The Big Government control freaks have sunk their meat hooks into two growth opportunities: the environment and political speech. Under the broad mantle of "protecting the environment" the hall monitor types can control where you live, what you drive, even what you ingest. Just ask prospective tenants in the Allied Drive redevelopment who are being told they cannot smoke tobacco in their own homes.
Regulating political speech is the other growth industry. Its stated purpose is to drive big money out of our election campaigns. Why that should be desirable has never been proven. I read once where Americans spent $10 billion a year on pornography, although the TARP bailout may inflate that figure, if you'll pardon the imagery.
Coming to a U.S. Supreme Court near you is Hillary: the Movie. It is said to be a "scathing" 90-minute anti-Hillary Clinton movie. [See trailers for Hillary: the Movie. Hell, see the whole damn thing here.] 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?
Why does Jim Pugh have fewer free speech rights than Scott Milfred? Isn't this beyond the point of ridiculousness?
The Supreme Court has written 22 separate opinions in the last six years trying to interpret the McCain-Feingold law. Aren't we separating the fly specks from the pepper? It's enough to drive a Talmudic scholar barking mad.
Government lawyers are now saying that McCain-Feingold could restrict the publication of books 60 days before an election if it expressed advocacy - if paid for by a corporation or union. That should cover Capital Newspapers Inc.
Campaign regulations require the backers of political ads to be identified. That should cover the authors of the Federalist Papers - John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton - who used pseudonyms when they urged ratification of the Constitution.
What if Wal-Mart wanted to run ads touting an action figure of a political candidate, Chief Justice John Roberts asked, could that be regulated? "If it's aired at the right place at the right time," (the government lawyer) said. [Associated Press: Hillary movie not a musical comedy, says justice]
Here in Wisconsin, two guys in Whitewater put up some signs and mailed postcards urging voters to vote against a referendum to allow liquor sales. Wisconsin required anyone spending more than $25 to influence a referendum register with the Government Accountability Board, create a campaign bank account and disclose names of donors. That ought to learn 'em!
Thank you, U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller, for striking down those provisions (although his ruling was narrowly applied only to the facts of the case).
"These requirements act to inhibit the open exchange of ideas and political conversations on referendum issues," the judge wrote.
Somewhere, someone is trying to express their political opinions without jumping through the government's hoops.
Paging Bill Lueders. Where is your concern for the free flow of information? Praise be, some free speech advocates are alarmed.
"By criminalizing the distribution of long-form documentary film as if it were nothing more than a very long advertisement, the district court has created uncertainty about where the line between traditional news commentary and felonious advocacy lies," writes Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in a friend of the court brief. [Christian Science Monitor: Was 'Hillary: The Movie' wrongly censored?]
Blaska: The Blog says yes, it was wrongly censored. Now, let's see. It's 10 days before the election. Time to say: Vote for Nancy Mistele for County Exec, Vote for Randy Koschnick for State Supreme Court, Vote for Rose Fernandez for Super of Public Instruction. (Authorized and Paid for by the Foundation for Better Brains, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, David Blaska, treasurer.)
More Nancy Boys (and Girls)
A most remarkable event: the Dane County Fire Chiefs Association is sponsoring a campaign event for Nancy Mistele. Mistele will do a ride-along with firefighters in Sun Prairie then meet with firefighters from around the county this Tuesday, March 31, at 4:30 pm at Sun Prairie Fire Station #1, 135 N. Bristol Street.
Why should the county's firefighters be interested in the county executive's race? Because the incumbent vetoed the county board's approval of interoperable radios. Those are emergency radios that put firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, and emergency hospital rooms on the same frequency. That was a recommendation that came out of the 9/11 attack.
The Kathleen has the incumbent sheriff in her corner. But former longtime Sheriff Gary Hamblin is endorsing Nancy. Gary is now running the State Crime Lab in the Department of Justice.
Here is the quote:
"Nancy Mistele will make public safety a priority again and make sure each and every tax dollar is spent wisely. … Kathleen Falk continues to put the safety of the people of Dane County at the bottom of her priority list. I can tell you firsthand how she has personally rejected millions of dollars which would have made our county a safer place to live. Sadly, we have seen how Kathleen Falk's neglect of public safety has extended to our 9-1-1 Center."
Peace of Mind for $39.95
Cousin Johan comes through again. We may need this if the Government Accountability Board comes calling after hours. Browning pump-action 12-gauge shotgun not included.