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Jan 20

Bozeman Chronicle Prints Headline Suggesting that “Coordinating” One’s Campaign with a Nonprofit Group is “Corruption”

silenced

The First Amendment protects political speech above all other forms of speech.

But in Montana, there is a powerful movement of pro-government voices (not the least of which are the major newspapers) who support ever-more government control over political speech under the guise of “campaign finance regulation.” Montana politicians have been investigated by the government for doing such things as purchasing a ten-dollar domain name without reporting the purchase to the government. See here.

The notion that a politician could be violating the law by merely approving favorable campaigns by independent groups or PACs is a new idea, unknown under First Amendment jurisprudence prior to Buckley v. Valejo in 1976 (and, to a great extent, after).

On January 20, 2016, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle–arguably Montana’s most extreme pro-government newspaper–published the FRONT-PAGE, ABOVE-THE-FOLD headline: “New cache of WTP emails preview arguments in Wittich corruption trial.” See here.

Say what? “Corruption” used to mean bribe-taking, skimming money from public coffers, abusing one’s authority, or using one’s position to hurt people. Things like a government official paying out millions of tax dollars to cover up a police murder just prior to reelection. See here.

Now the government supremacists are pushing to declare that private-sector advocacy groups may not even coordinate their brochures or flyers with candidates they support.

Stay tuned!