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By Corinthian Scales, Section News
Ruth is perhaps the only person I will be voting for this fall.
SB636 and SB661 are on the hidden agenda this week before the end of the legislative session.
Passed in the Michigan State Senate, yet not showing on the calendar in the house, both bills are expected to be taken up this week. It is unclear if it will be tomorrow, or Thursday.
Senate Bill 636 appears to allow the withdrawal of wired phone services after three years to certain areas under new relaxed rules. The majority of senior citizens in Michigan still rely on wired services, and many use services not available without expensive changeovers. Personally, I would save on at least one phone bill, but the unreliable nature of wireless services is a concern, and the long term radio pollution potential on our health is unknown.
Senate Bill 661 is something we have discussed before. If the MiGOP really wants to alienate the folks who brought it home in 2010, they will encourage its passage due to ONE particular provision regarding the allowing of primary involvement with caucus money. The other issue; that of transparency, begets the question: "Does the end justify the means?"
If it matters to you, you know the drill.
(3 comments) Comments >>
By JGillman, Section News
Folks at The Mackinac Center and I will nearly NEVER disagree.
Particularly on issues of such magnitude as transparency or government influence in our daily lives. Yet a presumed difference between private and government monetary involvement on any issue seems to be enough to persuade its scholars that transparency is not an absolute. Where government monies are spent it seems, is far more important to your freedoms than that which is expended to influence those expenditures or other acts. And that personal monies expended to influence government are not necessarily an impact on any personal liberties to warrant a demand for transparency.
We DO agree that limits should be removed from campaign finance. We agree that limiting to an arbitrary amount can impede free speech and political expression. What is considered a fair contribution into the process is a completely subjective matter that can only be resolved by the person who is willing to contribute into that process. A person's individual priorities and where a subject reaches a level of importance are hardly the providence of external assignment.
Thus the most accurate manner in which to protect what is a sovereign right is to allow, nay, PROTECT, that person's ability to engage in the process at a level appropriate to that person alone. Our place, and that of government should be to prevent that which would infringe on such activity and instead encourage a stake in the game.
In other words, if an individual wishes to personally expend $1 Million on a county commission race for a friend, there should be no objection from government. If it was to advocate bonding for a new swimming pool in a community, that money expended by itself guarantees no votes, and it is that person's right to seek such approvals.
And anyhow, some things can be overdone.
Go below the fold for more.
(2 comments, 1192 words in story) Full Story
Bottom line in the argument over transparency and advocacy financing is that government has too much power over our lives.
The financing by shadow entities wouldn't matter a whit if the negative effect on our personal liberties by government action wasn't a risk. Isn't that the truly scary thing, that someone could literally buy an effect on your freedom, promote higher taxes for corporate, or individual welfare, advocate laws stealing property rights, or elect someone to see that you pay for another person's healthcare and personal 'choices?' (abortion, body mutilation, tatoos, sexual deviancy, etc.)
If we could stop such things as MEDC or other subsidy programming, complete streets, pure Michigan taxpayer subsidized cronyism, unchecked welfare, forced medical issues, controls on private business, and apply free market principles along with a consumption based (fair tax) revenue system, it wouldn't be so important to have great amounts of money spent to drive opinion. The need for some 'free speech' anonymity would be reduced or eliminated,
.. and the argument made moot.
I want to know who is coming for our liberty, and would like to celebrate those who would keep us free. I want to know who is attempting to cage us in and applaud those tearing down the walls. It would be nice to have a motivational perspective on why any issue is important enough to spend massive amounts of money to promote.
In the end, SB661 will pass. The house will possibly restore the struck out lines that allow funding from political party sources in contested primaries as a compromise. What I would like to see will not happen. Government is probably recognized appropriately as having too much power by enough legislators to stop it its passage, but it won't happen. Some of those who agree with my view on transparency will still vote for it because they will be convinced that power of government can be turned on those (perhaps appropriately) who would challenge its subjective benevolence all too easily.
Frankly, we need to concentrate on replacing a governor who embraces all of the above BAD things with a true Conservative Republican, and this has taken too much time.
In the discussion of reporting finance participation, a particular quote will be used often.
"Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority."Taken from none other than - Justice John Paul Stevens.
A legitimate perspective, .. to a degree.
Arguing with the pseudonyms "Publius" and "the Federal Farmer" James Madison John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton raised awareness to the design, purpose, and intent of the new Republic in the federalist papers. Ideas cast back and forth, laying the groundwork for proper historical perspective from identities only revealed years later. Arguing as I have, and using the federalist papers for reference, and guidance to what was meant in certain cases of constitutional debate, I could hardly be one to deny their importance.
However, the anonymous nature of that exchange, hardly stands as justification for powerful advocacy remaining out of the sunlight in our current political climate. Neither does a claim that free speech rendered anonymously must be protected as anything more than free speech. Under certain conditions, it becomes more than simply opinion, and is affective on others.
Consider the writings of the federalist papers.
By going below the fold for more
(1025 words in story) Full Story
Laugh of the day.
From Its Just Politics:
"Finally, just to make all of this a little more high school: both sides say Governor Rick Snyder told them he's on their side. But the Governor's spokeswoman responded that that's not quite true; says he likes transparency, but he also supports free speech."Because speech is not free when its transparent?
Oh, and as for Ruth in 2014? They ask the question:
"Will Ruth Johnson pay a political price for her stance on disclosure? To seek reelection, she has to be nominated next year at a Republican convention. How will GOP delegates respond to this sort of renegade behavior?"If ANY Republican elites even suggested such a move, She would be well served to take her momentum that much more forward and shoot for Guv, where Mr 36% is extremely vulnerable.
It would be a far better state for it.
(1 comment) Comments >>
By JGillman, Section News
Here hoping that Michigan State Representatives don't forget it when it gets to them.
A recent in-box treat from the "Michigan Freedom Fund" declares a victory in the name of free speech. The release says:
"LANSING, November 14, 2013 - Michigan Freedom Fund President Greg McNeilly today released the following statement after Senate Bill 661 passed 20-18 in the Senate:But what was this good thing that was done?
Ruth Johnson apparently triggered a legislative action with a recent press release and intent on expanding reporting by shadow groups.
" LANSING, Mich. - Saying the public has a right to know who is behind some of the most negative advertising in political campaigning, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today proposed a sweeping new disclosure rule.Transparency, we support frankly. As usual, McNeilly is off the mark because he didn't tell the whole story.
Go below the fold.
(2 comments, 1145 words in story) Full Story
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