Ran into something interesting tonight on Common Dreams.
Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, talks to “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer about the need to get money out of politics. As “head stamper” for the StampStampede Campaign, Cohen shows Spitzer how he’s been stamping dollar bills with pro–campaign finance reform messages, something he hopes to inspire others to do.
There he was on Current TV stamping slogans on the backs of dollar bills.
So I went to the StampStampede webpage and did some looking around on the webpage at the statistics which are pretty amazing.
Then I went looking for an answer and found it in the comments section of a post on “DU”
Answer: There is no law or statute against simply writing on a cash bill. For instance, it is not against the law to draw giant red lips on George Washington's portrait on the front of a One Dollar Bill.
However defacing currency with the intent to alter the bill to gain a benefit is illegal. If someone alters a written instrument (such as a check) without permission and with the intent to gain a benefit, then it is called forgery, which is a crime. If one tried to alter a cash bill (like changing a $5 bill to a $20 bill) for the purpose of presenting the altered bill to gain a benefit, then that could be considered a forgery. Forgery of United States Currency in this manner is called counterfeiting and carries with it very stiff penalties.
Then I went to my billfold – pulled out all my currency and on the back side of it wrote:
Money is NOT speech. Corporations are NOT people.
Feel like I’ve done my good deed for the day.
Will probably piss off a few right-wingers along the way when these bills hit their pockets – but then they will spend them faster and keep the economy going.