(Thomas Mitchell) – I don’t know about yours, but my vote is not for sale, despite what Hillary Clinton says.
Today she revealed her plans to combat “secret” or “dark” money being spent on politics.
She specifically wants to overturn by hook or by crook the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, which held that that organization had the right to air a movie called “Hillary: The Movie.”
The FEC blocked airing the movie because of provisions of the McCain-Feingold Law that required disclosure of the group’s donors and a disclaimer at the end of each ad.
Clinton’s website proclaimed that the “Citizens United case helped unleash hundreds of millions of dollars of secret, unaccountable money into U.S. elections that is drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans and distorting our democracy. ”
But Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in the 5-4 ruling in Citizens United, spelled out that censorship was unconstitutional on its face:
“The law before us is an outright ban, backed by criminal sanctions. Section 441b makes it a felony for all corporations — including nonprofit advocacy corporations — either to expressly advocate the election or defeat of candidates or to broadcast electioneering communications within 30 days of a primary election and 60 days of a general election. Thus, the following acts would all be felonies under §441b: The Sierra Club runs an ad, within the crucial phase of 60 days before the general election, that exhorts the public to disapprove of a Congressman who favors logging in national forests; the National Rifle Association publishes a book urging the public to vote for the challenger because the incumbent U. S. Senator supports a handgun ban; and the American Civil Liberties Union creates a Web site telling the public to vote for a Presidential candidate in light of that candidate’s defense of free speech. These prohibitions are classic examples of censorship.”
But Clinton declared she will appoint justices who would overturn this ruling and/or amend the “Constitution to allow Americans to establish common sense rules to protect against the undue influence of billionaires and special interests and to restore the role of average voters in elections.”
Common sense? Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” advocating the Revolution was printed anonymously. Hillary would have banned it. Also the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers were printed under pseudonyms. Hillary would have banned them.
She also wants to establish matching funds for small donations. Though she never says where the match will come from, presumably it would come from tax money, which would mean you might be paying to support a stance with which you disagree. Clearly a First Amendment violation.
Hillary Clinton apparently assumes American voters are just too stupid to be exposed to points of view with which she disagrees and those voices should be gagged. If she is correct, this experiment with a democratic republic is a failure.
Hillary actually released a video explaining how she opposed a movie that specifically attacked her:
Citizens United reportedly is at work on “Hillary: The Sequel.”
Free speech is meant to give all citizens access to every viewpoint available. Just because a union or a corporation is an assemblage of people pooling their resources to make their message more loudly and frequently heard does not make that message automatically inferior and unworthy of dissemination. The citizens, the voters are perfectly capable of rejecting a bogus argument no matter how much money is spent on it.
If you can’t win the debate, gag your opponent.
Mr. Mitchell publishes the 4TH ST8 Blog at www.4thst8.wordpress.com.
The column was originally published in Mr. Mitchell’s blog.