Senators from AT&T, Exxon and OPEC?

If corporations are legally "persons," as the U.S. Supreme Court recently declared in its infamous Citizens United case — a ruling that opens the floodgates for corporate contributions to candidates — then why not run an actual corporation for Congress?

This is the brilliant idea of a small, politically progressive public relations firm, Murray Hill, in Silver Spring, Maryland. A Washington Post reporter called it a "cynical" move. I say it’s simply taking the Supreme Court at its word and showing the absurdity and repugnance of the Court’s ruling.

Murray Hill, Inc. recently announced its campaign by launching a website, YouTube ad, Facebook page, and paraphernalia sales. The website explains:

As much as corporations gave to politicians, we could never be absolutely sure they would do our bidding. But today, thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, corporations now have all the rights the founding fathers meant for us. It was their dream to build the best democracy money can buy.

That’s why Murray Hill Incorporated is taking democracy’s next step — running for Congress. Join us and build a vision for the future we can all be proud of. Vote Murray Hill Incorporated for Congress!

On its website, where Murray Hill sells campaign t-shirts and mugs, it notes: "A purchase here is NOT A CONTRIBUTION to a federal campaign account. But, come to think about it, we can spend our money how we want, no matter what country it’s from, so who’s to say what we will do with the profits."

Murray Hill Inc. is now taking its gag to a new level of absurdity. It is trying to register as a candidate for the Republican primary in the 8th congressional district of Maryland. But candidates must officially register to vote in order to run in a primary, and the Montgomery Country Board of Elections has rejected Murray Hill’s application. Turns out that it did not meet the "minimum requirements" for voting, which includes being a U.S. citizen and being 18 years old.

Murray Hill may sue — interesting test case! — but in the meantime, it could perhaps run as an independent, which would not require it to be a registered voter. But, as the Washington Post points out, the U.S. Constitution requires candidates for Congress to be 25 years old, so the age issue would come up again. So would the necessity of having to have a "designated human" to sign necessary paperwork.

Clearly the law discriminates against corporations. Why shouldn’t fictional people have the same rights as real human beings? Which is why Murray Hill Inc. is poised to initiate the next great social movement: "corporate civil rights."

It’s so funny I’m laughing through my tears. God save this honorable court? I’d settle for saving the American people.

Originally published by David Bollier at Onthecommons.org under a Creative Commons Attribution license.