Company dispenses with lobbyists and launches bid for Congressional seat
Murray Hill is running for Congress to rid Washington of lobbyists and weak-kneed politicians once and for all. And there may be no better candidate, for Murray Hill is not a frail human being but a company.
“Until now, corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence peddling to achieve their goals in Washington. But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves,” the public relations firm from Silver Spring, Maryland, says in a statement.
It’s referring to the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which has drawn a torrent of criticism from officials including President Barack Obama by treating corporations as human beings when it comes to the constitutional guarantee of free speech. Critics claim the decision will unleash a new flood of corporate money into U.S. election campaigns, including money from foreign companies.
But Murray Hill Inc., whose clients include labor unions and environmental groups, praises the Supreme Court for creating a new “growth market” in American politics and vows to make a top-dollar investment toward becoming the first “corporate person” in Congress.
It’s launched a campaign Web site, a YouTube ad that has drawn over and a Facebook page with more than 2,600 fans. It even has a “designated human” to warm its seat in Congress and mind its legislative interests between board meetings.
“Corporations now have all the rights the Founding Fathers meant for us,” the YouTube ad says. “It’s our democracy. We bought it, we paid for it and we’re going to keep it.”
Murray Hill Inc. is seeking to enter the Republican primary in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, currently represented by Democrat Chris Van Hollen. Van Hollen is this year’s chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a leading critic of the Supreme Court ruling.
But for all it’s determination to use the latest tools of political ascendancy — automated robo-calls, “Astroturf” lobbying and computer-generated avatars to get out the vote — Murray Hill Inc.’s candidacy may prove to be little more than a clever publicity stunt to satirize the court’s decision and promote its own business.
Election officials in Maryland have rejected the company’s voter registration application, saying it fails to meet minimum standards that require the applicant to be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen. The company was founded in 2005.
Murray Hill Inc.’s president and designated human, Eric Hensal, suggests the age requirement should not apply to companies, telling The Washington Post: “It’s not as if, when a corporation turns 21, it can buy beer.”
Photo Credits: Reuters/Jim Young (U.S. supreme Court justices); Reuters/ Larry Downing (U.S. Capitol Dome)
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