Monday, July 16, 2012

Some Leftist "own goals" about free speech

I presume that all readers are familiar enough with football to understand what an "own goal" is

When during the run-up to the 2008 election Leftists tried to prevent distibution of a video critical of Hillary Clinton, the case eventually made it to SCOTUS.  A central issue was that the video was made with assistance from corporate funding and the Left wanted that delegitimized.

In what has become known as the "Citizens United" case, however, SCOTUS ruled that a group of people (which is what a company is) have the same free speech rights as individuals, so corporate funding of political campaigns is OK.

Leftists have been fuming about that verdict ever since.  Huge union contributions to political campaigns are  OK but corporate donations are not, apparently. But it was the Left that forced the issue by their censorship campaign. Own goal!

The latest fumarole that has appeared is in the NYT (where else?), where a Harvard professor, BENJAMIN I. SACHS, points out that pension funds often buy corporate stock and that pension money may therefore be supporting political campaigns that the pension contributor disagrees with.  With rather obscure logic, he argues that pensions therefore violate free speech.  I suppose he is arguing that they are some form of forced speech.

There are so many things wrong with his argument with that it is difficult to know where to start (e.g. political contributions would normally be made out of revenue, not out of capital) but let me point out the argument that the good professor is careful NOT to make.  He notes that unions have some restrictions on political uses of their members' dues but is careful not to argue that  pension funds should be barred from investing in corporations.

Why?  Because pension funds buy corporate stock only because they see it as a good investment and if they were barred from such investments they might have to resort to buying things like California government bonds instead.  Good luck with that!

Besides, coporations are big contributors to Green/Left campaigns anyway, so it could be the "free speech rights" of conservative union members that are being denied.  So if the good professor's wishes were translated into some form of action (e.g. a bar on all corporate political donations),  it could well be the Green/Left that loses most, not conservatives.  Own goal.


Bird of Paradise said...

Leftists scum oppose the truth and thats why they want to replace the U.S. CONSTITUTION with UN leftists mandates and regulations

Dean said...

Attempts to shut down corporate spending while allowing unions to donate as much as they want is another example of their 'free speech for me, none for thee' attitude.

If union pension investments are funding causes they don't like - no problem. As a one time American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association member they get no sympathy from me. It's just payback for all the liberal causes unions supported with my money.

Anonymous said...

I realy don't know enough about soccer to be sure, but it seams likely to me that the own goal concept would carry over for those who don't understand American football.

Anonymous said...

Don't understand how US pension funds work.
Surely people can change pension funds to ones whose politics they agree with???

Go Away Bird said...

The UN wants to replace the Constitution with UN treaties

Anonymous said...

Unless any attempt to control all political donations to individuals with one time only payments of a fixed amount succeeds then all donors must be welcome. Anything else is injustice according to the constitution and hopefully the supreme court.