Free Speech for ME, Not so Much for Thee…

It’s the title of a book by Nat Hentoff, a widely recognized expert on the First Amendment, and it’s really the mantra for today’s Progressives. Case in point, where else but California.

First Amendt. a PrivlegeThis is part of the continuing story of “campaign finance reform” otherwise known as the movement to take free speech rights from conservatives. You can thank John McCain for this exercise in tilting at windmills.

In the last election cycle in the Pyrite State there were two hard fought ballot propositions. Props 30 and 32. Prop 30 proposed to raise sales and income taxes for “the wealthy” and Prop 32 was a paycheck protection proposal that would have banned corporate, union, and government contractors from contributing to politicians and would have also banned automatic deductions from worker’s paychecks that would be used for political purposes.

Needless to say, the forces of the left were hard bent on passing Prop 30 and defeating Prop 32. They loosed the hounds of hell on these ballot issues. They won on both.

The issue that we are addressing today is a settlement that the California Fair Political Practices Commission announced this week. As a side note, any sentence that contains the words “California”, “fair”, and “political” redefines the term oxymoron. The short explanation is this.

A complaint was filed, along with charges of “money laundering” screeched in the highest dudgeon, with CFPPC over a donation to groups who were opposed to Prop 30 and in favor of Prop 32. It was an $11 million donation and it came from two groups in Arizona called Americans for Responsible Leadership and Center to Protect Patient Rights.

The protectors of California voters rights to remain ignorant of opinions that don’t line up with the leadership of the Duma in Sacramento and California’s public employee union leaders initiated a probe into the $11 million dollar donation. They determined that the organizations who made the donations acted in good faith, made a clerical error in their filing and that there was no intent to violate any campaign finance rules.

Case closed, right? Wrong.

CFPPC fined the offenders $1 million dollars and the first paragraph got to the root of the problem.

[The] two nonprofits operated as part of the “Koch Brothers’ Network” of dark money political nonprofit corporations. The settlement requires CPPR and ARL to pay $1 million to the State General Fund for their failure to disclose two dark money independent expenditure contributions in the 2012 election to oppose Proposition 30 and support Proposition 32.

“This case highlights the nationwide scourge of dark money nonprofit networks hiding the identities of their contributors,” said FPPC Chair Ann Ravel. “The FPPC is aggressively litigating to get disclosure and working on laws and regulations to put a stop to these practices in California.”

That should clear it up. The evil, nasty, filthy, conservative, Koch Brothers! They must be stopped.

Free speech isn’t free. At least if you’re on the wrong side of the political spectrum from the ruling tyrants.

The actual charge against the non-profits came down to this, from the Sacramento Bee.

Both the Center to Protect Patient Rights and Americans for Job Security have funded campaigns against Democratic congressional candidates and President Barack Obama without disclosing their donors. The FPPC has accused the nonprofits of money laundering to hide donors from California voters in violation of state law.

The Center to Protect Patient Rights and its director, Sean Noble, have been connected to billionaire conservative activists David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch in the past, but spokespeople for the Kochs have denied any involvement 1n the Proposition 30 and 32 campaigns.

Heaven forbid that Koch money infiltrate a California political campaign.

On the other hand, nary an eyebrow was raised by anybody over the $66 million raised by organized labor, which included $20 million from the California Teachers Association. I guess they sit on the correct side of the dias.

Bottom line, free speech is only free if you agree with the regulators. This is big government at its finest. Lois Lerner and Eric Holder are puffing their chests in pride.

Originally posted at The Minority Report

The Minority ReportWikipedia: “The Minority Report” is a 1956 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in Fantastic Universe.

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Posted by on October 25, 2013.
Filed under First Amendment.
Tagged with: .
Michael Becker is a long time activist and a businessman. He's been involved in the pro-life movement since 1976 and has been counseling addicts and ministering to prison inmates since 1980. Becker is a Curmudgeon. He has decades of experience as an operations executive in turnaround situations and in mortgage banking. He blogs regularly at The Right Curmudgeon, The Minority Report, Wizbang, Unified Patriots and Joe for America. He lives in Phoenix and is almost always armed.

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  • GarandFan

    It’s working out well for Ann Ravel – King Barack has nominated her for a position on the Federal FPPC. Guess she figures she’ll leave The People’s Republik with a flourish – using the Koch name as much as she can. Not reported was the fact that she was confronted by a reporter on the issue of Koch involvement – and had to back pedal and admit there was no evidence of the Koch brothers sending any money.

  • Commander_Chico

    Don’t know what the “clerical error” was, but I think these reporting laws are futile.

    There is really no bar from anyone pumping millions into US politics, even the Chinese or Russian governments through Delaware corporations and non-profits.

  • jim_m

    More selective law enforcement from the left. Laws are for punishing your enemies and little else.

  • ackwired

    Political speech is very expensive. But attempts to limit contributions are futile. Better to concentrate of full disclosure. Or we could just charge everyone about $5000 to vote. That would probably produce about the same result.

    • jim_m

      You were headed in the right direction and then you wrote a fourth sentence. Funny that it is a lefty who is the first to suggest bringing back the poll tax. Perhaps the left would like to bring back all of Jim Crow. After all it was their idea in the first place.

      • Brucehenry

        Don’t recognize sarcasm, Jim?

        • jim_m

          Yes indeed, when the left is caught promoting racism it is always just a joke. I wonder what it is when no one points it out for what it really is? Public policy?

          • Brucehenry

            Dude these gotchas of yours are boring.

            The guy was making the point that rich people can drown out the voices of poor people by drowning the campaign in money. The effect is about the same as charging folks thousands to vote. Those who can afford to pay dominate the political debate.

            Get it now, you dunderhead?

          • jim_m

            That is the case already, idiot. What is your solution? Forced government financing which is little more than illegal forced political speech for all tax payers? The left loves to infringe upon the rights of the masses.

          • Brucehenry

            I admit the problem is intractable but unlike some I don’t view every attempt to address it as an attack on the Constitution. Something clearly should be done but I admit I don’t know what that something is.

          • jim_m

            I accept your admission of ignorance. ;)

          • Brucehenry

            Curses!

            *Slinks away, vowing under his breath to return someday*

          • jim_m
          • ackwired

            It was sarcasm, and the point was that it is the case already. Got it now? I think if someone posted that it turns colder in the fall, that you would answer that it is because the Republicans are virtuous and the Democrats, or lefties, or left, are evil.

          • jim_m

            Indeed, all of nature cries out against the evils of the left.

          • Commander_Chico

            In your head, in your head . . . .

            I only hear crows and starlings.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Odd, whenever you lay finger to keyboard we hear the braying of an ass…

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Who insist on being judged by their intentions, as their results are ruinous.

          • ackwired

            LOL…see what I mean?

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Project you very much indeed.