SB 0120 – Bride of HB 1704 (2012) Political Speech For The Privelaged Few Makes A Come-Back

by Steve MacDonald

Free speech under assault againSB 0120, sponsored by three New Hampshire Senate Republicans, a House Republican and a House Democrat, is nothing more than the free speech killing bride of the amendment to HB1704 proposed last year.

It is the same language, placing the same similarly complex, overly demanding, ambiguous bureaucratic horse collar on political speech, which last May prompted me to ask…

How does one define the “value” of the ‘distribution’ of the speech for the purpose of determining the need for compliance, and therefore registration; and then jumping through hoops to exercise your right to free speech? 

(and) Using the internet as an example, how do we prevent lawsuit-filing opponents from manufacturing complaints of violations–simply to intimidate or stifle speech by ensuring it (that speech) never happens…

That was just the beginning of the problems with HB1704, all of which have been reincarnated in SB0120. So let’s get this out of the way right now.    I don’t care what ‘good’ you think you will be doing by sponsoring, supporting, or passing this bill.  It will, intentionally or not, silence political speech and I can’t believe you can think yourselves Republicans while doing it.

We should call it “Clueless in Concord 3.”   The Sullivan/Hassan effort was episode one HB1459- 2010 was it?  The amendment to HB1704 was episode two.  And we’re back again with SB 0120.

Are you people so disconnected from the real world that you would willingly stifle free speech just so you can pretend that it will make your next campaign journey just a tiny bit easier?   All you are doing is using the police state to intimidate people from engaging in free speech.  Free and Speech, will be hardest hit.

A large number of citizens will not risk engaging in political speech for fear of the legal or financial repercussions–because most of us cannot afford the cost or time needed to go to court just to defend our innocence.  It will be easier to stay silent than risk it.

And who does that help?  It could muzzle all but the most well financed or politically adept, limiting speech to an elite class of organizations and professional aristocrats who can hire lawyers or experts to help them navigate either side of participating in what used to be called free speech.

Professional political machines and well-connected politicians will use the law to silence any and all political dissent if they think they can, and will do so when it matters most–when people are actually paying attention.

The left leaning press will continue to get a free pass while the predominantly right wing “new media” will likely shrink or suffer in silence.

And has it occurred to you “republicans” that the left in New Hampshire consistently has more money and more groups to fund with it, who will still freely engage in speech (against you) while using ample  resources to find potential violators to sacrifice as fresh lambs for the intimidation slaughter?

Now you might want to pretend that I am overstating the problem, but am I?  Who among you seriously believes that the Democrat party won’t use this law, in all its bureaucratic wonder, to their maximum advantage?  Who believes that Republicans won’t do the same thing?  And who cares who uses what against who?

If this legislation prevents even one person from engaging in their constitutional right to free political speech because they are not sure if they can speak without running afoul of it, regardless of their message, that is one person too many.  It is too much to risk.

If that doesn’t matter to you, then you are an enemy of free speech and a tyrant.

You are reading  “SB 0120 – Bride of HB 1704 (2012) Political Speech For The Privelaged Few Makes A Come-Back”   by  Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com (Home)

 

Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012

Steve Mac Donald has been recognized as the AFP December Blogger of the month

 

 

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