So Much for Free Speech
By Robert J. Samuelson
Wednesday, August 25, 2004; Page A17
But the truth cannot remain forever obscured. Campaign finance laws must fail at their larger aim of improving public confidence in politics and government. They breed disrespect for law, the Constitution or both. If the laws are aggressively expanded and enforced -- with more limits on contributions, spending and "coordination" -- people will realize they're losing their rights of free speech and political association. But if the laws are laxly enforced, as they have been, they will inspire continuing evasions and harsh condemnations by "reformers." Public confidence suffers either way. Americans will ultimately have to choose between the Constitution and a mere law -- or watch both be damaged.
Democrats defeat election-law aid for bloggersYes, that was Marty Meehan, a Democrat, who made an absurd comparison of your right to political free speech, to internet pornography. It was a pornographic argument; I must say. But I would not duct tape Marty's mouth for saying it.
Proposal would have amended U.S. election laws to immunize bloggers from hundreds of pages of federal regulations.
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: November 2, 2005, 7:55 PM PST
Opponents of the reform plan mounted a last-minute effort to derail the bill before the vote on Wednesday evening. Liberal advocacy groups circulated letters warning the measure was too broad and would invite "corrupt" activities online, and The New York Times wrote in an editorial this week that "the Internet would become a free-fire zone without any limits on spending."
Rep. Marty Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat who opposed the bill, said during the floor debate: "We don't allow child pornography on the Internet. We don't exempt it from consumer safety laws...We don't because we think those laws are important." Campaign finance regulations should be extended as well, he said.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat, said that if the bill were approved, the public would have "no idea whether Internet campaign ads are being financed by secret soft money." Soft money is a general term referring to funds not regulated by election laws.
San Francisco May Regulate BloggingI wonder what political stripe is responsible for San Francisco's public policy?
By Michael Bassik, 03/31/2005 - 3:15pm
Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.
Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEYah think so?
April 20, 2005
Contact: Reid Cox or Marshall Manson
CFIF Asks Federal Appeals Court to Strike Down Louisiana Campaign Finance Law
The regulations silenced CFIF during Louisiana’s last elections when the organization planned to run issue advertisements on justice issues that were of particular public importance because of a then-upcoming primary election for a seat on the state Supreme Court. The advertisements never aired because Louisiana law — and subjective enforcement of that law — may have triggered massive fines and intrusive reporting requirements.
“Louisiana’s campaign finance law is unconstitutional when it comes to issue advocacy,” said Reid Cox, CFIF’s General Counsel. “The First Amendment is not a loophole that politicians can avoid at election time. Free speech ensures Louisianans — and all Americans — always retain the right to both criticize and congratulate our government, even when our elected representatives don’t want to hear it.
“Groups of citizens shouldn’t have to call their lawyers just because they want to speak in the weeks leading up to an election,” Cox continued. “Political speech is at the core of what the First Amendment protects. If the First Amendment means anything at all, it means our laws should encourage debate about our elected leaders, not ban discussion about the issues and their records.”
On the good side:
Feds approve liberal election rules for NetOn the bad side:
By Anne Broache
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: March 27, 2006, 10:08 AM PST
Last modified: March 27, 2006, 11:08 AM PST
In a 6-0 vote, the Federal Election Commission adopted 107 pages of rules detailing long-awaited final regulations that primarily focus on paid political advertisements appearing on Web sites. They would also extend a broad exemption enjoyed by traditional news organizations to the online world--everything from Slate and Salon.com to soapboxing bloggers.
"I am very pleased that it appears we have a consensus today and will establish several very important protections for online political speech," FEC Chairman Michael Toner, a Republican, said at the 45-minute meeting.
Louisiana is at it again. (h.t. fmragtops)
Do you like your Blog?
When you go to the polls in November, keep in mind the difference between freedom and the carefully and intellectually guided life that is in store for you from your friends from the left. Also take a look at who is just talking about your rights versus those who are protecting them.
Look at who is behind the PC movement. Look at how PC regulations and 'education' are not just ways to suppress speech, but they are ways to supress free thought. Look at who is advocating the elimination of harmful thought and its free expression, based on their own brand of secular humanism.
Look at who is behind hate speech legislation, which makes a presumption about the thoughts and motivations of the speaker.
Look at who is badmouthing the founders of the constitution and the creators of the bill of rights in the classroom.
There is a difference.