SB 120 – Money, Speech, and That Which Must Be Inviolably Preserved

by Steve MacDonald

Free Speech FlagCongress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

In the NH Constitution, Part I, Article 22;  Free speech and liberty of the press are essential to the security of freedom in a state: They ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved.

Inviolable: Impregnable to assault or trespass.  Invincible.

Essential to the security of freedom in a state...from?

The proponents of campaign finance reform (Including NH’s SB120) continue to argue that money is not speech, but that is a message none of you would know anything about if someone hadn’t spent the money necessary to ensure you had heard it.

Talk about irony.

Money is speech.

If the press are the speech watchdogs of government, then they have violated every campaign finance law ever conceived.  Free speech is expensive, just ask the producers of TV news programs or the owners of Newspapers that have erected pay-walls to their internet speech.  These massive media and entertainment corporations operate a monopoly on paid speech, free from campaign finance laws, and with a clearly observable bias.

There are exceptions, but not very many.  But in all cases money fuels speech and without the money they are silent.

Money is speech, more now than at any point in history because without it no one will hear your message.

If you refuse to believe that ask any election pundit or campaign observer (or campaign treasurer) why money is one of the single most important metrics in the success of a campaign?  Campaigns look at each other, and speak to potential donors–“look, they’ve got no money.  No one is backing their message.”


So what do you need money for?  To get your message out.  What do you need more money for?  To get the message to as many eyes and ears as there are to see and hear.

That message IS political speech.  The delivery vehicle requires money.  He or she that controls the money controls the message.

Game over?  It should be, but it is not.  We are still forced to deal with bills like SB 120, crafted by those in elected office, passed through the New Hampshire legislature, for the singular purpose of trespassing on speech.  To make law meant to abridge your freedom.  To violate the Inviolable, which part I article 22 insists are essential to the security of freedom in a state. (…)


What is left off the end, not left off but presumed, is the “from who or from what.”  Why do we need that freedom secured?  To protect us from…?

A generation or two (maybe three) ago you could ask almost anyone on the street what the answer was to that question and they could tell you.  These days, though not to this audience, you have to explain it–that and we have liberal lurkers who stopped reading when they saw the words ‘money is speech’ and had to consult their palm card for responses to declarations that “money is speech…” –Y-o-u  a-r-e  a  s-h-i-l-l  f-o-r  t-h-e  K-o-c-h-t-o-p-u-s.

Liberals are so stupid it never occurred to them that millions are spent to make sure they know the correct political comebacks to every argument; yes, someone paid for that speech too.  Union money, Soros Money, Lewis Money, Steyer Money, money-money-money.

But I digress, or do I?

What do we need free speech and a free press to secure our freedom from?  From the government, of course.  From elected officials who would craft bills like SB 120 to introduce shadows of penumbras that inevitably favor those already in power.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a drop in the bucket, a foot in the door, a rung on the ladder, it is a beginning to the end so don’t taze my speech bro.

And they will call it whatever they must (reform?) to convince you that what they propose will not somehow give them or the state some unfair advantage–now or later.  That it will not prevent one single person from daring to speak out about an issue or a candidate.

But how could it not?

Why even propose such legislation, under whatever cover?  If it does not also divest the ruling class of their built-in advantage, their lobbyists, their connections, their contacts in the media (known also –eponymously in this context–as free press), their relationships with other candidates, department heads, the state and national parties, their own personal incomes, anything they have to get their message out, then its sole purpose is to ensure money flows through them so they can control the message, or does not flow at all, so they can control the message.

That is its only purpose and anyone who tells you different is lying or planning to be advantaged by the law should it pass.

The next hearing on SB 120 is this Tuesday, 10:45 – Noon, at the LOB, probably room 308.

And here is Ted Cruz, who spoke recently on the matter and with a great deal of clarity.

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  • Prize to the first to photoshop a caricature of Jeb Bradley into that Jerry Holbert cartoon of the “congressional app store” as the one making it “illegal ti ask that question” 🙂

    • Steve

      What did you give yourself for doing it? Looks good by the way

      • I found a nice gif of Bradley and it was fairly easy – couldn’t resist.
        Got an extra cup of coffee afterwards 😉
        And thanks.

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  • You rightists crack me up.

    Money is speech.

    Funny, I’m not seeing that one in dictionaries.

    I would think the right would be all for equalised voices amongst citizens. One vote, one opinion. Oh, I get it… you aren’t for one citizen, one vote. Silly me. That explains the money. It also explains the endless attempts to cull legitimate voters from registration rolls.

    • granitegrok

      When you have done your homework, when you want an actual discussion, come on back. Money IS the way, for both Left & Right, to purchase the modern equivalent of ye olde soapbox. First Amendment says that speech should not be abridged by the GOVERNMENT and the Founders knew that those in Government would try to limit those pesky Revolutionary pamphletters from using those expensive hand driven presses if given a chance by limiting their money. Same deal today (just that the presses are more varied and more expensive). What good is free speech if it cannot reach its intended audience because Govt restricts the medium by which it is broadcast?
      And anyways, just because someone has the Right to free speech doesn’t mean YOU have to listen to it. Or me, for that matter.
      Equalized – would that be mean a mandatory equality of outcome, you mean? No thanks.
      I want one person, one vote, but ONLY in the one place where they are supposed to vote. We’ve already caught people not doing that.
      I WANT legitimate people to vote – and vote from an informed standpoint of the issues and candidates (and contrary to what you might believe, that holds for someone voting for someone on the Left as well as the Right). So what is so wrong for “culling” voters that have either passed away or moved away?
      I do not wish to have the value of MY citizenship, and its vote, devalued by someone that should not be voting when they shouldn’t – but why are you so happy to allow that?

      • Nope, not the way. The real motivation here is power trying to protect itself. White males control most of it in this country, yet are only 33% of the population. That power would wane absent taking action to preserve it, and that is what you are defending. Time is not on your side. It make take a century, but time isn’t on your side.

    • Steve

      I’m actually for the NH Democrat model of one-citzen, multiple regilstrations in multiple states, multiple domiciles, vote wherever you feel like it, often more than once….wait. No I’m not.

      I’m for legal aliens from Britain voting in Hanvor, NH. Nope Sorry.

      I’m for the employees of the NH AG’s office housing students from Canada who then vote in NH and run off to Virgina the next day. Sorry. That’s not it either.

      That lawyer registerd at the Bar Arkansas, who pracitces law there, and has a home here, who voted absentee from Dem Party Vce Chair Martha Fuller Clark’s house. yeah, I’m for…nope, I’m not.

      How about Americorps workers voting from a non existent address on a dirt road in a state park?

      Wow. There are so many more examples….

      Nelle? Are you suggesting that any one of these was a legitimate resident of NH, entitled to vote for our candidates, and effectively our budgets, taxes, and even laws about political speech? Seriously.

      Sad. Very sad.

      • Nice try. You all keep saying that, but most of the cases of voter fraud are on the right side.

        Bottom line is we need an amendment limiting spending on campaigns and issues. Your voice should not be greater than mine due to money, nor should mine be greater than yours.

        • granitegrok

          GraniteGrok has a much bigger voice than you do – but I also have the server and comm charges to pay to host my “free speech”. Does this mean you would stop our free speech because I pay to distribute it and we get a wider distribution than your’s?
          Look at the unions – they spend 100s of millions to get their speech out; are you willing to stop them too? How about TV stations and their political commentators? Or newspapers and magazines and radio with their commentators – are you of the mind to shut them down too?
          After all, what’s fair is fair, right? If not everyone can “have it” then NO one should have it?

          • Money out of politics. This country won’t survive as the rules now stand. So yes, that would apply to everyone. I don’t believe a blog would fall under such restrictions. It is a passive way to message.

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