping their cash.
In the wake of the 2010 Citizens United decision, close to $2 billion is expected to be spent to influence the 2012 presidential election. Polling indicates that almost 80% of Americans are in favor of overturning this decision, with a majority supporting an amendment to establish that corporations are not entitled to Constitutional rights.
Move to Amend seeks to abolish corporate personhood by passing a constitutional amendment that says: 1) Corporations and artificial entities are not people; and 2) Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.
With over 130 local affiliates nationwide, Move to Amend is a national coalition that has seen many victories in recent months. Through ballot initiatives several cities have voted in favor of Move to Amend's proposed amendment including: Madison, WI; Missoula, MT; Boulder, CO; and West Allis, WI. In March, over 70 towns in Cohen's home state of Vermont, and the Vermont State Legislature endorsed the movement to amend, and over 200 City Councils have passed resolutions calling on Congress to send a Constitutional amendment to the states for ratification.
"The American people are speaking up loud and clear: only human beings should have Constitutional rights and money should not equal speech," continued Cobb. "To protect our Republic, Americans are getting involved by the thousands to amend our Constitution."
For more information about the campaign, click here.