Tuesday, May 4, 2010

voter registration release

Monday, May 3 2010

CONTACT: Campaign Manager William Klein
301-412-1768 (c)

Designated Human Eric Hensal
(301) 637-2119 (o) 202-262-9152 (c)

Corporate Candidate for Congress Blasts "Anti-Corporate Bigotry" in Voter Registration Rejection by Maryland Board of Elections

Murray Hill Inc. Warns of "Chaos and Confusion" in Post Citizens United Environment

In a stunning and alarming decision that could have wide-ranging consequences to the electoral process, the Maryland Board of Elections again defied the Supreme Court and rejected Murray Hill Inc.'s voter registration for the second time.

The Maryland State Board of Elections' 438-word written opinion denied Murray Hill Inc.'s appeal of the board's initial refusal to register the corporation. The board's rejection memo concluded that "Under Sec.3-102 of the Election Law Article, Annoted Code of Maryland, only "an individual" is qualified to register to vote."

Murray Hill filed for voter registration in January 2010. The state rejected the application in March and today denies an appeal filed in early April.

In a statement, Murray Hill Inc. said, "This is the same old anti-corporate bigotry and cultural myopia that refuses to accept the new world the Supreme Court has charted for us in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. We are shocked and outraged by this attack on our fundamental and inalieanble rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by profit."
Citing what Murray Hill Inc. has previously called the canard of human-only age requirements, the Board of Elections wrote, "Although a corporation may in some instances be a 'person' within the meaning of Maryland law, see Article 1, Sec. 15, Annotated Code of Maryland, a corporation is not included within the term 'individual,' as that term is used in Election Law Article, Sec. 3-102. This is made abundantly clear by the age requirement of Sec. 3-102 (a)(2)."

But Murray Hill Inc. says the Board of Election's logic is flawed. A corporation is a fully formed person from the moment its charter is filed with a Secretary of State.

"Unlike bodied persons," Murray Hill Inc. says, "corporations do not follow an aging process in which they are born, go through childhood, adolescence and then are old enough to buy beer."

Murray Hill Inc. has cited a passage in Justice John Paul Stevens' dissent in Citizens United that clarifies the rights of corporate persons to participate fully in the democratic process.

"Under the majority's view," Stevens wrote, "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."

Within days of the Citizens United decision, Murray Hill Inc. announced its candidacy for U.S. Congress in Maryland's 8th Congressional District.

But in its determination, the Maryland Board of Elections attempts to hide its bias and prejudice under Stevens' judicial robes.

"Justice Stevens's speculative language, expressing concern that the majority's decision might be read so broadly, did not, as Complainant states, 'recogniz[e] a right for corporations to vote.' Justice Stevens certainly disagreed with that proposition, and nothing in the Opinion of the Court or in the concurring opinions even touches on the right of a corporation to vote or hold office."

The state's position is simply wrong, said Designated Human Eric Hensal. "Corporations are people too, with free speech rights. The Court's decision plainly tells everyone, corporate or corporeal, that they can grow up to be president, or a member of Congress."

Campaign Manager William Klein, who had previously promised a campaign that "puts people second," or even third, said it is only a matter of time before other corporate persons follow Murray Hill Inc.'s example.

"Murray Hill Inc. is the first corporation to run for office following the Supreme Court's enlightened decision," Klein says, "but surely not the last."

"It must surely be dawning on BP, for example, how they could vote themselves off the hook from responsibility in the gulf oil spill, or Goldman Sachs granting themselves immunity from prosecution."

"The Board of Elections is grasping at straws," Murray Hill Inc. says. "This ruling can only lead to chaos and confusion."

"Whistling past the graveyard won't change the tune—there's a new day dawning in politics, with corporations in the driver's seat, where they belong."

Murray Hill Inc. says it is now evaluating its options and plans on continuing its campaign.



  1. Corporations may not be able to vote, but free speech is guaranteed in general.

    People have a right to form a unified group and publish newsletters for example. The supreme court did not decide that corporations are individuals, but that they have a right to free speech.

    And the constitution does not specify only individuals as having the right to free speech. Wed have huge problems otherwise, as concerned citizens could have their speech banned if they do so under a unified group of people (which is what a corporation is).

    Im still not sure what the solution is to the underlying problem; that very wealthy groups of individuals have a louder voice and more influence in political processes than poor individuals. Basically, money should not have such a huge effect on politics. The biggest factors should be helping people, not profit. It should be whats best for the people, not what is best for the bottom line.

    1. Monetary limits can be set by law for politicians and their campaigns.
      A corporation is made up of individuals, each of whom have the right to free speech and the ability to vote, demonstrate, etc.. I don't see why the idea of corporations having these same rights ever even came up, much less became law. It's stupid and needs to be changed before they have complete control.