Democrats in federal agencies continue the assault on the rights of U.S. citizens by forcing partisan policy through executive actions and regulatory overreach in place of actual legislation or the rule of law. The separation of powers has never been more crucial in our history than it is right now because of the recent regulation trends. As a citizen, regardless of your party affiliation, you should be paying extremely close attention to the Obama administration's continued attempts to circumnavigate and regulate the greatest of all of our freedoms: the freedom of speech.
Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News' sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage.
It is the first time in history that members of the FEC voted to punish a media outlet's debate sponsorship, and it follows several years of Democratic threats against conservative media and websites like the Drudge Report . . .
Thankfully the Republicans disagreed and caused a 3-3 tie, resulting in no fines being levied. Still, it gives reason for pause. Why is encouraging more speech and sharing more information about our candidates a bad thing, on either side? Who truly believes that the government should control press room decisions when there are specifically express exceptions for the press? Most are left scratching their heads attempting to understand what it is the Democrats were hoping to accomplish other than silencing conservative speech, and that is the main point. Republican FEC Commissioner Lee Goodman spoke specifically to that fact in a statement.
Astonishingly, three FEC commissioners (Weintraub, Ravel, Walther) concluded that Fox News violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by making a prohibited corporate contribution to the 7 candidates invited to the debate. That is, by expanding the debate format to a broader group of candidates, Fox News violated the law . . .
Three FEC commissioners (Lee Goodman, Matthew Petersen, Caroline Hunter) blocked this regulatory overreach into newsroom editorial judgments. Commissioners Petersen and Hunter and I voted to free Fox News' editorial judgments from the FEC's regulatory jurisdiction under the Free Press Clause of the Constitution and the Press Exemption in the Federal Election Campaign Act. Congress included in the Act an explicit exemption for the press and we respect Congress' decision.
The Commissioners who blocked the left-leaning fine released a fairly straightforward statement of reasons.
The attempts by the left to silence speech are well documented and continue to proliferate agency by agency. At some point, if all remains constant, the dam will break either through legislation or regulatory overreach. Our rights are being eroded and history shows us that it starts with political speech and ends with complete censorship. Before you know it, the government will be telling us what we can and cannot say about our leaders, levying fines for posting YouTube® videos expressing our thoughts/opinions or sharing our religious beliefs with others on Facebook®. The solution is simple. If you do not agree with a point of view, turn it off, or better yet, simply do not watch it. Political correctness is slowly crippling what is best about our country: the right to disagree and debate varying points of view. Without that right, we cease to be truly free.