Sing along with Blaska's Blog and Sam Cooke:
"Ain't that good news? Man, ain't that good news!"
First Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Now this most wonderful news: The Supreme Court of the land has gouged out the shriveled heart of the mistaken McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" once and for all. Truly, freedom is on the march!
I have always argued that McCain-Feingold was fundamentally unconstitutional.
"When government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. "The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves."
The ruling, long anticipated and issued Thursday morning, will allow corporations as well as labor unions to spend freely on television ads -- and other forms of direct advocacy -- for or against a candidate's election. The court also overturned a prohibition on corporations and labor unions running so-called "issue" ads -- commercials that do not expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate -- in the final weeks of a campaign. [Washington Post: 01-21-10]
The law even forbade political speech by organizations of citizens 30 days before an election -- a time when such speech is most crucial. As Tom Still used to argue when the State Journal had some bite: Why should Wisconsin business leaders be prohibited from calling Chuck Chvala a liberal? Corporations and unions, Planned Parenthood and Right to Life still can't contribute directly to a candidate. But they now, thankfully, are allowed to express their interests.
The Founders held political speech to be the most sacrosanct from government intervention. None of us should be at the mercy of Frank Rich, Keith Olbermann or John Nichols to filter our message. Not all of us own a press, a radio or television station. Speech is free but it costs money.
Regulating political speech has been a liberal/progressive growth industry. Its stated purpose is to drive big money out of our election campaigns. Why that should be desirable has never been proven. Supposedly a billion dollars was spent on political speech in the last election cycle. Yet Americans spent $10 billion a year on pornography. What is the problem?
The precipitate of today's court decision was Hillary: the Movie. It is said to be a "scathing" 90-minute anti-Hillary Clinton movie. [Or sample the trailers.] Why would our highest court be interested?
Because the good government goo-goos allege that "Hillary" is not a journalistic expose, a slasher movie or even a porno film (darn!) but something much more deserving of regulation. Yes, government lawyers argue that "Hillary" is - horrors! - a political campaign ad. That puts it under the heel of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law - because it came out during the 2008 presidential election.
Gee, does that mean we could have shut down Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 sixty days before the election? Does that mean John Nichols has to go dark every other April and November? [Blaska's Blog: Censor this you bastards!]
"Our nation's speech dynamic is changing, and informative voices should not have to circumvent onerous restrictions to exercise their First Amendment rights. The censorship we now confront is vast in its reach."
-- Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority in Citizens United v. FEC (08-205).
Taxpayer subsidized speech is the Progressives' goal
The progressive agenda of growing government at the expense of freedom -- costly bailouts of some companies but not others, stimulus spending, nationalized health care. that impulse finds its finest expression in the desire to implement taxpayer-financed political speech doled out by government bureaucrats like porridge in a Dickens poor house.
Progressives like Ed Garvey, Mike McCabe, and John Nichols want to expropriate your earnings in the form of taxes in order to subsidize political speech with which you disagree through so-called "public financing" of politicians' campaigns.
I warned in December that Assembly Bill 619 would permit a county, city, town, or village to enact an ordinance appropriating money to pay for campaign expenses of candidates for county, city, town, or village office, respectively.
It was introduced by 13 Democrats including State Reps. Mark Pocan, Terese Berceau, Gary Hebl, Joe Parisi, Sondy Pope-Roberts, and State Sens. Fred Risser and Mark Miller.
I said it in Blaska's Blog fears campaign finance 'reform': I do not want my property tax dollars to help re-elect Matt Veldran! Candidates who cannot raise money through voluntary donations have no right to use the coercive power of the state to pry open my wallet. The government class permits all kind of foul language to pass under the guise of free speech but watch them spring to action when someone cranks out a flyer on his basement mimeograph machine urging a vote for or against a candidate.
Another attack on our Constitution
My friend Dave Zweifel, one of the nicest guys in the world, opines that the Constitution ought to be amended to allow for direct popular vote, instead of by the electoral college. Dave likes the idea, I suppose, because Al Gore would have been elected in 2000 instead of George W. Dave needs to be reminded that direct popular vote would further minimize Wisconsin's impact. The Founders created a federal system. That is why each state gets two U.S. Senators California the same as Wyoming.
Under direct popular vote, a candidate could win 80 percent of California and, say, New York and 49 percent of every other state and win election -- even though 48 of the 50 states had rejected that candidate.
Zweifel argues that the measure would force candidates to visit one-party states like Utah. It will do no such thing. They'll concentrate on voter-rich states like California and Texas.If anything, it will decrease visits to battleground states like Wisconsin. After all, what does it matter whether a candidate gets 50.1 percent or 49.9 percent when the difference is only a few thousand votes?
In 2000, Wisconsin went for Gore 47.83% over Bush 47.61%. A difference of 5,708 votes. Why would either candidate spend a day in Wisconsin when each of them got essentially the same 1.2 million votes?
That does not stop troublemakers Fred Risser and Helen Kelda Roys (Dane County Democrats, of course) from looking for co-sponsors for LRB 3136/1 "Entering into an agreement among the states to elect the president of the United States by means of a national popular vote."
The bill envisions an interstate compact that would take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538). When in effect, all the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In other words, Wisconsin could go 80-20 percent for Candidate X but if the national results showed a slight advantage for Candidate Y, Wisconsin would be compelled to cast its electoral votes for Candidate Y -- not Wisconsin's choice! This is insane!
Let's say there are multiple candidates -- another Ross Perot situation. If there are 20 candidates running for president the winner would only need a majority (which could be 20% or less depending on how the votes are split up) in order to win.
Contact your WI State Legislators immediately and tell them NOT to support the National Popular Vote Bill!