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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Judge: Circumventing Campaign Finance Laws Promotes Free Speech


It's a day late since a federal appeals court quickly stayed Judge Randa's ruling halting the John Doe investigation of illegal campaign activity during Walker's recall, but still worth the note.

Talking Points Memo Excerpt:
Randa wrote that "[m]aximizing the capability" of 501(c)4 organizations -- non-profits sometimes called "dark money" organizations -- maximizes First Amendment political freedoms and "may be the best way, as it has been in the past, to address problems of political corruption."

"The plaintiffs have found a way to circumvent campaign finance laws, and that circumvention should not and cannot be condemned or restricted," Randa wrote. "Instead, it should be recognized as promoting political speech, an activity that is 'ingrained in our culture.'"

Wow. What a mixture of words. So if you're following the rules like most everyone else regarding current campaign finance laws, you're hindering your free speech? It's best to "circumvent" those laws any way you can ...for freedom?

Randa's statements are so bizarre and off the cliff that I had to wonder if there might be some positive underlying message he's trying to convey. That perhaps current campaign finance laws are insufficient to deal with today's communication technologies and dark money orgs in a Citizens United world.

That those laws are not being broken but ingeniously circumvented seems to be Randa's message. Except, a judge's duty is to uphold the laws as they are written, not praise and defend their circumvention ...under any definition. If the laws are that murky, then it could be safe to assume that circumventing their intent is the same as breaking them.

And, if "maximizing the capability ...of dark money is the best way to address problems of political corruption" is not snark but becomes the rule, America is in a real bad bad way.

ADDITIONAL:

Election Law Blog - Breaking: 7th Circuit Issues Stay in Wisconsin John Doe Case

Democurmudgeon - Conservative Activist Court victories accelerate Walker and Big Business Takeover. "So This Is How Liberty Dies ..."

Root River Siren - What Matters And Doesn't Matter About John Doe

1 comment:

Avenall Grivois said...

That's how money works. People just know how to turn everything as long as there's money involved. CFP certification education

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