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Murray Hill Inc. for Congress

Thanks to the recent Supreme Court ruling that gave corporations the same rights as people when it comes to funding political campaigns, one corporation has decided to skip the lobbying process and get itself elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Murray Hill Inc., a small public-relations firm from Silver Springs, Md., has declared that it intends to enter the Republican primary for Maryland’s 8th District seat. And, yes, the company says it is a Republican. Why? Because Republicans are more inclined to support corporate personhood than Democrats.

What does Murray Hill Inc. hope to do if elected? The company says it would bring “enlightened self-interest” to Congress. Though well-funded politicians can be helpful to corporations, they don’t always vote the way corporations want. Hey, if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.

The young media-savvy corporate citizen has a Facebook page with almost 3,000 fans, its own website and a popular YouTube video advertising its candidacy.

But its campaign has hit a serious snag.

This week the Montgomery County Board of Elections rejected Murray Hill Inc.’s voter registration, a move that will almost certainly end Murray Hill Inc.’s congressional bid before it begins. Unless it can prove that it is a registered Republican voter, Murray Hill Inc. won’t be allowed to run in the primary.

Clearly the board of elections didn’t get the memo from the Supreme Court informing them that corporations are people, too. Will Murray Hill Inc. bring a discrimination suit against the board? There’s no word yet. But this battle is far from over. Let’s hope Murray Hill Inc. perseveres. It’s time to settle this important question: When exactly does corporate personhood begin?

CU to help poor students less

The University of Colorado announced a possible new strategy for improving its financial situation — helping poor students less. Faced with an $89.3-million shortfall by 2012 even if the Regents approve a hefty tuition increase, university brass are considering alternative strategies like offering students minimal financial aid.

Whoa! That’s a new program? We thought that’s what CU was doing all along.

CU officials say the university has been generous with financial aid, giving more than it was required by state law. If that’s true, we can only imagine how miserly state law is in that regard.

It’s no secret that a good student from a low- to moderate-income family can often get a better deal going to private school than staying here in Colorado. Yes, that’s right — kids can get a better education at a private school for much less than they’d pay at CU, in part because private schools devote so much to financial aid.

This isn’t good for Colorado. We need the brightest students, regardless of income, to stay in-state and help shape Colorado’s future. Cutting back on financial aid virtually assures the opposite will happen. But perhaps that’s what the state gets for being among the stingiest in higher-education funding.

Still, maybe CU should reduce some of those six-figure salaries in the administration before cutting financial aid.

Romanoff vs. Bennet

So despite Sen. Michael Bennet’s massive war chest and support from President Obama, that scrappy Andrew Romanoff did quite well at the Democratic caucuses this week.

Of course, it’s still too early to call the race, but there’s something appealing about the populist, grassroots campaign Romanoff has put together — especially when compared to slick Bennet’s rich friends and good ol’ boy network in D.C.

Oh, and former House Speaker Romanoff actually has significant experience as an elected official, something Bennet didn’t have until he was handpicked by Gov. Bill Ritter to succeed Ken Salazar in the Senate.

What makes it even more fun to root for underdog Romanoff is that his own party, at both the state and national levels, has been backing Bennet.

We also like the fact that when we pick up the phone to call the two candidates, Romanoff will answer and is eager to chat, even when he’s in the middle of eastern Colorado with poor cell phone reception. When we call Bennet, on the other hand, a secretary informs us that he is unavailable, or is in Washington “doing the people’s business.”

Even though Bennet has only been there for a year, it seems like it’s time for some fresh blood in Washington.