New Hampshire Governor John Lynch Vetoed SB175 this week, a bill that would allow heirs to control the commercial use of a celebrities identity. But I’m not all that interested in the Veto or the bill, I am more…amused…by the hypocrisy in his explanation for it.
The Union Leader reports Governor Lynch as suggesting that this particular bill could have “a chilling effect on legitimate journalistic and expressive works.” That “legislation that could have the impact of restricting free speech must be carefully considered and narrowly tailored?”
Had I been drinking coffee when I read this I would have spit it all over my laptop because this is the same man who two years ago said he was willing to sign HB1459 which would have bureaucratized paid political speech by any business out of existence for fear of failing to properly meet all the requirements before “speaking.”
You’d like to make a public statement about (something) at your companies expense to let them (the State) know why you object. Well, there’s always a form you have to fill out. You need to provide the formal approval of everyone with a vested fiscal interest in the company (stockholders), and the approving vote of the board of directors. You have to identify how much you plan to spend. You’d best be in compliance with all the others laws and statutes or Kathy Sullivan will be filing more complaints with the AG’s office. And you must then submit it all to the pencil pushers at the Secretary of State’s Office and pay a $25.00 filing fee. Yes, there is a fee to speak freely. You must then also wait five days before you can air your position or opinion.
And get this. Third parties could file suit against you if they believed you violated the rules, and the fines were charged based on every occurrence of the…how shall I phrase this…unsanctioned speech. If the bureaucratic hoops didn’t shut you up the threat of fiscal ruin–just to defend yourself–would. It was perfect, if you’re a liberal. Had it passed small business would have been silenced and big business would have just hired more lobbyists.
Democrats love lobbyists. And the bill almost made it to Governor Lynch, who as I pointed out earlier, said he was prepared to sign it.
What was it he said? Oh yes…”legislation that could have the impact of restricting free speech must be carefully considered and narrowly tailored?” Yes. Except when it intimidates tax paying business owners into silence. Tax paying businesses who provide a majority of the states revenue. You just keep quiet about what government does with your money.
It is worth mentioning that the authors of this bit of fascism are former Democrat Party Chair Kathy “Geoff the vote stealer Wetrosky” Sullivan, and a current Democrat candidate for Governor, Maggie Hassan. That’s right business owners and lovers of freedom. A woman who wanted to intimidate taxpaying small business owners into political silence wants to be your next governor. Are you daft enough to think she’d not try it again, or even expand that bureaucratic intimidation to other taxpayers who might want to gripe about the State or its political class and who she would rather keep quiet?
I wrote a follow-up on the subject here (before the November 2010 election) because this idea was (and still is) sitting in a drawer waiting to be unfurled when the right players are in place. And While Governor Lynch will no longer be around to contradict himself, if we do not find ourselves with a Republican Governor before too long the Democrats may try to pass this again. They’ll tell you it is to correct the injustice of the Supreme court overturning most of McCain-Feingold. What they are really doing s trying to centralize the money in the hands of the professional lobbyist class in Concord, the more favorable media, and unions and their manifold of out of state funded left wing”non-partisan” groups while silencing everyone else.
A departing Democrat Governor whose party successfully mislead everyone for years into thinking he was some moderate everyman was bad enough. But “Carefully considered and narrowly tailored”…? And no one challenged him on this?