iOS app Android app

Ben Cohen 
Ben Cohen was born in Brooklyn in 1951 and brought up in Merrick, NY. In 1978, he and his longtime friend, Jerry Greenfield, started a homemade ice cream parlor in an old gas station in Burlington, Vermont. The ice cream was well received and after a few years, Ben & Jerry’s started to distribute pints to grocery stores in New England and eventually nationally and internationally. Along the way, Ben held the positions of scooper, crepe maker, truck driver, Director of Marketing, Sales Director, CEO, and Chairman of what became a $300 Million-a-year public corporation.

In 2000, despite his efforts to keep the company independent, Ben & Jerry’s was sold to Unilever. Soon after, Ben started Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, a group of 700 business people that advocate for a shift in federal budget priorities. A few years later, he started TrueMajority, an online political activist organization. In 2012 he founded a movement of tens of thousands of people legally stamping messages on US currency to help build the movement to amend the constitution and get money out of politics.

Ben and Jerry have received numerous awards and recognition, including the Corporate Giving award from the Council on Economic Priorities, the US Small Business of the Year Award from President Ronald Regan and several honorary doctorates.

Along with Jerry he authored the book, Ben & Jerry’s Double Dip: How to Run a Values-Led Business and Make Money, Too.

In addition, Ben has served on the boards of the Social Venture Network, Hampshire College, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Business for Social Responsibility and Heifer International.

Entries by Ben Cohen 

Donna the Buffalo's Stampede Tour to Stamp Big Money Out of Politics

(5) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 10:26 AM

Over 50,000 Americans have already joined the Stampede -- a mass, ongoing protest to stamp big money out of politics and take back our democracy. We're literally rubber stamping messages like "Not to be used for buying elections" and "Stamp money out of politics" straight onto dollar bills....

Read Post

'We the People' Not 'We the Corporations'

(2) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 11:49 AM

Welcome to the apex of corporate persons in the United States.

Their ascension into a pseudo homo-sapiens status peaked in the Supreme Court's pivotal Citizens United ruling in 2010, which granted them Constitutional protection for limitless political free speech -- in the form of money.

The ruling...

Read Post

How Congress Double-Crossed Taxpayers and Created a Corrupt Private Prison Empire

(7) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 3:55 PM

The Mount Everest revenue growth in the private-prison industry unequivocally represents everything that's wrong with our pay-to-play government.

These prison firms, with the help of political ties forged through campaign donations and armies of lobbyists, can regularly snag windfalls in government contracts and unduly expand their businesses by incarcerating...

Read Post

The Fight Against Super PACs and Cashola-Fueled Corruption

(13) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 1:46 PM

There is only one single campaign strategy this coming election cycle for presidential candidates: raise a ton of money.

While political bigwigs from both parties like Hillary Clinton (D) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have publicly opposed big money in politics, they still plan on using heaps and heaps of...

Read Post

The Epic Descent Into a Money-Fueled Corruption Pit

(17) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 8:07 PM

While nine in 10 Americans agree there's too much corporate money in politics, Doug Hughes alone decided to carry out a life-endangering mission to expose Washington's descent into a money-fueled corruption pit. And his mission was a success. Even a week out, especially as initial questions around national...

Read Post

Why Some Profit-Hungry Corporations Hate Earth Day

(7) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 10:34 AM

April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day, represented a surge of protests and activism that pushed our government to respond to "We the People" and protect our common interest over special interest groups.

The government formed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a unified Congress -- something...

Read Post

Beachside Homes, Private Jets, Rolex Watches, All the Perks of Being a Corrupt Politician

(5) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 12:54 PM


"Legalized bribery," that's how Sen. John McCain describes the rat's nest of politicians, lobbyists and special interests in Washington profiting from a broken system of pay-to-play politics. This is a bipartisan problem -- meaning that both Democrats and Republicans are playing the game....

Read Post

If an Ice Cap Melts in the Arctic and the GOP Doesn't See It, Did It Really Melt?

(329) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 8:16 PM

On Monday, Senator Marco Rubio (R--FL) officially entered the 2016 presidential race joining a number of other climate change deniers campaigning to run our country with their heads stuck in the tar sand.

Recently Rubio stated, "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic...

Read Post

Why I Ditched My Credit Cards for Cash

(7) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 8:10 PM


About three years ago, I gave up my credit cards for cold-hard-cash. And not just any cash, but moola with makeup. That's right, I have started to legally rubber stamp dollar bills with messages like "Not To Be Used For Bribing...

Read Post

6 Ways to Get Big Money Out of Politics

(14) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 8:09 PM

With the Oval Office at stake, the final price tag on next year's election will be sky high. It's predicted to total $5 billion. Politicians are talking to funders over constituents, listening to Big Money over voters. It's no wonder that for years the interests of regular Americans...

Read Post

Nobody Wants Sewer Money Stinking up Congress... Except Congress

(9) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 5:55 PM

America is the richest country in the world. We have the resources to improve our education system, reduce pollution, feed the hungry, and more. Instead we spend $1.4 trillion for fighter planes like the F-35 that "can't turn, can't climb, can't run."

Washington's long streak of...

Read Post

Could Monetary Jiu-Jitsu Mute the Siren Call of Big Money in 2016?

(6) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 12:50 PM

When Martin O'Malley, the former governor of Maryland, passed through Gibson's Bookstore in Concord in early March for a meet-and-greet, he was handed a 20 dollar bill marked "Money is Not Free Speech." The stamped dollar is part of a national campaign called to overturn...

Read Post

We Can't Wait for the Next Watergate Scandal

(11) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 6:18 PM


Out of the toxic waste dump of the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, Congress established strict restrictions on campaign financing to root out corruption in Washington. But in the 40 years since the historic reforms, the Chamber of Commerce and the Supreme Court...

Read Post

Restoring Faith in U.S. Democracy

(26) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 8:10 PM


The Supreme Court's misguided 5-4 Citizens United v. FEC ruling authorized corporations to spend limitless amounts of money influencing elections. In the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court claimed "The appearance of influence or access will not cause...

Read Post

Turning Money Into Millions of Miniature Billboards

(2) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 11:47 PM

In the early 20th century British suffragettes carved "Votes For Women" on pennies in order to broadcast their demands for political equality. Their earlier appeals to members of Parliament had failed, and they needed a better way to garner public support.

But carving pennies wasn't simply a unified...

Read Post

Money-Hungry Lawmakers Undermine the Will of the People

(85) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 1:15 PM

Just when you thought the influence of big money in politics hit a fever pitch this year with our $4 billion midterm, our lawmakers snuck in a closing reminder that money reigns supreme in Washington.

Congress approved a $1.1 trillion end-of-year spending bill, known as "Cromnibus," full of handouts...

Read Post

Is Big Money Being Used to Bully Judges?

(3) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 5:01 PM

Political ads, bought in bulk, do a lot more harm than yield noise pollution. When corporations with a private agenda can selectively barrage our airwaves with attack ads, they can shape the national conversation, destroy reputations or curry favor with politicians. They can even influence our judiciary system.

In fact,...

Read Post

What the Media Doesn't Want you to Know about Money in Politics

(7) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 6:35 PM

It costs politicians more and more every year to get reelected. And that means they become more and more dependent on corporate dollars and wealthy donors to win a seat at the table. So far this year, candidates and outside groups have spent three times more on the...

Read Post

Will Fair Elections Return to Hawaii?

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 9:50 AM

Our representative democracy has been on a crash course for corruption ever since the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Citizens United v FEC back in 2010. That decision contributed to an explosion in political spending at the...

Read Post

Stamping Out Dark Money

(50) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 4:21 PM

"Who are the men, who really run this land?

Why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?"

Crosby, Stills, & Nash have been singing this song for many, many years now, and we've had enough. With the deluge of dark money flooding our elections, we feel that...

Read Post