Thursday, June 24, 2004

A Democratic Ox Is Gored

The Hill reports that Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11 is running afoul of McCain-Feingold.
Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.

At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore's film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law.

In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC's agenda for today's meeting, the agency's general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.
I'm still outraged about the odious Campaign Finance Laws in this country, including that !@#$%^&* McCain-Feingold. Do those who supported it understand why, now? Michael Moore has the right to buy time to make political points any day of any year. He has the right to mention politicians by name any day of any year. He has the right to pool his money with that of others and they can collectively buy time to do both of those things.

The Congress, the various Presidents, and the Supreme Court have ignored the plain language of the First Amendment to strip us of our rights under the rubric of Campaign Finance Reform.

Thanks to Ara Rubyan for bringing this to my attention. Will you join me in condemning all limits on campaign spending? I am very happy that candidates and organizations are required to use campaign contributions for campaigning. I would consider requiring full disclosure on the source of all campaign funds, provided everyone's privacy rights are also defended. But in general political speech is exactly the sort of speech which must be free.

If the FEC does make an exception for Moore's movie, expect everyone from the Sierra Club to the NRA to start making cheap documentaries for sale and then advertising them during the campaign. If not, maybe some people will wake up and start defending free speech again.