Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Citizens: Speech, no consequences”

I have just written this oped for Politico.  It begins:

You’ve got to feel bad for the rich and powerful in America. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a variety of big business groups say if Congress goes back to letting the American people know who is behind campaign attack ads, businesses will face the “palpable” threat of “retaliation” and “reprisals.”

Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith warns in The Wall Street Journal that boycotts based on political beliefs — made possible by the public disclosure of campaign finance data — “endanger the very commerce that enriches us all.” Even the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, apparently is being “intimidated” (Kathleen Parker), “pressured” (George Will) and “threatened” (Rick Garnett) by that most powerful force in America (law professor and New Republic legal editor) Jeffrey Rosen.

On the right these days, the rhetoric is all about a liberal siege. Despite Republicans’ majority in the House, its filibuster power in the Senate, a sympathetic Supreme Court and the great power of business groups — the language of threats is pervasive. But look beyond the rhetoric and you can see what’s really going on: Those with power want to wield it without being accountable for their actions.


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“FEC Deadlocks on Candidate’s Request To Rule on His Plumbing Company’s Ads”

Bloomberg BNA: “The Federal Election Commission deadlocked late May 30 on an advisory opinion request asking whether FEC reporting and disclaimer rules regarding “electioneering communications” apply to ads for a congressional candidate’s plumbing company….The deadlock over the Mullin AO indicated that the FEC may have trouble providing guidance to the regulated political community following the recent court actions that beefed up reporting requirements for electioneering communications.”

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