Democrats will do almost anything to shut down or impair the ability of a political opponent to operate. California is where they beta-test these ideas. But sometimes they go too far, and Los Angeles (LA) ordinance 186000 did just that. It prohibited free association with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
LA Democrats wanted to force private business owners and citizens to disclose political donations before they would consider them for city contracts.
Sec. 10.52.1. Disclosure Requirement.
Each Awarding Authority shall require that a Person fully disclose, prior to entering into a contract, all of its and its Subsidiaries’ contracts with or Sponsorships of the NRA.
The city claimed that gun-violence (blah blah blah) was justification for the infringement, but the court did not buy it.
“In this case, the text of the Ordinance, the Ordinance’s legislative history, and the concurrent public statements made by the Ordinance’s primary legislative sponsor evince a strong intent to suppress the speech of the NRA,” Wilson ruled in December. “Even though the Ordinance only forces disclosure of activity that may not be expressive, the clear purpose of the disclosure is to undermine the NRA’s explicitly political speech.”
It sounds clear cut but remember what’s going on here. Your personal support of a candidate or cause is being used to discriminate against you, yes. But it’s worse than that. This mechanism creates an opportunity to subject supporters of political opponents to mob intimidation.
A quick leak to like-minded activists and you are not just discriminating against a business owner but potentially driving them and their resources out of the political jurisdiction if not putting them out of business.
You don’t just make it harder for them to find jobs; you make it impossible for them to generate financial resources or create a culture that might work against the political establishment.
It is insidious and effective is allowed to proceed unchecked.
Federal District Court judge Stephen Wilson has taken a step to slow the tide. He also ordered LA to pay the NRA’s legal costs. A small sum (about $150,000.00) but a large moral victory.
Lawfare is a tactic that rides shotgun for the left and while anti-SLAPP laws help, they do not always apply to ever instance of deliberate infringements or widely specious lawsuits over perceived slights.
New Hampshire, by the way, has no Anti-SLAPP laws. The Public Participation project gives the Granite State an ‘F’ on the matter.
Perhaps we can get a legislator or two to connect with them on how best to add that legal protection to State Statute. Anti-SLAPP laws can help protect you against lawsuits for posting bad reviews or making public statements that result in influencers or powerful people suing into poverty or using lawfare to turn you into a poster child for what happens when you dare to speak up.
I can guarantee you that we need it. Free speech and free association need all the protection it can get.