Sunday, May 08, 2005

Quiet, Congress at work

Congress is hard at work trying to find new ways to stiffle free political speech. It would seem that McCain-Feingold was not enough for someof them. Our First Amendment rights of free political speech are slowly being taken away from us, with the exception of the old media that is. McCain-Feingold was frauduently presented to the American people by the likes of George Soros. And on it goes as Congress looks into how to place even more restrictions of free political speech. Paul Jacobs explains in his commentary.

Further, Congress takes upon itself supposedly "tricky" issues like whether blogs should be regulated. Or churches.

Of course, money and speech — like water — are known to find their way. Thus, the congressional assaults on political speech can never cease, and Congress never rest. Which is why the high court actually encouraged Congress not to stop with McCain-Feingold, but to continually tinker with the election laws to drive out any "outside" or "unregulated" new money and speech that makes it through the current maze. That is the hard legislative work engaging the Senate as America enjoys another spring.

Last election, millionaires and billionaires were able to help a number of groups, known as 527s, raise issues and state their opinions. These rich folk, by making massive contributions, allowed organizations to purchase costly TV time. The meat of the new legislation is to prevent this speech from breaking out again. If the current bill passes, donations to 527s would be limited to $32,500 — not unlimited as in this past election. Gifts of $32,500 would thus be deemed pristine and patriotic, while spending one cent more would be corrupt and criminal.
Billionaires, such as George Soros, who pushed hard for McCain=Feingold, quickly exploited the 527 loophole and donated tens of millions of dollars to radical left wing groups such a How I make my political speech should be no concern of the Congress and should be protected by the First Amendment.

The blogosphere is a growing area for campaigning and political discussion, but bloggers certainly don't threaten the re-election of incumbents in the way TV and radio ads do. Rest assured, however, that once they do "negatively" impact incumbents, Congress will be back for them. (Congress has a knack for this, as I often point out in my Common Sense e-letter.)

America has become a land in which committees and commissions in the nation's capital decide who can speak, when, where, and how much. Yet more control by self-interested political hacks is no solution at all, it's more of the problem. We need more speech, not less. We need more freedom, not less. We even need more money in politics, not less.

Money doesn't equal speech, you say? Tell that to your ad buyer and see how much TV time you get.

The campaign finance laws that have eviscerated the First Amendment are not without an official rationale. Our slippery politicians and their robed guardians in the courts justify the tyranny as a means to prevent undo influence from special interests. And, of course, the appearance of corruption in government. The reality is that our present campaign finance system hands control over political speech to the biggest, most corrupt special interest of all: career politicians in Congress.

The blogosphere seems to be of some worry to Congress, the Federal judiciary and the FEC, not to mention the old media. There will be continuous attempts to regulate the blogs. It has been suggested that the old media will try and pressure Congress for new and more dracoian copyright laws, specifically to impact the blogs.

This whole notion that money is negatively impacting campaigns is really a red herring. All one need do is look at how the 2004 election cycled played out. The money was still there,only it was disguised in other forms, such as the 527s. - Sailor

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