Ice Cream Makers Ben & Jerry Take on Citizens United

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, holds up a one-dollar bill he stamped with the words 'Not to be used for bribing politicians' as he advocates to get money out of politics. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty)

Four years ago the U.S. Supreme Court made a blockbuster decision that dramatically changed the way political campaigns are funded.

The decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruled in favor of the conservative lobbying group and gave corporations and unions permission to pump unlimited amounts of cash into the political process, effectively removing government restrictions on spending.

Following the ruling, outside money flooded into House and Senate races and the presidential campaign, as politicians from both sides of the aisle embraced the support of big money funneled through super PACs.

But there’s a growing movement to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court ruling.

With the midterm election season about to get underway, The Takeaway speaks with the founders of the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s—Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield—about money and politics in the post Citizens United era, and their campaign to reverse the Citizens United decision. Today Ben and Jerry give us the scoop on their campaign to literally stamp money out of politics, dubbed "Stamp Stampede."

Guests:

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield

Produced by:

Jen Poyant and Elizabeth Ross

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [8]

CAROLINE from NJ USA

I'm glad we live in a free country but abhor the Supreme Courts Decision that Corporations are people; one corp is given person-hood. Who would have guessed? It would be lovely if Ben and Jerry could make a dent . . . something has to, doesn't it?

FYI: Even while corporate donations flirt with the $10 billion mark, corporate giving represents a rather small portion of charitable gifts in the United States. Estimates from the AAFRC pinpointed corporate philanthropy in 1997 at just 5.7 percent of the $143.5 billion that went to charitable organizations that year. The vast majority—more than three-quarters—of donations come from individuals.

Read more: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/encyclopedia/Con-Cos/Corporate-Philanthropy.html#b#ixzz2vmFb5tXy

Mar. 12 2014 02:11 PM
Emily

Ben & Jerry's (the company) actually has its own anti-Citizen's United effort called Get the Dough Out(getthedoughout.org). Ben isn't involved in this campaign. The reason for this, and other interesting stories about how Ben & Jerry's maintained its social mission when it sold to Unilever, can be read about in a new book: Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's and at icecreamsocialbook.com

Also, we've launched a small campaign to have people sign a birthday card for Ben Cohen to thank him for his leadership in the corporate social responsibility movement and his work to repeal Citizens United. The card can be found here: http://icecreamsocialbook.com/2014/03/05/sign-a-birthday-card-for-ben-cohen-of-ben-jerrys/

Mar. 11 2014 03:32 PM
charlotte sperling

I love the ben & jerry's stamp idea. how can I get a stamp of my own ???

Mar. 11 2014 10:40 AM

It occurred to me this morning, while listening to the latest update of technological progress, that ideas such as those put forward by Jerry and Ben will become increasingly irrelevant as the practice of exchanging currency for goods and services has less to do with any physical transfer of paper and metal tokens and becomes more a matter of digitally recording such transfers by way of portable, handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, and transfer cards) and fixed station entries by way of ATM's and home computers.
The entire idea of forcing attention on a message "stamped" onto currency will become as quaintly outdated as making an honest fortune on "positively messaging" portions of milk fat leavened with generous amounts of sugar and other "mystery" ingredient to an increasingly obese population. [ https://www.google.com/search?q=ben+%26+jerry%27s+ingredients+list&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=6Fi&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&tbm=isch&imgil=uXRQizN1iNlTUM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcRT0dSIe5AQd2iNA3tS6QDpwkm0rXPhlDNXkKnbyhUvKmHTNsvA%253B466%253B481%253BE3AoRpYkJHuIaM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.onsecondscoop.com%25252F2012%25252F02%25252Fben-jerrys-introduces-new-greek-frozen.html&source=iu&usg=__iE1cbQRIxs5_hKRDZZ89RxrB5pQ%3D&sa=X&ei=RgMfU5i2OIbpkQe7moDABg&ved=0CIcBEPUBMAg#facrc=_&imgrc=uXRQizN1iNlTUM%253A%3BE3AoRpYkJHuIaM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252F2.bp.blogspot.com%252F-kxr7L66O1gM%252FT0U9lwWAe4I%252FAAAAAAAADGo%252F1C2ap_YyP1o%252Fs1600%252Fben%252Bjerrys%252Bgreek%252Bfrozen%252Byogurt%252Bingredients%252Braspberry.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.onsecondscoop.com%252F2012%252F02%252Fben-jerrys-introduces-new-greek-frozen.html%3B466%3B481 ]

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj3VphK9AMk

Nobody is looking to be "THE Bossy Tyrants" are they?

(What is the sound of a "stamp stampede" with a single "head" of cattle?)

Mar. 11 2014 09:16 AM

It's more than strange that so-called "public interest" organizations such as NPR and WNYC, who rely on the contributions made by the corporate royalty of our country
(check out the membership of WNYC's board of directors http://www.wnyc.org/about/board/ You may have to Google an unfamiliar name to identify spouses or other familial monied relations)
seem to be so critical of participation in the political arena by corporate organizations.
Does anyone know the aggregate (no names necessary) donations of the 1% and their enterprises versus the aggregate donations of the average individual donors?
Anyone want to wager on how close the breakdown would be to 99% to 1% respectfully?

What does the shout-out within the first 45 seconds betoken?
(hint: Google "Billie" Tisch and Merryl Tisch if you dare.
http://www.wnyc.org/story/312695-regions-chancellor-merryl-tisch-defends-new-state-tests/ )

Have a nice day. ;-)

Mar. 10 2014 06:02 PM

It's more than strange that so-called "public interest" organizations such as NPR and WNYC, who rely on the contributions made by the corporate royalty of our country
(check out the membership of WNYC's board of directors http://www.wnyc.org/about/board/ You may have to Google an unfamiliar name to identify spouses or other familial monied relations)
seem to be so critical of participation in the political arena by corporate organizations.
Does anyone know the aggregate (no names necessary) donations of the 1% and their enterprises versus the aggregate donations of the average individual donors?
Anyone want to wager on how close the breakdown would be to 99% to 1% respectfully?

What does the shout-out within the first 45 seconds betoken?
(hint: Google "Billie" Tisch and Merryl Tisch if you dare.)

Have a nice day. ;-)

Mar. 10 2014 06:01 PM

What's to stop vending machines and paper bills to coin changers from being adjusted to reject all message currency? What's to prevent cashiers from refusing to accept such currency for all transactions?

Have a nice day. ;-)

Mar. 10 2014 05:20 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

"Dirty Politics In Your Face," would be a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor I would buy, and I don't care what's in it!

Ben & Jerry are heroes and their ice cream is pretty damn good as well.

"Citizen's United" sounds like it came right out of Orwell's book "1984."

Mar. 10 2014 01:45 PM

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