Saturday, March 03, 2007

State Democrats Attack First Amendment Rights

To The Editor Of The Day

Now that Democrats have a veto-proof majority in the state legislature, they are moving in for the kill. Democrats not only want to raise taxes and give towns unprecedented power to levy income taxes, they are attacking our First Amendment rights.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, wants to use the constitutionally questionable public-financing laws to coerce candidates into accepting speech codes and submission to a new state censorship committee.

Sen. Williams seems to think it's too exasperating running for re-election with these pesky challengers throwing his and his colleagues' voting record in their faces. Sen. Williams complains some candidates are “misleading” voters. Under Sen. Williams' bill, S.B. No. 547, candidates will have to be careful what they say. Sen. Williams' censorship committee will take claims they make and analyze them for “accuracy.” That is, accuracy according to them.

Candidates, predictably Republican challengers, who run afoul of Sen. Williams' speech code, will be fined. Offenders would see their opponents given extra helpings of public (taxpayer) financing to offset this so-called misleading speech.

Connecticut's newspaper reporters have failed to ask Sen. Williams tough questions about his legislation: How can the committee be objective, for example, given the obvious indebtedness these members would have for the incumbents who appointed them? Wouldn't this committee be naturally inclined to support the incumbent majority and defend its policies? Nor has the liberal media asked Sen. Williams why his censorship committee is needed.

Can't voters separate the lies from the truth on their own, as they have been doing? Nobody likes negative campaigning, but putting up with speech we don't agree with is the price of living in a free society. If Sen. Williams has forgotten that, he has been in office too long.

John R. McCommas

Published on 2/26/2007


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