Supply-Siders and Environmentalists vs. the World

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David "Club for Growth" Keating and Carl "Sierra Club" Pope are in the Hill newspaper today, united to oppose any ban on 527 activity.

Hill readers may not realize it, but if you and a few neighbors and friends decide to get together and buy a billboard and newspaper ad criticizing your local congressman's vote on a recent bill, if this bill passes, your small group of community activists may just have become a 527. And those of you who spent more than $5,000 each on the ads might even be facing some prison time for your temerity in appealing to your fellow citizens — even if you were just trying to counter some ads run by Washington special interests who organize under other provisions in the tax code.

Daily Kos agrees; the ACLU doesn't, too.

NEXT: Detention Attention

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  1. The aclu DOES agree…
    http://www.citizensclubforgrowth.org/images/ACLU-527-letter-on-HR-4975.pdf

    Its mentioned both on the club for growth site and the kos post that you linked to

  2. M G beat me to it. The ACLU opposes the ban. They’re on the same side as Kos, the Club for Growth, and the Sierra club.

  3. This is the most important civil rights issue in my lifetime. The heart of a free society is the ability to criticize your government and elected officials at any time for any reason with said officials premission. If you can’t do that, I don’t see how we live in a free society in any meaningful sense of the term.

  4. 527 is bullshit to begin with. Anybody should be able to spend any amount of money, to say anything they want, period.

  5. Head over to mydd to get an example of what happens when CFR doesn’t fulfill its purpose of protecting incumbents

    http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/2/2/153813/3454#commenttop

  6. You are absolutely right Warren. Thanks to our robed overlords at the Supreme Court we now live in a country where virtual child porn is protected speech but critcizing your Congressman or running a newspaper ad in support of his opponent is not. It is just bread and circuses for the masses. Make sure they get their porn and we keep the artists and Hollywood types happy, but God help them if they criticize us.

  7. But, but, but…we have to get the peoplecorruption out of politics!

  8. From Kos, quoting Adam B:

    What I want out of a functioning CFR is an acknowledgement that speech costs money, but that we don’t want the source of that money to distort electoral outcomes. The existing distribution of wealth and success should not determine who gets to win elections by overwhelming citizens’ ability to decide on their own.

    In other words…”What I want are controls…but different controls…you know, controls that make sense…but I want controls…”

    Why people like Adam B don’t see that controls inevitably lead to speech suppression is beyond me. I don’t care how many times they scrap CFR and start over, they’d still end up right where we are now.

  9. The ACLU as an institution officially agrees, but as individuals, they’re…split.

  10. I think what it comes down to is people’s sense of fairness and idea of efficient functioning of democracy. Ideally they would like to have all sides of a policy controversy funded equally, so everyone who is not deliberately paying att’n to it would have an equal chance of hearing all sides, and tend to hear them in the same amount. Not having the ability to impose such a rule, they approach it by making it tricky for people to spend money promoting ideas, in the hope that if some are dissuaded from preenting them, then the remaining discourse will be more closely balanced.

  11. Kos is a fascist little prick. He is only mad because he is afraid the rules might apply to him. He wouldn’t life a finger to ensure anyone who disagrees with him’s rights. In fact I am quite sure that he would be the first one to help deny his opponents free speech rights.

  12. The existing distribution of wealth and success should not determine who gets to win elections by overwhelming citizens’ ability to decide on their own.

    IOW citizens must be led in the correct direction because it’s easy to “overwhelm” their ability do make correct decisions.

    Campaign financing is spent almost exclusively on advertising aimed to influence voters, and it does. But each voter can and does choose which way the ads influence runs. With me a politician’s pro-gun ad will produce the same result as his opponent’s anti-gun ad.

    Ideally they would like to have all sides of a policy controversy funded equally, so everyone who is not deliberately paying att’n to it would have an equal chance of hearing all sides, and tend to hear them in the same amount.

    Won’t work.
    1. No one has time to listen to “all sides” of every political argument. I’m active in pro-gun organizations and have been following the gun control issue since 1968. Even as highly-motivated as I am, I don’t have time to follow “all sides” of even this one issue.
    2. People who aren’t paying attention aren’t going to listen anyway.

    I think what it comes down to is people’s sense of fairness and idea of efficient functioning of democracy.

    “Fairness” and “efficiency” are hallmarks (and the bane of) collectivism. Democracy’s strength lies in it’s inefficiency and it’s accommodation of the fundamental principle that life isn’t fair.

  13. I chuckled most at “distribution of success”.

    So who then “distributed” the success of the DailyKos blog?

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