The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Dec 17, 2008

Lessons in Freedom

For a country whose founding principle was liberty, it's amazing how often that very principle gets thrown in history's dustbin in the name of some greater good. Sometimes these transgressions are obvious - like rounding up Japanese Americans during World War II. Other times they are more insidious and subtle. Such is the case with most campaign finance and reporting laws.

Wednesday's Albuquerque Journal ran a story about a group of non-profit organizations who are suing the Secretary of State alleging that the state is curtailing their freedom of speech by requiring them to disclose a list of donors to their various organizations. These are the same non-profit organizations whose political activities were called into question by a number of incumbent Democratic officials who were defeated due to these non-profit's unlawful campaign activities (read it here).
Registering with the state would violate their First Amendment rights, states a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

The lawsuit was filed by New Mexico Youth Organized, which is an arm of the Center for Civic Policy; and Southwest Organizing Project.

The groups mailed out glossy fliers to voters earlier this year that cast a negative light on a group of mostly veteran incumbents. All but one legislator was up for re-election, and five of the eight targeted in the fliers were ultimately defeated at the polls.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that money is a form of speech. The donations received by these affiliated non-profit political action committees could be and should be considered an expression of support by those who wrote the checks. The question is - does the State of New Mexico have the legal authority to require registration and the disclosure of the names of these political organizations' benefactors? The Secretary of State and the Attorney General seem to think so.

What concerns us is that should the courts rule in favor of SWOP and NMYO, they would by definition extend rights to non-profit political organizations that the rest of us don't enjoy. Why should a group of political operatives be able to hide their supporters beneath a non-profit corporate shell, when private corporations, grass roots organizations, and individuals are required to register with the state and to report the sources of their funding?

As is often the case, the Southwest Organizing Project and New Mexico Youth Organized are not fighting for free speech they're fighting for extended rights that benefit only their cause. In our opinion, you cannot separate the two. If campaign finance law requires the registration of political organizations and disclosure of donors and assuming that law is indeed constitutional, then it should apply to everyone. If on the other hand, New Mexico law is abridging the free speech rights of non-profit political organizations then it is also abridging the free speech rights of every organization and individual.
Don't even get us going on McCain/Feingold. If you want to know why Republicans stayed home this last election, look no further than this misguided attempt at keeping money out of elections. The result has been some of the most expensive elections in history and the rise of 527s.
(End Sidebar)
Freedom is an all encompassing concept that abhors special exceptions and favoritism. Each of us is guaranteed the right to free speech in all of its forms. Extended freedoms should not be conveyed upon a group simply because they file some paperwork with the IRS. If state law is a violation of anyone's free speech rights, then it's a violation of everyone's free speech rights. A narrow application of liberty is no different than tyranny.


Anonymous said...

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do you care about anyone, for you do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? Show me the tax money.” So they brought him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” And he said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him and went their way.

Matthew 22:15-22

Anonymous said...

Word!!! You are so very true!!! There should be NO favoritism. If the law staess for one thing it should apply to all and not a selected few even if your a Democrat or Republican. There should never be any impariallity in politics. There should be complete disclosure; it gives the impression and or perception that they are trying to hide something illegal.

Anonymous said...

The Heartland Institute, CATO, American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Calvary Chapel , Hoffman Town, Focus on the Family, Americans for Tax Reform, Right to Life, National Rifle Association, the Yankee Institute, the Christian Coalition, the “Moral Majority”….all conservative organizations that spend money attacking politicians and they are non profits.

That means donations are tax deductible and the list of donors is private. Get “think tanks” out of politics and GET THE CHURCH OUT OF POLITICS if you want SWOP out.

Anonymous said...

In a story in The Seattle Times, Chief John Bates of the Border Patrol indicated the policy regarding checkpoints will not change. He stated he wants to keep the lines of communication with the community open. He also believes once residents get used to the Border Patrol’s checkpoints, we will feel they are just fine.

The Border Patrol belongs at the border. There, they can search and detain any individual with probable cause. The checkpoint policy, which stops thousands of individuals on a fishing expedition with no specific target, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. It devalues the American sense of personal freedom so many of our troops have fought to protect.

If an individual is suspected of wrongdoing, the Border Patrol has all the assistance it needs to pursue and capture the individual. The checkpoints do not make us safer, but they do alter the nature of this country we love.

Anonymous said...

My taxes are going up, therefore I think it is time to stop letting the church and other so called charities off the hook. Time to tax all charities. Government can't keep making the same people pay more and more. Time to tax charities.

Anonymous said...

The Greatest Man in History

Had no servants, yet they called Him Master.

Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.

Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.

He had no army, yet kings feared Him.

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.

He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Anonymous said...

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will be made free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Anonymous said...

OMG! The Bible Thumpers have infiltrated the "Eye" RUN!!! We are all doomed.....OOOOhhhh NOOOOooo

Anonymous said...

December 21, 2008 6:59:00 PM MST

Some like to RUN from freedom ... Some of us are still willing to fight for it!

Anonymous said...

merry CHRISTmas! eye!

Anonymous said...

Re: your sidebar,

Republicans didn't stay home because of McCain/Feingold, they stayed home because of the truly staggering degree of incompetence and corruption put on display by the Bush administration and the rest of the GOP over the last seven years. If 527s are so detrimental to the GOP get out the vote effort why was the GOP turnout the largest in history in 2004 when 527s had a much larger presence than they did this year?

Picking the blatantly below-average intelligence Sarah Palin as the VP didn't help either.

Anonymous said...

We've been too quiet on Red Light cams...Nothing like a little civil disobedience to stir thing up:

"I think that speed cameras are the devil's technology that impugn our basic human rights, but Maryland high school students show how they can be used for fun and profit revenge.

Basically, students from Richard Montgomery High School are copying the license plate numbers of their "enemies" ('cause high schoolers lead such vicious, angsty lives) on glossy photo paper in a font that looks just like the one Maryland uses for its license plates. They tape the crappy fake license over their own, and intentionally zip past a stupid speedtrap camera, and a couple days later, their victim receives a ticket in the mail. The really clever little bastards are borrowing cars that are the same model as the one their victim owns.

This should pretty much seal the deal on how speeding cameras are. I mean, the whole program is being effortlessly de-constructed and re-purposed by high school geniuses who call their prank speed camera "pimping." And this is the future of public safety? Right. [The Sentinel via Slashdot]"


Anonymous said...

Can't someone put up some quotes for the Scientologists, the Jehovah Witnesses or the Mormons? After that, maybe we can get some Druids, Wicans and Satanists to represent.

I'm not sure if this site could go downhill any faster than it already is. One can only pray. It is long overdue. Kind of like that whole Second Coming thing.

Anonymous said...

on behalf of the Druids, we are busy bathing in the blood of the holy Oak tree and decifering the mysteries of Stonehenge - leave us out of it.

Talked to an Amish guy to see if he'd comment but alas, no computers... go figure. Strangely they do make computer desks in their furniture workshop/

Anonymous said...

Hahahah-going down a slippery slope-swoosh......there it goes!

Anonymous said...

The Constitution recognizes no professional “police forces” whatsoever—whether attached to the General Government, the States, or Localities—the States treat their “police forces” as independent of and even superior to their (largely nonexistent) Militia, when constitutionally if “police forces” may exist at all they must be specialized units within, and ultimately subject to control by, the Militia.

Anonymous said...

I'd make a couple of points, one to address your essay here and another to a comment that says charities should be taxed.

First, to the latter: The government and the populace at large seems to like the spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy that is so extensive in our society. To the philanthropy itself--i.e. the outright donation of private money--the amount given away to the non-profit sector in this country is staggering. And the direct impacts as well as the ripple effects of the work of those non-profits in the community is profound. It is extremely naive to think that money would be given to that extent if the government did not allow it to be tax deductible. That is the single most important factor that drives private giving in this country. It's a system that has many faults, and you'd probably find that both SWOP and NMYO are as critical of it as anybody.

Back to this specific case, and the notion that SWOP and NMYO are claiming privileges that individuals and others don't enjoy. This is not the case. If individuals and others undertake the same exact project that SWOP and NMYO undertook, they would not be required to register as PACS...because the activities in question were not political. Your inability to actually study the case in detail, and look at the history of the rules and regs governing free speech--going back to the constitution itself--and see this quite surprising. Sort of.