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.
This 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.