MoveOn defaces the dollar for political gain

Ever since the Supreme Court correctly ruled in Citizens United that a corporation has a First Amendment right to make campaign contributions – leveling the playing field previously dominated by left-wing unions – progressive organizations like have zealously sworn to destroy Citizens United at any cost.

Taking a page from the conservative playbook for a change, the left has been toying with the idea of convening a constitutional convention and passing an amendment to overturn Citizens.  No easy feat.

While we’ve been caught up in our candidates, the devolution in the Middle East, the many HillaryGates, and every other scandal and disaster, leftists have been assiduously working behind the scenes to build this anti-Citizens campaign, and they are making headway. 

This fresh-off-the-press MoveOn e-mail asks members to make a donation.  In return, they’ll receive a stamp to put on their dollar bills that says: "Stamp Money Out Of Politics. Amend the Constitution. #GetMoneyOut."

You gotta hand it to them – creative, out of the box, bold, and illegal. 

Title 18, Section 333 of the U.S. Code provides:

§333. Mutilation of national bank obligations

Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Now, I am confident that this type of offense is rarely prosecuted; it’s not that easy to trace a doodle or phone number scribbled on Washington, Lincoln, or Jackson back to the original author.  And even if you can find the person, proving an intention “to render it unfit to be reissued” could be problematic. 

But here we have a national campaign sent by e-mail to potentially millions – equipped with a name (stampstampede), a hashtag (#GetMoneyOut), a website, and a Facebook page!  If ten thousand activist-donors get their mitts on a stamp and each stamped dollar is seen by 875 people, wham!  That’s almost 9 million views at virtually no cost.  If this campaign really ramps up, they could conceivably access the entire American voting market in a short amount of time.

Not only is it illegal to deface currency, and not only can they blanket the voting public in a short amount of time using the nation’s moola to deliver a one-sided political message, but to allow this to go unchecked has even broader repercussions. 

Constitutional conventions have been frowned upon throughout our history because of the risk of a runaway convention, where any number of constitutional amendments can be proposed by participants from any ideological background.  If the Convention of States movement is successful, it will be vulnerable to an attack by the left, since, as far as I can tell, there are no safeguards against a runaway convention.  The looney left will then have an opportunity to swoop in for the kill and hijack the convention with its amendment to overturn Citizens United.  We cannot allow that to happen.     

This “deface the dollar bill” campaign must be nipped in the bud.  We must circulate this e-mail to the authorities.  If you are a lawyer or know any U.S. attorneys who still have an ounce of objectivity, or know anyone with integrity at the Department of Justice, or have a connection with someone in the FBI, please forward the accompanying MoveOn e-mail.  Be sure to include the picture of our now defaced greenbacks.

If you are a supporter of the Convention of States, you might want to look into the approach of The Madison Coalition at, which safeguards against the possibility of a runaway convention.

It is unsavory to allow the currency we all use – that represents the entire country, regardless of political party – to be co-opted by the left for a political campaign.  Can you imagine if the Tea Party handed out stamps that said “Taxed Enough Already”?  We’d have not only the IRS on our heels, but the FBI as well! 

The progressives would like nothing more than to take advantage of a conservative effort – like a constitutional convention – and un-level the playing field by undoing the one decision that gets their collective gender-neutral panties in a snit.  Well, it’s up to us to give those panties such a wedgie that the waistband wraps around their collective, gender-confused heads and restores our legal tender from political swag back to the currency it is supposed to be.    

* * *

This is Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Today I'm writing about something that leaves a foul taste in my mouth: money in politics.

Dear MoveOn member,

This is Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream – but today I'm writing about something that leaves a foul taste in my mouth: money in politics.

Jeb Bush has raised so much money that he's told his billionaire donors to give no more than $1 million now and save the rest for later – and he's going to let his Super PAC run his campaign.1,2 The billionaire Koch brothers have pledged $100 million to the candidates they support, likely including Governor Scott Walker's run for president.3,4 While Ted Cruz raised $4 million in a few days, he helped his Super PAC raise $31 million.5 And Hillary Clinton is planning on raising $200-300 million for Super PACs that back her – in addition to $2.5 billion for her own campaign.6

This system is disgusting. It's proof that our democracy is more awash in political spending than ever. It's a reminder that the richest 1%, corporations, and their lobbyists are going to own these elections – and that pushes the rest of us to the sidelines.

Fortunately, MoveOn's 8 million members are doing something about this – and I know, because I'm a MoveOn member, and I see the meaningful, long-term work MoveOn is doing to overturn Citizens United.

Which is why I'm writing today: Will you join me in supporting MoveOn's efforts to overturn Citizens United and combat its impact? If you donate $10 or more, my friends from MoveOn will send you a stamp that you can use to legally stamp your own dollar bills with this simple message: "Amend the Constitution – Stamp Money Out Of Politics."

Click here to chip in, join the campaign to overturn Citizens' United, and help stamp big money out of politics.

MoveOn members have a track record of effective work on these issues.

  • MoveOn members helped push the Senate to hold a historic vote on a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United last fall. 
  • MoveOn members were part of the coalition that delivered 5 million signatures calling to overturn Citizens United this January.
  • Over 100,000 MoveOn members signed petitions, made phone calls, and attended rallies urging President Obama to issue an executive order that all federal contractors must disclose political spending.

And I know that my fellow MoveOn members and I are in this for the long haul – from achieving those executive orders to taking campaign finance reforms to the state level to ultimately bringing a constitutional amendment through Congress and to the nation.

There's work to be done – and it's not getting funded by Jeb Bush's Super PAC.

Will you join me in fueling MoveOn's work to stamp Big Money out of politics? And if you give 10 bucks or more, I'll send you your very own stamp so you can spread the message on your own.

Click here to get your stamp – and help stamp Big Money out of politics – with a donation of $10 or more.

I founded the Stamp Stampede because I've realized that getting money out of politics is the single most important fight of our generation. Whether you want to break up the big banks, reduce the Pentagon's budget, or fight climate change, you have to start by reclaiming our democracy.

The Stamp Stampede has grown into a movement of tens of thousands of Americans, stamping dollar bills and circulating important ideas throughout the American economy. The more we can spread the word, the more we can build the movement. Each stamped bill will be seen an average of 875 times; it's like a petition on steroids!7

So, I'm ready to send you a stamp – and I'm ready to add my own stamp of approval to MoveOn's work. Let's not let billionaires have all the fun. This is our country. Let's stamp out Big Money and take our democracy back.

Click here to let me send you a stamp – just pitch in $10 or more to MoveOn's ongoing, long-haul work to reclaim our political system.

With you in the fight,

–Ben Cohen, Stamper-in-Chief

P.S. Here's an example of what a stamped bill looks like:

What do you say? Are you ready to get stamping?

Yes, I'll chip in $10 or more, get my stamp, and join you and MoveOn in the fight to stamp money out of politics.


1. "Jeb Bush asks donors to limit gifts to $1 million," Morningstar, March 4, 2015


2. "The robots are here: Jeb Bush and the first super PAC-run campaign," The Washington Post, April 21, 2015


3. "Koch-backed network aims to spend nearly $1 billion in run-up to 2016," The Washington Post, January 26, 2015


4. "Scott Walker Is King of Kochworld," Bloomberg Politics, February 17, 2015


5. "Network of 'Super PACs' Says It Has Raised $31 Million for Ted Cruz," The New York Times, April 8, 2015


6. "Hillary Clinton Embraces a 'Super PAC,' Trying to Erode a Republican Edge," The New York Times, May 6, 2015


7. The Stamp Stampede, accessed May 12, 2015

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

If you experience technical problems, please write to