Columbian Urges Supreme Court to Listen to AG McKenna on R-71 Signers

by lewwaters

It’s not very often that we see our local paper, the Columbian promoting or in agreement with a Republican. Usually, if they are, the Republican is either a left-leaning Republican, a RINO or is mistakenly supporting a position that will further the countries rush to socialism.

Such is the case I see in the January 25, 2010 editorial, In Our View, Jan. 25: Identify the Signers, supporting the release of the names, addresses and signatures of all who signed the petition that placed R-71, a citizen referendum to bring the Domestic Partnership law before voters, on last Novembers ballot.

Even before the election was held, gay activists were calling for releasing the names, addresses and signatures of the petition signers to them so they could place the information on searchable web pages, ostensibly to “contact and educate” people who disagree with the gay agenda.

Traditional Marriage Foes Try To Intimidate Washington Voters

A clear example of the intent is displayed by disturbed gay activist, John Bisceglia at Supreme Court Will Hear R-71 Petition Case

Ignoring, or perhaps looking forward to, the intimidation tactics gay activists claim they will be making once they have the signers personal information, the Columbian Editorial says,

“Washingtonians have two Republicans working feverishly to protect the public’s right to know how its government works. Secretary of State Sam Reed has repeated his vow to “defend Washington citizens’ strong desire for transparency, openness and accountability in government, and the public’s belief that our state and local public documents must be available for public inspection.”

“And the man who will lead that defense, literally, is Attorney General Rob McKenna, who will argue the case before the high court. We hope McKenna is as successful in this effort as he was a couple of years ago when he convinced the Supreme Court to approve (by a 7-2 vote) Washington state’s top two primary.”

It is no stretch for me to claim that these are two “Republicans” with a very shaky position in future support with many Republicans in Washington State.

Gay activists twist the intent of anonymity of the signers of petitions to facilitate their intent of intimidation and apparently Columbian editors support that tactic.

Missed by all is the recent partially dissenting opinion issued by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the Court ruling overturning portions of the campaign finance laws. Although Justice Thomas’ opinion isn’t directly addressing the pending R-71 case, his words have relevancy to it. In that 6-page opinion he wrote,

“Congress may not abridge the “right to anonymous speech” based on the “ ‘simple interest in providing voters with additional relevant information,’ ” id., at 276 (quoting McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U. S. 334, 348(1995)).”
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“Some opponents of Proposition 8 compiled this information and created Web sites with maps showing the locations of homes or businesses of Proposition 8 supporters. Many supporters (or their customers) suffered property damage, or threats of physical violence or death, as a result.”
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“The success of such intimidation tactics has apparently spawned a cottage industry that uses forcibly disclosed donor information to pre-empt citizens’ exercise of their First Amendment rights.”
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“These instances of retaliation sufficiently demonstrate why this Court should invalidate mandatory disclosure and reporting requirements. But amici present evidence of yet another reason to do so—the threat of retaliation from elected officials. As amici’s submissions make clear, this threat extends far beyond a single ballot proposition in California.”
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“Irony aside, the Court’s promise that as-applied challenges will adequately protect speech is a hollow assurance. Now more than ever, §§201 and 311 will chill protected speech because—as California voters can attest—‘the advent of the Internet’ enables ‘prompt disclosure of expenditures,’ which ‘provide[s]’ political opponents ‘with the information needed’ to intimidate and retaliate against their foes.”

You needn’t be an attorney or constitutional scholar to see the farsightedness and wisdom in Justice Thomas’ words. Allowing gay activists access to such information to be made available as they wish opens the door to preventing citizen involvement in government.

Democrat, Republican or Independent, once such tactics become acceptable, as they will, what citizen will be able to feel safe exercising their “right to anonymous speech” as what group would refrain from using underhanded tactics used against them?

Whether intentionally or not, the Columbian is actually encouraging LESS citizen involvement in government at a time we see our freedoms and liberties slowly being chipped away.

Strangely silent is the Columbian on identifying legislators that pack bills with earmarks, as they were last year on investigating and revealing any documents on the Brian Baird alleged death threat story, but they wish ordinary citizens who may support an issue they oppose to be given to gay activists for purpose of intimidation.

Should they succeed in threatening citizens from participating in government by such acts of public intimidation, will it be too far away that we will see similar tactics imposed on how we vote?

The Columbian continues to face financial difficulties and such positions designed to take more rights from citizens from will not bring their finances back into the black.

Speculation around the state is that Attorney General Rob McKenna has designs on running for governor in the future.

If he does it may have to be as a Democrat as Republican support for McKenna has been drying up with such positions as this in direct opposition to Republican Party values.

Wake up, citizens. We are being sold a bill of goods in a gilded package that just moves us towards more a socialistic dictatorship.

5 Responses to “Columbian Urges Supreme Court to Listen to AG McKenna on R-71 Signers”

  1. Lew,

    Once again you have brought the truth out in protecting our freedom and letting the Columbian and the Citizens of Clark County know what is going on with the Secretary Of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna. Our right to privacy and our Constituition must be protected and if that is not done by those that are suppose to protect us, then they need to be replaced. We must not settle for anything less!!!

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  2. Both of you have no problem voicing your opinions using your personal names so I am surprised by your comments.

    I always considered a petition as a public statement by the signing individuals; much different from say a concealed weapons permit where you want to be legal with the authorities, but anonymous to others. I would have trouble accepting a petition signed by anonymous signers. It would be not much different than all the multiple names used by some on these blogs – it would be difficult if not impossible to make a reasonable guess at what popular opinion might be.

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  3. Pat, I have no problem voicing my opinion and letting my name be known, that isn’t the issue with this.

    Discouraging citizen involvement by intimidation in government is.

    I’m surprised you could read Justice Thomas’s opinion and the tactics he listed, which are all in the courts records and news reports, and not see this move as a danger to our country and free speech.

    Petitions themselves do have needed information to ensure the person is entitled to even sign it.

    Placing all the information before the public, especially when activists have voiced their intention of why, serves what purpose?

    Their secondary excuses, of ensuring their names weren’t used erroneously, could one day apply to our votes, could they not?

    I am really surprised to see people who staunchly support civil liberties so ready to undermine those civil liberties by sanctioning such intimidation as threatened by gay activists in this.

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