Monday, September 18, 2006
More on free speech reduction
Another article on Prop 89, the clean money proposition, or the free speech reduction act, or the compelled corporate speech act, or whatever you want to call it. Recall, Prop 89 requires corporations to fund political ads by individuals they don't get to choose, while simultaneously reducing the right of most people to speak on political issues (except for unions, who wrote the proposition, and who are coincidentally magically exempt). From Arizona:
But voters who know about the public finance rules increasingly like the idea. Although it passed by 51 percent to 49 percent in 1998, a January survey done for the state commission found that 85 percent of those familiar with the system now believe it is either very or somewhat important to Arizona voters.Note that the study was done by the comission itself, which apparently got to choose who is considered "familiar with the system."
"It's much more popular than it was," said Todd Lang, executive director of the clean elections commission. "People see that it allows strong candidates who don't have access to special interest money to run competitive campaigns."
The commission's survey, however, found almost 50 percent of the electorate remained unfamiliar with the system.
But the rules don't cover everything. About a week before last Tuesday's election, a number of Arizona voters received a call from a purported pollster asking them if it would make a difference if they knew that Munsil had "fathered an illegitimate child."Need money? Run a campaign against yourself. Genius.
The poll took on statewide significance when Munsil, a social conservative who had headed a group calling for abstinence from premarital sex, was forced to admit to reporters that his wife was pregnant when they were married 20 years ago.
Munsil, who ran a publicly financed campaign, immediately appealed to the state's clean money commission, saying he needed extra money to counter the effects of the poll.
Although the board did not know the source of the poll, the cost of the survey or how many people were called, members voted to give Munsil $80,000 for last-minute advertising to counter the effect of the negative publicity. His opponent, Don Goldwater, received nothing, even though he was not believed to be responsible for the poll.
"People involved in a statewide election deserve more than unelected commissioners throwing darts at a dartboard" when deciding how money is allocated, said Hamer, the Arizona GOP chief. "It feels like a high school political science project run amok."
Again, this is symptomatic of a broader authoritarian trend in America, led by liberals in political ideology, though most folks get in on it for other reasons. In this case, the elite folks who have decided what the ideal state of the universe is have determined that free speech is detrimental to that state. Therefore, it must be curtailed.
In other words, these folks simply don't believe in rights or freedom. Rights and freedoms are granted not because people should have them, but because it suits the grand ideal. Once those rights or freedoms get in the way of the grand ideal, they are halted. Of course, this means they aren't rights or freedoms at all, but allowances to be revoked according to the convenience of the government. It's an arrogance founded in the unyielding belief in the rightness of your position, and a demand that all should submit to it because of its rightness. The mindset is identical to that of a dictator, even if the apparatus isn't present.
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