Gunning Down Campaign Finance Reform

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Another way to beat that stupid law:

The National Rifle Association is creating a news corporation, starting an Internet talk show and preparing to buy a radio station to speak about candidates and gun rights at election time despite new political ad limits.

The 4 million-member gun lobby, looking for the same legal recognition as mainstream news organizations, says it has already hired its first reporter. NRANews.com was to start online broadcasts Friday.

The NRA is taking the step to operate free of political spending limits, hoping to use unlimited donations known as soft money to focus on gun issues and candidates' positions despite the law's restrictions on soft money-financed political ads close to elections.

"Someone needs to show the court and the politicians how absurd their speech gag on the American public is," Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, told The Associated Press. "This is an act of defiance. But it's also in 100 percent compliance with the law."

Here's the site:

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  1. “Maybe capaign finance will have some really neat unintended consequences.”

    I don’t know about neat, but I think it already has had unintended consequences.

  2. So, the reform that was supposed to ‘take the big money’ out of politics, instead has the effect of insuring that only organizations with enough money to set up dummy ‘news media’ fronts to act as mouthpieces for their propaganda get to exercise free speech.

    Do you suppose that anyone in Congress ever smacks themselves on the forehead, and says ‘Damn, how could we not see that coming?’

    Incidentally, I’m not really against the NRA; I just prefer GOA, which organization will never have enough money to buy a radio station.

    G

  3. How dare you criticize an idea put forth by John McCain! Don’t you realize he was a prisoner of war? I’m gonna cover my ears real tight and hum “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” really really loud now…

  4. “In order to view the site you must register”

    Heh… great way to keep the black helicoptor crowd out.

  5. If the law is encouraging interest groups to put out their message on their own, rather than giving money to a candidate or party in the hopes that a distorted, watered-down version will make it into some campaign ads, that would be a good thing for political discourse in this country.

  6. Ah, a fledgling radio station that disagrees with my political beliefs. I think that it’s very important that those of us on the left start acting like goddamn howler monkeys about this. I plan to accuse them of suppressing diversity, Atrios can say “more crushing of dissent” ten times a week, and Kos can react to every rumor as proof that there’s no audience for this.

  7. The Congress tried to shut down criticism and, alas, the Supreme Court allowed them to do it. People should be allowed to speak out anywhere, anytime, anyhow, which, these days, includes raising money to hire time. I applaud anyone who tries to get around our repressive and (should-be) unconstitutional campaign finance laws, but the real solution is almost impossible–get the SC to reconsider. Along the way, it would be nice if we kicked preening politicians (who themselves have no trouble getting heard and thus don’t need money to do it) like John McCain out on their asses.

  8. One hopes that this results in great success for the NRA. Maybe capaign finance will have some really neat unintended consequences.

    The left has always acted like howler monkeys.

  9. Even when I was a liberal, I thought the NRA was the good guys. (Though that could be because I was a rural, hunting liberal who had enough experience with guns to know they weren’t evil.) I’ve thought they’ve fallen behind a bit lately, not working for concealed-carry laws and being too nice to anti-gun actions by Republicans. Maybe they’ve just been focusing on doing an end-round of CFR. I say bravo on this effort. Now if their news station advocates concealed-carry, all will be forgiven.

    Not quite the ACLU of the right, but I should really look at membership.

  10. Joe:
    {If the law is encouraging interest groups to put out their message on their own, rather than giving money to a candidate or party in the hopes that a distorted, watered-down version will make it into some campaign ads, that would be a good thing for political discourse in this country.}

    Actually, the campaign reform law prohibits interest groups from putting out their messages on their own. Whether it’s the NRA, NAACP, ACLU, NOW, or LWV, political advocates are forbidden to air advertising they pay for and which mentions any candidate for several months before an election.

    The news media is not included in this prohibition, which is why the NRA is setting up their own “news media” outlet.

  11. Has someone at the NRA spent too long looking down the barrel of a gun.
    The only way they could be a national news outlet is to buy one.
    An “internet news site”, great but you have to go to them, it wont come to you like most other news channels.
    In a tight presidentail race in a swing state the NRA.com will influence the voters how. Certainly not like everybody else who buys ads in the media that everybody else listens too. So unless its TV shows are CSI who will be watching?. Watch this space next year when NRA gets out of the news business

  12. Ztev:
    {In a tight presidential race in a swing state the NRA.com will influence the voters how. Certainly not like everybody else who buys ads in the media that everybody else listens too. So unless its TV shows are CSI who will be watching?}

    1. No other issue group, because of CFR, can buy ads. The NRA will have no competition other than the regular media.
    2. The NRA will get enormous press for having found a way around CFR.
    3. Given cable TV, might it be possible for the NRA “legal because they’re from a news outlet” shows to take up some of the paid programming time, carefully targeted in key areas?
    4. Then there are the 8 million NRA members that will watch, then spread the information to fellow gun owners, friends, relatives, etc.

    BTW, I don’t think the NRA News will last long either. One way or another CFR will be amended before the next election, and private “news” programs will either be unnecessary or outlawed. Won’t that be an interesting First Amendment moment?

  13. I think that it’s very important that those of us on the left start acting like goddamn howler monkeys about this.

    I realize you *think* you’re being sarcastic…

    The left pretty much acts like “goddamn howler monkeys” about pretty much every political action the NRA takes. I find it hard to believe that a deliberate attempt by the NRA to circumvent “campaign finance reform” won’t be met with screaming and flinging of feces.

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