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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