First on Nancy Pelosi’s Agenda: Attacking Free Expression
. . .One of Nancy Pelosi’s first projects as new speaker of the House will be passing a government overhaul of campaign-finance and ethics rules that will, among other things, “expand voting rights.” One of the new bills — specifics are still cloudy — reportedly allocates a pool of taxpayer money to match small-dollar donations 6-to-1, as a way of encouraging “grass-roots campaigning,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The package, fortunately, won’t pass the Senate. But government-financed campaigns — empowering the state to allocate money to preferred donors and dissuading non-preferred donors — has been something of a hobbyhorse in progressive circles. Setting aside the many constitutional concerns, the recent abuses by the Internal Revenue Service when tasked with regulating political speech demonstrate just how easy it is for bureaucrats to manipulate rules meant to govern speech. These are rules that shouldn’t exist, period.
Some big cities have already begun handing out tax-funded “democracy vouchers.” In other words, politicians have passed legislation that subsidizes the speech of people who will, for the most part, support them. It’s quite the racket. Pelosi wants to take this corruption national.
Reducing the power of “special interests” in Washington is always a popular issue with voters. The problem, of course, is that every voter considers another group a special interest. While as a political notion campaign-finance reform remains popular with Americans, specific campaign-finance reform legislation is always about inhibiting someone’s speech.
What many Americans don’t seem to accept, particularly partisans, is that not voting or participating in our political process is also a matter of free expression. There’s nothing, after all, in the Constitution about the state encouraging “grass-roots activism.” There is no amendment that calls on us to treat the First Amendment rights of Michael Bloomberg any differently than we do the grandmother who foolishly sends her Social Security check to Bernie Sanders. The word “fairness” isn’t mentioned a single time in the entire document. (Read more from “First on Nancy Pelosi’s Agenda: Attacking Free Expression” HERE)
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