Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of the infamous Citizens United decision. And what better way for Crooks and Liars to "celebrate" than by inviting out old and trusted friend Alan Grayson back for a live chat? Blue America has decided to endorse his campaign for Congress again and he's joining us at 2pm Eastern/11am, Pacific for a live chat. Although Mitch McConnell, the evil man behind the curtain in the effort to wreck McCain-Feingold, was the only senator in the Supreme Court on that day, Grayson was the only Member of the House there. They even said hello to each other. But they had very different reactions. McConnell, Alan recalls that "Floyd Abrams sat between us. I have said publicly before that McConnell was delighted by the decision, and what I heard from him was either a giggle, or some other bodily function. Clarence Thomas looked like if he tipped his chair back just an inch further, he would fall backward."
Alan introduced half a dozen bills-- some just before the decision and some just after it-- to forestall the dreaded consequences of unleashing virtually unrestrained corporate cash into the electoral system. He was alarmed. Not enough Beltway Democrats shared that alarm and the result-- so far-- was the Tea Party takeover of the House and the crippling of the Senate's ability to move forward and the catastrophes for working families in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and several other states. One of Alan's bills, the Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act (H.R. 4431) would have implemented a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees, and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. Another, the End Political Kickbacks Act (H.R. 4434) sought to prevent for-profit corporations that receive government money from making political contributions, and limit the amount that employees of those companies can contribute. But my favorite was the End the Hijacking of Shareholder Funds Act (H.R. 4487). This bill requires the approval of a majority of a public company's shareholders for any expenditure by that company to influence public opinion on matters not related to the company's products or services.
Alan got over 100,000 people to sign our petition at SaveDemocracy.net, and delivered the petition to the Supreme Court. This was a new experience for the Supreme Court and the clerks had no idea how to handle it.
Please come back tomorrow and join in the free-ranging discussion with Alan, whose new Orlando-based district, is much friendlier territory for a Democrat. And if you can't wait 'til then to help his efforts to get back into Congress, please visit the Blue America page and chip in now. As you can see, even $5 and $10 contributions have been mounting up rapidly. By the way, the video above, which was watched by millions of Americans on YouTube, was the one that launched Grayson into the national consciousness-- and caused corporate America to spend more negative campaign money in his congressional district than in any other district in America. (More about that on Saturday).