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9.11 investigation

Soft-Money Moves to Censor Documentary Films

Republicrat soft money peddlers are attempting to abuse FEC regulations in order to censor all advertising of Fahrenheit 9/11 and other documentary films.
Republicrat soft money peddlers are attempting to abuse FEC regulations in order to censor all advertising of Fahrenheit 9/11 and other documentary films. Hopefully they will wrap themselves up in such a huge legal can of worms that the case will have to go to the Supreme Court. By that time it will probably be too late - the cat will be out of the bag. Nevertheless, the effort to stop all promotions of anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-Zionism documentaries shows just how desperate the corporate, synarchal globalists are getting. Let them have a real good time catching this cat out of a bag!

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"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. "

 http://www.thehill.com/news/062404/moore.aspx
Campaign Finance 24.Jun.2004 12:38

James

More evidence of the fact that McCain-Feingold is one of the most egregious abuses against the U.S. Constitution in perhaps a decade, eclipsing the USA Patriot Act in illogic and illegality. Campaign finance reform is a pipe dream, a virtual impossibility in a political system which guarantees the freedom to speak one's mind.

If you ban contributions to the individual, the contributions flow to the party. If you ban contributions to the parties, the contributions flow to PACs. If you ban contributions to PACs, the money will flow to media. If you ban politics in media, you've outlawed the most important and protected form of speech in existence.

Worse still, McCain-Feingold is so rediculously vague that noone even knows what is and is not illegal. The inexplicit directives of the law lead to an FEC with dictatorial control over political communications. The FEC, prudently excercising restraint, is threatened with lawsuit by the maniacal McCain.

Here's what the insane McCain had to say about this a couple years back:

"We won't let four unelected members of the FEC undermine the integrity of our campaign finance laws," McCain said in reference to the four commissioners who voted for the regulations.

"These four members are corrupt," McCain added. "Anyone who knowingly or willingly violates their constitutional responsibilities is corrupt."

Republican Commissioner Bradley Smith shot back.

"I don't think it does [McCain] any credit to be so extreme in his language," he said.

"When it comes to campaign finance reform, Sen. McCain doesn't understand what the law is, what his own bill does, and doesn't know what he's talking about," Smith added.

Unfortunately, as Michael Moore might soon find out, none of us knows what the law is, or what McCain's bill does.

Can we get rid of these rediculous campaign finance laws yet?

ridiculous too 24.Jun.2004 13:11

James

old habits die hard.

With Liberty and Justice for Sale. 24.Jun.2004 13:43

Bd

Who says that corruption is not alive and well!

umm... 24.Jun.2004 15:57

this thing here

>Worse still, McCain-Feingold is so rediculously vague that noone even knows what is and is not illegal.<

yes, and why is so vague james? could it be because it so watered down and corrupted by the time it passed, by the greedy fox guarding the hen house politicians and the lobbyists scared shitless that they would lose their best way of undemocratically influencing policy, that in the end it was nothing more than a half assed attempt at something?

i still haven't heard an even a half way decent argument for why, in the political circus of washington, money = free speech, and no money = no free speech.

The right wing is collapsing 24.Jun.2004 16:37

Pravda or Consequences

The neocons are the first to scream about liberty and freedom unless someone else expects those rights too.

You haven't been looking 24.Jun.2004 16:41

James

If you haven't heard the argument yet, you must be purposely avoiding it.

The argument is not that money equals speech. That's just a strawman advanced by the authoritarians who want to shove campaign finance regulations down the country's throat. Rather, the argument is that money is essential to the production and dissemination of speech.

For example, I could say to you (and Michael Moore and Miramax) that Fahrenheit 9/11 is a political communication with the expressed purpose of influencing a federal election, that it is being financed by a large corporation, and that therefore it is a regulated form of speech. No more than $25,000 can be spent on its production and dissemination.

Fair? I mean, money doesn't equal speech right? So Michael Moore shouldn't be allowed to spend more than $25,000 making his movie. Or, certainly, he shouldn't be allowed to spend more than $25,000 advertising his movie. He can say whatever he would like to say, of course. He just can't spend more than $25,000 doing it.

Of course it wouldn't be fair. Michael Moore, and Miramax, should be allowed to spend whatever they like producing the movie -- even if they don't intend to make a profit. If they have something to say, we don't need government to regulate how or when they should say it.

But McCain-Feingold does even that. It prevents most groups from broadcasting and political advertisements within a specific timeframe before a Federal election.

Campaign finance regulations have become so silly, so circuitous, that the National Rifle Association has plans to create a television news network of their own. They intend to create a real news channel with a strong pro-gun bias, with a strong pro-Republican bias, a channel which they do not intend to make a profit, a channel which for all intents and purposes will be a 24-hour a day Republican campaign commercial. They have the plans, and the network would not be regulated by campaign finance law. The news media is specifically exempted from campaign finance regulations under McCain-Feingold.

And how could you regulate it? If the FEC could regulate the content produced by the NRA's news channel, they could regulate the content on Nightline. Ted Koppel would quickly be axed by the Republicans. Too liberal. PBS would be shut down. Too liberal.

What standard could you possibly have to regulate that? Whether or not the media group makes a profit?

The Washington Times is a major daily newspaper in Washington. It's run by the Rev. Moon at a significant loss. The paper has lost millions, it has never made a profit, but it continues to run specifically to advance a conservative Republican agenda. Should that be regulated, too?

Of course not.

We should still enforce limits on contributions to candidates, from whatever source (corporations, individuals, PACs). Beyond that, campaign finance regulation is an impossibility in a country which guarantees freedom of speech. That being the case, we should stop trying, because it only has a chilling effect on valid political discourse.

yes, but... 24.Jun.2004 17:37

this thing here

>We should still enforce limits on contributions to candidates, from whatever source (corporations, individuals, PACs). Beyond that, campaign finance regulation is an impossibility in a country which guarantees freedom of speech.<

beyond that. yes, as in this case. where someone has thought it would be a great idea to use campaign finance and election laws in a situation involving commercial activity as well as free speech. hmm, talk about overstepping jurisdictions...

that being said, i don't blame the intentions behind the mccain-feingold bill for this problem. money has an undue, negative influence in shaping policy. something has to be done. maybe mccain-feingold failed in execution, but not in concept. like i said, as passed the bill was intentionally watered down to be as vague and powerless as it could be. i blame a government system which is incapable of regulating and overseeing itself. the fox cannot guard the hen house.

Campaign finance 24.Jun.2004 21:59

George Bender

It may be impossible to regulate "campaign" finance, as James says, I'm not sure. What would make a lot more sense to me is government financing of campaigns or, better yet, requiring TV stations to give free air time to candidates.


hardly democratic 24.Jun.2004 23:20

jk

Money only buys propoganda campaings from corporations--and buys off all candidates.

If you want actual democracy requires total public funding of all candidates which will bring about a larger realm of ideas without the corporate gatekeeping. I would be for restricting all public video advertising to public television stations as well, where all candidates are allowed equal time. What are they afraid of? This is a restriction on CORPORATE BUYOFFs instead of free speech. Artificial corproations should be disallowed of contributing to 'human' elections. Democracy is about people, instead of corporations.

If James's ideas survive in such a level playing field, fine. However, I am sure they would totally fail under any actual competition at the voting booth and instead will always rely on inequality or brutality to get their 'vision of free speech = money' across. Free speech! Only if you can pay for it, James says. Hardly democratic?

ah, liberty... (a sarcastic ode to so-called "freedom" and "liberty") 25.Jun.2004 00:18

GRINGO STARS

In its infinite wisdom and kindness, our egalitarian system grants the right to finance whatever campaign one wishes with as many millions of dollars as one wants, which is great for all those multimillionaires who were chafing at the cruel restraints against their God-given freedom to buy elections.

And in its infinite wisdom, both the homeless as well as the ultrarich are free to scavenge from dumpsters and become streetwalkers to survive from day to day. Ah, freedom! Sweet liberty! Both the filthy rich magnate as well as the impoverished wanderer are BOTH free to sleep under bridges. Such equality! Such egalitarianism!

All the people in the country are ALL free to spend their billions of dollars (everyone has that, right?) on whatever they choose, damned be the consequences. Money! Freedom! Money! Liberty! Money!

After all, since evry study shows that there is a DIRECT correlation between money spent on campaigns and the voting results, what's the big deal? It's totally fair that if one candidate gets $200,000,000 and another candidate has $400 right? That's pure democracy, correct? Don't restrain the rights and privileges of the ulrawealthy to buy whatever they want, ESPECIALLY when it comes to politics! Free George Bush! Free Bill Clinton! Quit oppressing billionaires!! Freedom!

Well 25.Jun.2004 01:52

James

"After all, since evry study shows that there is a DIRECT correlation between money spent on campaigns and the voting results, what's the big deal?"

Given individual contribution limits, it does make sense, now doesn't it?

I don't think I ever suggested our current system was the most egalitarian possible; clearly a purely publicly financed system would best fit that role. But I've never considered equality whatsoever to be the goal. Rather than equality of means, I favor equality of opportunity.

I'm not worried about George Bush and Bill Clinton, Gringo. Believe it or not, I'm worried about Michael Moore. I'm worried about MoveOn.org. But I'm also worried about the National Rifle Association, the Christian Coalition and General Motors' ability to inform consumers about the economic impacts of political proposals.

Public financing and private financing need not be mututally exclusive; indeed, they're not. Nor is there a need for only a single public financing system. We could have multiple public financing systems with various regulations, regulations on contributions and regulations on spending, with varying levels of financing matching regulations. An optional collection of systems, any combination the heart desires. I'm sure we could come up with a good mix to suit all candidates.

Believe me, I'm not arguing for the status quo. I'm merely arguing against the draconian measures of McCain-Feingold and the current crop of campaign finance laws. They are illegal and they are wrongheaded. They were good-natured, but have made our political system worse. The words 'campaign finance reform' sound good, but the reality of it is a bit more complex than is often let on.