I try to understand the liberal mind, I really do. The squire of the Stately Manor regularly trains his powerful Blaskascope on the liberal blogosphere to detect possible signs of intelligence. Does anyone out there understand the concept of free speech?
My friends on the professional Left worry that some of us have too much free speech and others do not have enough. (They know which is which.) Their agenda is to regulate, ration, redistribute and license political speech. Their ultimate goal is to replace voluntary donations with mandated taxpayer financing, which the politicians would parcel out like moldy pumpernickel in a Soviet bread line.
To do so, they will stop at nothing -- they are even willing to amend the First Amendment, that most sacred of constitutional guarantees.
My favorite member of the professional Left, as Obama's spokesman calls them, is my old boss Dave Zweifel. Dave has just come back from Minnesota with the alarming news that 13 corporations (a dirty word in ProgSpeak) contributed to a pro-business conduit that poured $200,000 into the campaign of a Republican gubernatorial candidate. (The nice thing about a conduit is that the donor must identify the amount and the name of the giver no matter what the amount.) This largesse was more than matched by labor unions that threw $685,000 to blast the Republican. (Going negative is o.k. when the good guys do it.)
So after years of good-government groups from both parties warning that the flood of money into our political process was poisoning our elections and threatening our democracy, we've actually opened the floodgates to more and more cash and more and more bought politicians. [TCT: Corporate cash quickly flows]
Golly, it sounds like the free speech is flowing as freely in Minnesota as the Mississippi over St. Anthony Falls.
No one, of course, wants "bought" politicians unless they're purchased by your friends. Is little Jim E. Doyle property of the teachers union? Would he be less teacher-friendly if all campaign contributions were prohibited?
And why is Dave Zweifel copasetic with the corporate donations to Progressive/Democratic candidates like Russ Feingold and Tammy Baldwin? You know the corporate donations I am thinking of -- those from Capital Newspapers Inc. via the fawning editorials/news coverage in The Capital Times.
Free speech for some corporations, not others
It's all the fault of those "ideologues" on the U.S. Supreme Court -- no, not the liberal ideologues but the conservative ideologues who say that the New York Times Corporation has no greater right to the First Amendment than Acme Dynamite Inc.
The professional Left like to chant this mantra:
"Corporations are not people, money is not speech."
But corporations are voluntary aggregations of people and the people who print and broadcast your speech like to feed their families.
To deny the stockholders of Acme Dynamite Inc. the right to express their interests before an election is to overturn the First Amendment.
Another voluntary aggregation of people called South Central Wisconsin Move To Amend (movetoamend.org) is promoting a referendum for this Spring to, one must presume, amend the First Amendment in order to invalidate the court's Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission decision.
SCWMTA is working to place a resolution on the April ballot of the Madison elections. Our resolution declares that corporations are not people, and that money is not speech, and, therefore, regulation of corporate contributions to the political process does not violate First Amendment constitutional guarantees of free speech. To place the resolution on the April ballot, we need approximately 16,000 signatures, to be gathered between September 4, 2010 and November 4, 2010.
Who knew? Gordon Gecko was a liberal
The odd thing is that, at least in Wisconsin, the prog/libs are out-spending us conservative/moderates by an almost two to one margin. That's how Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign figures it, anyway.
Democratic-leaning 527s continued to receive substantially more Wisconsin contributions than Republican-leaning 527 groups thanks mostly to large contributions from a few individuals or organizations during the first six months of 2010.
Democratic 527s received $846,822 or 63 percent of Wisconsin contributions during the six-month period compared to $480,761 or 36 percent that went to Republican 527 groups.
The afore-mentioned 527 issue group is the unintended consequence of the McCain-Feingold campaign "reform." Groups like the League of Conservation Voters. McCabe describes another, the Progressive Wisconsin Political Fund, as a "front group for organized labor." In fact, four of the five largest Wisconsin-funded 527 issue groups were Democrat. The exception was the more honestly named Republican Governors Association, the largest of the five.
And who contributes to them? Milwaukee philanthropist Lynde Uihlein, an heir to the Schlitz Brewing and Allen Bradley family fortunes, who contributed $582,000 to four Democratic 527 groups. Judith and Gordon Faulkner of Madison who own Epic Systems and gave $55,000 to two Democratic 527s; and Johnson Controls in Milwaukee which gave $50,732 to two Democratic groups.
These are "the Gordon Geckos of America," according to Fighting Ed Garvey.
Negative? Are you positive?
Here is why I disagree with McCabe. Notice the bias in the lede of his Tuesday press release.
Wisconsin contributors gave a record $1.34 million in the first half of 2010 to special interest groups that secretly raise and spend unlimited amounts to smear state and federal candidates with negative advertising and mailings at election time, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.
"Smear"? McCabe attributes a doubling of such spending compared to 2006 (the last non-presidential fall election) to
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in January called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that now lets unions, corporations and other special interests spend unlimited amounts on elections.
"Negative"? How about the latest Russ Feingold TV commercial that alleges Johnson will plant exploding Deepwater Horizon oil rigs off the shores of Summerfest?
Negative? John Adams said of Alexander Hamilton, "He has a superabundance of secretions which he could not find whores enough to draw off."
Hamilton back at Adams: "He is not scrupulous about the means of success, nor very mindful of truth and ... he is a contemptible hypocrite!" [See The Sconz' Pros and cons of attack ads]