We now have a name and a Mission Statement for GROW, just 3 steps away from launching this pro-citizen, anti-corporate-control group.

Here is the Mission Statement:

“We are a group of American citizens, united to ensure the continuation of our democracy, which is now imperiled by corporate influence and interference in our government.

We stand against the corrupting power of corporate money — money that mutes our voices. We insist that the voices of grass roots America be heard.

Our mission is to unite our country against corporate abuse of our democracy and to make sure that our government is responsive to us — our families, our neighbors, our fellow citizens.

We urge all Americans — of any political party — to join us in this one goal: “A government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

There are only 3 basic steps remaining until GROW is truly operating as an activist group:

Step 1: Discuss and agree on a specific agenda
Step 2: Discuss and agree on what the first protest will be.
Step 3. Set a date and launch the first protest.

This post is dedicated to Step 1, discussing and agreeing upon an agenda. There have been some discussions on this already so to kick this off, here are some sentiments that have already been expressed:

a. The focus of GROW should be on fighting and reversing the SCOTUS ruling.

b.  Corporate control of the MSM and election finance reform may be additional and/or secondary focuses.

c. Protests could be visual and humorous/satirical to be more attractive to the media for broadcasting and to encourage people to share with others in hopes of bringing more attention to the issue and the group. They could be designed for both groups and individuals to perform simultaneously, wherever they are in the country, to give the appearance and impact of a national protest.

d. Press releases would be sent out to local and national media, notices could be handed out and posted on walls, telephone poles, etc. at the location where the protest is to occur before the protest.

e. A YouTube channel would be set up for GROW to display videos of it protests and for videos created by members.

f. GROW would network with other pro-citizen/anti-corporate-power websites and groups, to support their efforts and sites in turn seek their support on GROW’s protests and growth.

g. “Corporations Are People Too! “and additional Dr. Suits parodies could be created and shared “liberally” to help promote the sentiment and the group.

Again, these are just some of the propositions that have been suggested (all that I can remember right now!), nothing has been decided upon yet. All ideas and suggestions are sought, don’t worry about proposing something that would replace or conflict with any of the above, let’s get all the ideas out there to have the best selection to choose from. Once we’ve discussed this, we can vote to determine what a majority supports and this step will be completed.

Looking forward to all of your thoughts, ideas and suggestions on this!

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Chernynkaya
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Email from Sen. Leahy re the SCOTUS decision:

Dear XXXX,

Today we begin the process of undoing the great harm done by a narrow majority on the U.S. Supreme Court in its recent Citizens United v. FEC decision. I just returned from our first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused specifically on how, in light of the Court’s misguided decision, we can protect our political process from excessive corporate spending.

The Founding Fathers crafted a Constitution and adopted a Bill of Rights to guarantee the fundamental rights of the American people, not corporations. After all, corporations are different from individual citizens. They do not have the same rights, morals, or motivations. They cannot vote. They are legal constructs designed to conduct commerce, nothing more.

The differences between people and corporations are obvious, and they were not lost on the great Chief Justice John Marshall when he wrote in 1819 that, “A corporation is an artificial being … the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it…”

When the conservative activist majority on the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as individual citizens to spend as much as they like to influence the political process, they ran roughshod over longstanding precedent and effectively redrafted our well-established campaign finance laws.

At the core of the First Amendment is the right of individual citizens to speak and to be heard in the political process. But if the Supreme Court’s recent decision goes unchecked, it would not take much corporate money, relatively speaking, to outspend every candidate for every political party at every level of American government.

When the Citizens United decision was handed down, I said that it was the most partisan decision since Bush v. Gore. As in Bush v. Gore, the conservative activists on the Supreme Court unnecessarily went beyond the proper judicial role to substitute their preferences for the law. But Citizens United is broader and more damaging, because rather than intervening to decide a single election, the Court intervened to affect all future elections.

In the coming weeks and months I will call on you to help enact specific legislation aimed at restoring our democratic process in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Until then, please forward this email to your friends and family to continue building awareness about the grave implications of this wrongly decided case and the importance of closing the floodgates of corporate spending in American elections.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator

P.S. Please encourage your friends and family to join our community by following the link below — and I’ll make sure they too know about specific advocacy opportunities in the near future, aimed at undoing the harm posed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision:

http://www.LeahyForVermont.com/Join

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Chernynkaya
Member

Email from MoveOn re:Fair Elections Now Act

Dear MoveOn members,

Last week, we launched the “Citizens’ Vote Count for Fair Elections” to make fence-sitters in Congress pick a side between citizen-funded elections and corporate-backed candidates.

We’re already seeing great results. For example, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal’s office started off by telling callers they “don’t know his position.” But after two days of calling to follow up, his office broke the news to a constituent from Northampton that he would vote for the bill!

But your representative, Laura Richardson, still hasn’t taken a position either for or against the Fair Elections Now Act. To get her off the fence, we need to make sure she knows that constituents expect her to have a position on an important issue like this.

Can you call Rep. Richardson, and urge her to cosponsor the Fair Elections Now Act? Here’s where to call:

Representative Laura Richardson
Phone: 202-225-7924
Then, click here to share your results with other MoveOn members:

http://pol.moveon.org/fairelections/whipcount/index.html?zip=90805&id=19273-15297017-gIeC0Jx&t=2

Your call will have even more impact if you tell the person who answers the phone that you’re part of a campaign to get every member of Congress on the record on the Fair Elections Now Act, and that we’re tracking responses publicly at http://www.moveon.org/votecount. That way, they know there will be a consequence if they take no position.

Why is this bill so important? It’s the only plan on the table that would really change the way Washington works.

Under the Fair Elections Now Act, small donor candidates would receive a four-to-one match on donations from constituents, funded by a fee on big media corporations and government contractors.1 Citizen-funded elections have been proven effective and popular in states like Maine and Connecticut.2

The Fair Elections Now Act is supported by majorities of Republican and Democratic voters alike, but not the big corporations that are funding campaigns now.3 That’s why a lot of representatives think they’re better off playing it safe and taking no position

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whatsthatsound
Member

Hey, have you guys heard about “The Coffee Party”? It seems to me there may be some symbiosis between it and GROW.

http://coffeepartyusa.com/

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Chernynkaya
Member

Hiya What’s! Yes, it’s gotten some considerable press here. I’m still uncertain what exactly they want to see happen though. In general I like the idea and LOVE the name!

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whatsthatsound
Member

Hey there, Cher!

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FrankenPC
Member

Step 1? Make government bribes a federal offense. Campaign money is expected, but lobby dollars are illegal. In fact, any unreported money, products, and promises (i.e. being promised a board position after retirement) are totally illegal.

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javaz
Member

Interview with Michael Moore that shares the same thoughts of GROW –

Michael: Well, no switch will occur until we remove money from politics. We would have to start a movement where people will be running for Congress and for Senate and signing a pledge that states that they will not accept in their first run for election more than $25 or $50 from a person. And after that, when they get in there, their number one priority is to remove funding of our elections from individuals who have the most money, and have it be federally funded like it is in most democracies.

Cenk: So you think that campaign finance reform is the critical part of this.

Michael: Cenk, there’s nothing else will happen. Look at right now. Here we are guys, we’re a year and a half away from the crash. A year and a half since the big crash. Not one single regulation has been put back in place. Not one rule. And for Wall Street, they’re back to doing the crazy derivatives. They’re back to the credit default swaps. They’re back to all the crazy loony bin casino stuff that got us in the mess that we’re in. And the Congress has not done one single thing to stop it.

http://www.alternet.org/news/145920/michael_moore%3A_there%27s_going_to_be_a_second_economic_crash_%28and_glenn_beck_can_%27f–k_off%27%29?page=entire

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dgraz
Member

I have still been in contact with Jonathan Schneider the person who produced the documentary. “Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington” email address [email protected]

In my last correspondence I sent him a link to the online petition to amend the constitution to stop corporate influence on our elections
http://www.movetoamend.org/we-corporations

Here is his reply to me.

Thanks for the link. I will check it out. As I mentioned, I want to reinvigorate my work on campaign finance reform and related issues. To that end, I’d like to know a little bit more about your group. If you are the person to talk with, I’d love to chat. Is there a number I can contact you or who ever you think would be most appropriate in your group? Thanks!

Best,

Jonathan

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SueInCa
Member

I just did a Planet tweet for Grow. I will do them periodically during the day……………..

PlanetPOV Corp oligarchy, tired of it? Go to http://planetpov.com/2010/03/01/grow-the-specific-agenda-and-tactics/#comment-42784

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SueInCa
Member

PlanetPOV Corp are not people – SCOTUS ruling bothering you? http://planetpov.com/2010/03/01/grow-the-specific-agenda-and-tactics/#comment-42784

Another. I will not post them all but will do this periodically during the day. Maddow is having a tweet battle with Orin Hatch,

maddow Dear @OrrinHatch: http://is.gd/9CnhP I didn’t actually address your views, sir, just your misrepresentation of the facts.
about 2 hours ago via web

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Chernynkaya
Member
bito
Member

Are you a volunteer ,Cher?

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Chernynkaya
Member

No, Bito– I am not on Twitter and really would rather not be. It scares me. 😳

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bito
Member

Sue and I discussed having a group of us “tweet” the same thing the same day. Can we see some hands go up to volunteer?

I know nothing about it either , but I did look at his site and will give it a go.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4890330_twitter.html

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javaz
Member

Another group has emerged but against health insurance companies –

In that populist vein of if-politicians-won

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choicelady
Member

Hi everyone – I have to say I HATE the name “Citizens’ Posse” because of the Posse Comitatus movement that thinks it has also been “deputized” to take the law into participants’ own hands. They savaged a county clerk here in CA some years ago, trapping her in her own garage and beating her because she refused to file their phony lien papers against public officials.

I think using that term, Posse, is just horrible and could indeed give rise to that kind of action by that kind of person. We do NOT live in a fully rational world!

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Chernynkaya
Member

C’lady, I had the exact same reaction!

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Khirad
Member

I know what you’re saying. Maybe it can trick some teabaggers though…

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Chernynkaya
Member

Just came across this image which really says it all. Unfortunately, it’s from an artist and copyrighted I bet.

http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/13158-guillermo-bert

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boomer1949
Member

Guillermo Bert is the artist and has obviously had similar thoughts. Maybe he’d be interested in participating in someway. At one time, he was Art Director of the LA Times.

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Hopeington
Member

House of Democracy ….so right on!

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SueInCa
Member

Love the “Statue of Limitations”.

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Chernynkaya
Member

I didn’t even see that– I stopped at the bar code. Yeah, that’s good too.

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SueInCa
Member

Cher
A little OT but when I lived in Reno even if we had not heard about Burning Man for weeks before, we always knew when it happened because of all the extremely dirty cars. I cannot even imagine how they ever entirely get the dust out of their vehicles. Oh and there was also an unusual amount of VW vans in the vicinity.

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javaz
Member

I’ve never heard of the Burning Man but just googled it and read all about it and it certainly does not seem like my cup of tea.

And I’m a super clean freak, too, and there is just no way.
Like B’ito says below, we live in the desert and dust is quite common – dust storms, dust devils.

We live off dirt roads and we could open our windows yesterday, because we had rain, even though it was a bit chilly, it was nice to air out the house, but today, the dust is back so the windows are closed, yet the house still gets dusty.

And when we walk, people are such jerks how they drive like bats out of hell with no consideration of the dust cloud they make us breathe.

It’s ridiculous.

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bito
Member

What is all this “dust-up” about a little dust? I live in the Sonoran desert? Dust is away of life. Dust devils are common.

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Chernynkaya
Member

It is finer than cornstarch.

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Hopeington
Member

Playa dust is evil. I grew up in Santa Ana dust storms in Chula Vista CA. Sand has bigger particles and falls off and out of things.
Playa dust is a whole different entity. Coats everything and it was really difficult to wash off of a hard surface plastic lawn chair, I couldn’t get it all off no matter how many times I wiped it.

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bito
Member

The Sonran is not sand. It is a very fine powder. Why anyone lives here is beyond me. 🙂

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Hopeington
Member

Living in it does sound completely nuts.
The stuff gets in between even the tightest weave in fabric. The residue seems to never leave. You always know if a cyclist has been there with their bike too. You can’t get the stuff off. Is the Sonran dust like that too?
I’ve never heard of that area.

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bito
Member

I can’t compare, Hope, but it is very fine. We are often under pollution warnings for particulates with the least bit of winds. What desert is the Burning Bush held in?

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Hopeington
Member

Black Rock in Nevada. NO one lives out there on the playa.

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Chernynkaya
Member

Sue, it’s unbelievable. The talc from the playa is so fine it is impossible to ever completely get rid of. When we went, we stopped in Reno to shower off after the Burn. My son also does that.

In case you haven’t seen it, this is what the playa looks like (minus the cupcakes, usually!).

http://photos.weschan.com/Burning-Man/Burning-Man-Sep-2005/2005-09-20D-373/34901251_gatAd-S.jpg

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Hopeington
Member

I was just washing playa dust off of some chairs yesterday.
I worry about that stuff sticking to everyone’s lungs.
My kids go every year and take the most incredible sound system with them. The speakers NEVER look clean again!!!

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Chernynkaya
Member

Hey Hopeington– we are both Burner Mom’s, huh? 😎

Forget about ever getting those speakers clean. I used to lend my kid things for the trip– no more.

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Hopeington
Member

Ask them if they know the Nexus people that do one of the biggest and BEST sound tents. They might also be known by their Funktion One sound system.

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Chernynkaya
Member

Will do! Ask if your kids know anyone from Gigsville.

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Chernynkaya
Member

Hopeington– very cool. My son doesn’t live with me, but I will definitely tell him about Funktion and Nexus!

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Hopeington
Member

They said they know of them but don’t know them personally.
I’ll send my son on over to their camp next year. They can talk sh!t about us!!
Good sh!t that is!!!

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Hopeington
Member

Ditto, they wanted me to sit on these plastic lawn chairs and I just couldn’t do it that’s why I washed them!!
Do you ever ask your kids if they think about that stuff in their lungs?

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Chernynkaya
Member

Hopeington, it would be a waste of my breath. I might as well also tell them to drink lots of water especially if they take ecstasy, and then try to tell them not to take X.

The most I can manage are several admonitions and pleas to drive safely! And call me when you get there.

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Hopeington
Member

I know we can say nothing really, I was just wondering.

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SueInCa
Member

Cher
I am such a clean freak I could never even go out for a day. I am not so much that way overall but this particular brand of dirty, I just could not get in to. Especially in my cars. I have a friend who is Miss Priss to the max and she goes every year, go figure.

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Chernynkaya
Member

It’s strange. It doesn’t feel dirty or uncomfortable. It’s actually sterile. But I hear you.

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SueInCa
Member

I guess the idea of dust and how it can be stirred up just conjures bad things for me. We had a few dust storms up there and we never could completely get rid of the dust in the house. One we had was like a small tornado. We had the same thing on a beach at Kaanapali and the sand really stung. It blew everything in the vicinity all over the beach.

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SueInCa
Member

Bito
Adlib asked if we would collaborate on the twitter account the planet has, what do you say?

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bito
Member

Sue, A’ha, now I know a little something about it.

How to Twitter

http://www.ehow.com/how_4890330_twitter.html

Tell me where to start, what do we need to do? Make a list of media organizations? I will do what I can, just give me some hints, please.

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SueInCa
Member

I bookmarked the site tho, thanks

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SueInCa
Member

Let me think on it. My thought was to twitter about our activist cause then give the website, you know

r u tired of corp interference,join us http://planetpov/grow activist.com

stuff like that. Catchy lines that will peak their interest and send them to our website. or to advertise a new blog on the site that has to do with our activist activities. you can tweet the same over and over because the lines go so fast.

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bito
Member

Thanks, Sue, Would it help if 5-10 of us at PPOV sent the same message on a given day? I will do some more home work and sign-up. I need to get up to speed on this.

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SueInCa
Member

Good idea. When I worked for WFB we had a code of the day for communication with the branches via telephone on sensitive subjects. We could put the tweet of the day on the website for members and could have several go in and tweet it. kind of like a teaser in a commercial. you see the tease enough you finally search out the product.

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bito
Member

Sue, due to my “prior commitments” to the CC, I will have to see. Next appointment is next Wednesday. In the meantime, I will do some homework om it. I know nothing about it. Hope you understand.

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SueInCa
Member

I will get in there and figure it out. You take care of you and I will see what I can figure out. I will do some test tweets when there is an interesting column on here to see what happens.

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Chernynkaya
Member

AdLib, and others– it just occurred to me that my son and his friends might be able to help with the video. They are a bunch of performance-type artists. (Hard to explain exactly what they do!)

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bito
Member

May I suggest that you send them a copy of Dr. Suits and ask if they can do something with it? If they can do that vid you just posted, it might be great. Anybody’s thoughts?

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javaz
Member

Well, I actually do have an idea for a youtube vid but not sure I can explain it correctly or well enough but I’ll give it a shot.

Not sure anyone would want a child on the vid, but a child’s voice could be used in the background asking the questions about corporations being able to jump rope or ride a bike etc.

There could be a woman dressed like WTS’s cartoon wearing her hair tied up, and an apron etc and she could answer the questions.

In the background could be men in suits carrying satchels or briefcases stuffed with money – Monopoly money or play money that can be bought from 99 cent stores.

The men in suits could try jumping rope or riding the bike, and a small bike would be best – a child’s tricycle for instance, and as they try to jump or ride, money would shower down and out of their cases.

Then there’d have to be others wearing dark robes or dark graduation gowns that would be representative of the SCOTUS, and they’d be grabbing at the floating money and declaring the incompetent men in suits as people, too.

Or something like that, if that makes any sense.

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bito
Member

Pretty good, j’avaz. A screenwriter is born!!

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Blues Tiger
Member
Blues Tiger
Hopeington
Member

And just for fun let me quote Adelaide Stevenson
“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.”

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bito
Member

Good one, Hope. He was a quick wit.

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bito
Member

May I add:

“Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins.”
Senator Edward M. Kennedy,

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Chernynkaya
Member

Those are all very relevant, BT!

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