Ben and Jerry Deliver Free Ice Cream and Politics in Washington
• Apr 22, 2016
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, held an event on Monday night on the campus of George Washington University, where they personally scooped ice cream and spoke to students about campaign finance overhaul.
“Money in politics is really the root cause of most of the evils that confront us,” Mr. Cohen told the crowd, saying that greed had corrupted the country’s democracy. “We literally have the best Congress that money can buy.”
But given that their business is based in Burlington, Vt., and having been constituents of Senator Bernie Sanders in some capacity for more than three decades, they spent much of the evening as surrogates for his presidential campaign.
Mr. Cohen said that Mr. Sanders would get money out of politics, so that “we could create a situation where the oil companies and the coal companies are not dictating our energy policy, and the health insurance companies are not dictating our health care policies.”
“And you don’t end up getting saddled with humongous amounts of student debt because of the influence of the banks,” he said.
The two have spoken out on political issues before — even getting arrested earlier on Monday at the Capitol as part of “Democracy Spring” demonstrations that have been going on for the past week — but this election is the first in which they have personally made ice cream and customized light-up yard signs for a candidate, or given speeches around the country to help one get elected. They have been in Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York, and they will be heading to Delaware and Pennsylvania next.