Brow Beat

Samantha Bee Finds a Way to Talk About Campaign Finance Reform That Won’t Make Your Eyes Glaze Over

Samantha Bee has a new ice cream flavor, and she’s using it to teach her audience about constitutional originalism and campaign finance reform. On a special midterms election episode on Monday, the Full Frontal host dressed up in Colonial-era garb to talk to former FEC chair Ann Ravel and Harvard professor Larry Lessig about what the framers of the United States Constitution thought about money in politics. Both experts agreed that the founders who opposed Parliament’s dependence on the king would not approve of corporate lobbyists influencing members of Congress. “I understand dependence,” Bee assured them. “I am dependent on Ted Cruz jokes. He’s an unstoppable toilet clog.”

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“A lot of people’s eyes glaze over when you talk about campaign finance, but they shouldn’t,” said Ravel. In the case of Full Frontal’s segment, the subject might actually make your mouth water instead, because Bee received a visit from Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, to introduce Get Your Fudgin’ Money Out of My Democracy, which contains maple ice cream, salted walnuts, salted almonds, and chocolate coins. It also features one chocolate coin still covered in foil that you’ll need to remove, for symbolic reasons, but also so that you don’t choke on the wrapper.

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Ben & Jerry’s has a history of using its dairy products to promote a political agenda by giving flavors punny, progessive names. There was EmpowerMint to encourage people to vote in the 2016 election; I Dough, I Dough to celebrate marriage equality; and even a limited-edition flavor created to support Bernie Sanders. (Sadly, it was not called “Feel the Churn.”) Just last week the ice cream peddlers launched Pecan Resist out of solidarity with organizations that empower people of color, women, and environmentalists and protest Donald Trump’s agenda. Bee’s flavor will be available via a MoveOn raffle that can be entered by text message. “It doesn’t cost any money to participate,” she said on the show. “Which should also be true of our government.”

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