Skip to main content

MoveOn Looks to 'Stamp' Out 'Big Money'

MoveOn is trying to raise money and awareness about how much money there is in politics, with an effort to get supporters to stamp a dollar bill with the message: "Stamp Money Out of Politics—Amend the Constitution."

In an email solicitation for contributions, Ben Cohen, MoveOn backer and of Ben & Jerry's ice cream fame, says that for a $10 contribution, supporters can get a stamp with which to imprint that message on their currency.

"You can stamp your foot ... and you'll end up with a footache," said Cohen. "Or you can stamp your dollar bills (yes, it's perfectly legal) and let your money do the talking. As your bills circulate, so will your message about reclaiming our democracy. It's like a petition on steroids—each bill will be seen an average of 875 times!"

Mostly at issue is the hundreds of millions, even billions, spent on media ad time to get candidates elected, or unelected, particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case that caps on political spending were limits on political speech.

Media outlets have benefitted from the influx of new money via Super PACs, but opponents of the decision have been looking to stem the tide, or at least identify its source, by boosting on-air disclosures of the actual funding behind the PAC and union money.

Congressional Democrats are trying to pass legislation forcing the FCC to require more detailed political ad disclosures, but such legislation is DOA in a Republican-controlled Congress, and FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has said that is not a near-term priority given the other issues on the FCC's plate—net neutrality, broadband subsidy reforms, spectrum auctions.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.