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Saturday, July 09, 2005

WHEN ARE CONSERVATIVES GOING TO WAKE UP? Washington Judge Rules Talk-Radio Speech is Campaign Contribution, Subject to Regulation

That Big Government is a state of official mind and not just found in Washington, D.C., is seen in a ruling last week by a Washington state county court eviscerating the First Amendment and Talk Radio. Clearly Leviathan can live and thrive at every level of official action.

This ruling is an illustration of exactly what I predicted three years ago would happen as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's upholding of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law's regulation of campaign speech - government regulation of political speech will inevitably expand beyond congressional elections at the federal level. Here's what I said then:

"Because it is impossible to regulate some political speech without regulating all political speech, McCain-Feingold clears the way for ever broader bans and ultimately government regulation of media campaign coverage."

Now Michelle Malkin brings news and links regarding a ruling earlier this week by a Washington state court that comments made by a couple of Talk Radio hosts in Seattle constitute campaign contributions and are thus subject to official regulation.

Michelle gets to the core of the issue by noting:

"The sources of the problem--as political bloggers who've been fighting similar regulatory encroachment battles on the online front know--go higher up than that, of course. Their names rhyme with McGain and Feincold. Looks like talk radio needs a Mike Krempasky and an industry free speech coalition. Quick."

Liberals must choose between their god, Big Government, and freedom of speech. Frankly, I am not optimistic that enough of those people will make the right choice to stop Leviathan's assault on the First Amendment. So the key to the future health of the First Amendment is held by conservatives, who must wake up and make protection of Free Speech a first priority.

This is at least as important as the FEC's assault on bloggers because it has its roots in the same cancer - the presumption of people like John McCain and the rest of the Liberal Establishment that they should have the right to tell the rest of us what we can and cannot speak and hear.


Ryan Sager's latest column in The New York Post has the day's must-read update on the issue. Not surprisingly, government bureaucrats who want higher taxes found a willing ally in the government's courts. Here are Sager's money quotes ... so to speak:

"So why are two talk-radio hosts being harassed by Washington state officials under local campaign-finance laws for their on-air support of an anti-tax ballot initiative?
"And why did a judge back the government attack, ruling that on-air speech can be considered a campaign contribution — which leaves it subject to myriad rules and regulations?
"Because, contrary to the reformers' claims, money is speech, and speech is money. If you set out to regulate one, you will inevitably regulate the other."

Hey, didn't I say that, too, back in the day?