FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Designated Human Eric Hensal
(301) 637-2119 (o) 202-262-9152 (c)
Campaign Manager William Klein
Murray Hill Inc. Appeals Voter Registration Denial by Maryland Board of Elections
Supporters Meet in Annapolis to Protest Premise that Corporate Candidate is "Not a Human Being"
The campaign of the first corporation to run for Congress has shaken the political establishment across state and party lines. In the latest development, the Maryland State Board of Elections rejected Murray Hill Inc's application to register as a Republican in Montgomery County, so that the corporation can run in the party primary for Congress in Maryland's 8th Congressional District.
On Wednesday, March 24, at 12:30 PM, Murray Hill Inc will formally appeal this ruling by submitting a request to the Maryland State Board of Elections, 151 West Street, Suite 200, Annapolis MD. The corporation's "astroturf" supporters are expected to be on hand as Designated Human Eric Hensal and Campaign Manager William Klein file the appeal.
"In January 2010, Murray Hill Incorporated applied for voter registration in Montgomery County. On March 10, 2010, Voter Registration Division Director Ms. Mary Cramer Wagner ordered the Montgomery County Board of Elections to not process our application to vote. Ms. Wagner asserted that 'A corporation “designating” a human does not meet the qualifications to register.'”
"Her direction to the Montgomery County Board of Elections rests on the implied notion that only a “bodied” person may vote and she fails to address the core issue—corporations have a right to vote and run for office, based on the expansion of First Amendment rights defined by the majority opinion in Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U. S. ____ (2010).
"Our decision to register Murray Hill Incorporated resulted from our review of Citizens United. In our opinion, the First Amendment rights extended to corporations brought civil rights law to a point where a corporation, as a corporate person, must be allowed to vote and hold public office. Even in dissent, Justice Stevens recognized a right for corporations to vote under the majority's decision, saying “Under the majority’s view, I suppose it may be a First Amendment problem that corporations are not permitted to vote, given that voting is, among other things, a form of speech.”
In recent weeks, the Murray Hill Inc. campaign has attracted national publicity, from a front-page story in the Washington Post (March 13, 2010) to news coverage on NPR's All Things Considered, MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan Show, the Thom Hartmann and Alan Colmes radio programs, among other media. More than 200,000 viewers have seen the campaign's YouTube video, and over 10,000 supporters have become Facebook fans.
"Restricting the civil rights of corporate persons is un-American, unconstitutional and anathema to the fundamental principles of our democracy," Murray Hill Inc. says. "This discriminatory ruling by the Maryland State Board of Elections cannot stand."