Move Over Van Hollen, Corporation to Run for MD-8 Seat

Photo courtesy of
‘Guarding Justice’
courtesy of ‘Photos by Chip Py’

I enjoyed this article today from WaPo that was written in a semi-serious, semi-tongue-in-cheek tone about Murray Hill, Inc., a company based in Silver Spring, MD that has announced its intentions to run for Congress in the 8th CD of Maryland. The seat is currently held by Mr. DCCC himself, Chris Van Hollen. The story is no joke – these guys actually are trying to run for Congress. A mere 6 months ago, this would have seemed so obnoxious, it wouldn’t even have garnered sensational press attention. But thanks to Justice Roberts and pals on the big bench, the United States now officially views corporations as people when it comes to their rights related to campaign finance, and Murray Hill is out to prove that corporations deserve all equal human rights.

The progressive PR firm obviously knows how to pull off a PR stunt. (Check out their campaign Facebook page and their YouTube videos.) But this is really more than that. This is actually proving a very valid point in showing that treating corporations as people is flat out ridiculous. Giving corporations the right to have a seemingly unlimited level of influence on members of Congress destroys the many years of bi-partisan handwork that has gone into trying to tone down the sick impact that wealthy corporations can have on the everyday lives of Americans. This is NOT about stifling capitalism, this is about stifling the downright unfair ability that corporations have to alter legislation passed in Congress so that it favors their profits, instead of the needs of the country’s citizens. Allow great ideas to flourish in capitalism, but don’t allow those ideas to directly control our laws.

Congressman Van Hollen is certainly in no danger of losing his seat to this “campaign”. Murray Hill, which is trying to run in the Republican primary, will not be able to register because it does not meet the Constitutionally mandated age of 25. But perhaps, through a suit brought in front of Chief Justice Roberts, this too can be changed to favor the rights of corporations over the needs of the people that actually elect their representatives. What do you say John? Can we let Murray Hill file so companies no longer have to try and hide their financial influence and can just head on down to the House floor themselves to cast their votes? Sure would make it easier.

Karl is a Washingtonian who lives and breathes everything that is DC. Politics, ethnic restaurants, sad sports teams, the Metro and pretty much anything in between. Karl’s life is kind of like going to a Nats’ game while eating Ethiopian food and discussing the latest legislation to pass the House. Then cramming on the Metro for a ride home. That ’bout sums it up. See why Karl loves DC or check him out on Twitter.

5 thoughts on “Move Over Van Hollen, Corporation to Run for MD-8 Seat

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  2. Wait…you mean that it takes more than one Justice voting to make a decision on the Supreme Court?? Please enlighten me, oh wise Jen. And then you can also point out where I said that only one Justice supported this decision.

  3. You fail at constitutional law, Karl.

    Citizens United had nothing to do with a corporation running for office, which of course is ridiculous. It had everything to do with the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech and the right to assemble. More importantly, by exercising that right to assemble, people don’t lose their free speech rights.

    Instead of pretending this decision will result in the ruin of American democracy, take a few minutes to research the states that already allow unlimited corporate expenditure in state elections. See if those states are overrun by corporate interests anymore than the states with more restrictive laws. I think you’ll be surprised. But I also think you won’t actually do that research, which is too bad.

  4. Sigh. Did either of you guys actually read this post? Clearly I never said that that specific case was meant to allow corporations to run for office. In fact, I said in multiple places that it was tongue-in-cheek and that there was no real possibility of this happening. Then I also went on to say that the Supreme Court would need to change more rules to allow for such a thing to actually happen.

    Also, your biggest point is a failure. We are talking about federal campaign finance regulations, which is enormously different than state regulations which change state to state.