Parnell has done extensive work on health care, both at the policy and consumer levels. He is the author of The Self-Pay Patient: Affordable Healthcare Choices in the Age of Obamacare and runs the blog The Self-Pay Patient, and has written health policy papers for several think tanks. He also provides lobbying, fundraising, outreach, and strategic consulting services for a number of clients. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Anne and son Ryan.
Latest posts by Sean Parnell (see all)
- Obamacare Anniversary Nothing to Celebrate - April 4, 2015
- Heartland Daily Podcast – Devon Herrick: 5th Anniversary of Obamacare - April 3, 2015
- Obamacare Flying Machine Begins a Death Spiral - March 28, 2015
I’m fond of saying that I only take seriously the things people say when I believe that they take seriously the things they say. To cite just a few examples, it’s difficult for me to give much credence to the arguments of anti-school choice people who send their own children to private schools, or wealthy people who decry ‘tax cuts for the rich’ while taking advantage of every opportunity to lower their own tax bill by, say, docking their yacht in another state.
The latest entry in the long, long list of people and institutions that I don’t take what they say seriously because they obviously don’t either is CREDO Mobile, which today popped up on my facebook page promoting a Constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United.
A sampling of their argument:
We deserve a country where our elected officials are not bought and paid for by big corporations.
But the Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court decision overturned over a century of precedent and opened the floodgates for unlimited amounts of corporate money to flow into our political system…
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Citizens United decision fundamentally threatens the integrity of our democracy…
Clearly the folks at CREDO Mobile aren’t at all happy with the idea of incorporated entities engaging in politics and public policy debates – a threat to democracy, and all that.
But who is CREDO Mobile? Well, I’ll let them explain:
It was 1985, the peak of the Reagan era, and greed ran rampant on Wall Street. But a small band of idealists refused to buy in, or sell out. Instead, we pursued an American dream of our own—to build a business that works for progressive social change. We launched Working Assets with credit cards in the ’80s, added long-distance phone service in the ’90s and mobile phones in the new millennium.
With a clearer focus on mobile phones, we grew and matured, resulting not just in better service to our members, but in greater impact in our fight for social change. In 2007, we rebranded as CREDO Mobile…
…we flipped the nonprofit model for social change on its head, setting up a for-profit company that doesn’t rely on fundraising and that isn’t driven by the whims of benefactors. This frees us to take courageous positions in our political advocacy. We’re also privately owned (our employees own most of our stock), not publicly traded…
So, they’re a for-profit corporation that is quite proud of its “courageous positions” in political advocacy. A few of their projects and accomplishments, again taken from their Web site:
1993 – Our Citizen Actions focus for the first time on two issues: calling for a single-payer health care system, and urging an end to the ban on gays in the military.
1995 – We launch the Flash Activist Network (FAN)—a unique rapid-response program that delivers faxes to key decision-makers on urgent political issues…
2004 – To push for better voter turnout in the 2004 elections—and to fight against voter suppression—we launch the Election Protection program and donate more than $1 million to groups working on voter registration…
2010 – We continue our fight to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and push heavily for a “public option” in the health care reform bill advocated by the Obama administration. We take a giant step in our activism and launch a ground campaign to fight a slick effort by Texas oil companies—Proposition 23 on the California ballot—to effectively kill the nation’s strongest global warming law. We help defeat Prop 23 resoundingly…
2012 – In an unprecedented step, we launch the CREDO SuperPAC, raising $2.5 million from 70,000 donors, and we defeat five of the worst Tea Party Republicans in Congress. Our activist base grows to 3 million as we carry out more than 500 campaigns over the year. We also engage at the state level and fight for—and win—ballot propositions on marriage equality, Citizens United and other issues.
It would be difficult to think of a more breathtaking and blatant example of sheer hypocrisy than a for-profit corporation that was explicitly founded to promote a particular ideological view through the political process, and that did so for nearly 25 years before the Citizens United decision recognized that First Amendment freedoms to engage in political advocacy extend to organized entities such as corporations and unions, now demanding that Congress amend the Constitution to deny corporations the ability to engage in the political process.
As I said, I’ll take the arguments made by these people seriously when I think they take their arguments seriously. Until then, not so much.