Posts tagged ‘Freedom of Speech’

November 13, 2008

Bloggers, Are We Lobbyists?

by lewwaters

washington-sealPerhaps you think that is a silly question, but currently, the Public Disclosure Commission in Washington State is conducting hearings to determine if we should be required to register and file records as lobbyists in the state of Washington.

PDC Document (pdf file)

The first hearing was held November 12, 2008. Mike Reitz, of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation has been covering this here and here.

I know that we who blog on political matters rarely agree and quite often are at extreme odds with each other, but do you think we are lobbyists?

A lobbyist is a person or group who tries to influence public officials, usually for specific groups or legislation who would gain from passing certain pieces of legislation. We seem to have a love/hate relationship with lobbyists, depending on just what official they are trying to influence on what specific piece of legislation.

While we may express our views in support of or opposition to candidates or legislation to the public who chooses to read our blogs, I do not see this as lobbying. I see it as expressing our views as we are entitled to under the First Amendment of our Constitution.

In a way, we supply Op-Eds and Letters to the Editors that escape editing by the local paper or that never get published. Often, we express a view either counter to what has been published or in support. Occasionally we speak out on a subject that should have been published, but wasn’t.

Look upon it as an Internet Soap Box in the park, but in the comfort of our homes.

Of course, we visit each other’s blogs and sometimes, engage each other, supplying lurkers with a reasoned argument, hopefully, that they will not see anywhere else. Sadly, those discussions all too often break down in ad hominem, but we do supply legitimate citizen debate and discussion without censorship, other than what we bloggers do not allow on our sites.

Should this effort by the Public Disclosure Commission succeed, I see this as a direct infringement on not only my free speech, but yours as well. I disagree with the Liberals all too often, but do not advocate their being silenced.

Bloggers, be you Liberal, Moderate or Conservative, we need to stand together on this one and protect our free speech on the Internet. Government should not be allowed to regulate us or silence us by forcing us to register as lobbyists.

Whatever your political views are, we need to flood Olympia with phone calls, letters and emails expressing our disagreement with this effort. It may very well affect all of us, should they pass it.

They meet again on December 4 to discuss this further. Join me in letting them know we will not stand for our free speech to be denied!

June 26, 2008

Letter to Brian Baird RE: The Fairness Doctrine

by lewwaters

Sent June 26, 2008 1:10 AM

Congressman Baird, I write this to you utterly dismayed that America’s Freedom of Speech is threatened by the possibility of reinstatement of the so called “Fairness Doctrine.” I am very disheartened to learn that not one Democrat supports “The Broadcaster Freedom Act,” which only protect America’s Free Speech.

 

At a time when Freedom of Speech protects Racist Groups and those who desire to see America under Anarchy or radical extremism, how is possible that our own government is willing to curtail the Free Speech of those opposing one political view?

 

I understand this is aimed primarily at conservative talk radio, but do we really need to stop American’s from listening to what they desire? I hope not. I would no more support curtailing the free speech of people opposed to my views than I hope you and other Democrats would. Once an essential liberty as free speech is curtailed for one, how long before it is limited for others?

 

I recall when you met with fellow Veterans at the Gathering of Eagles in March 2007 when you said, “I can always find another job, but I cannot find another country.” Those are some of the most profound words I have ever heard from a politician in my life. Will we have the same country if we allow Speaker Pelosi to re-impose the “Fairness Doctrine” and limit free speech of those she disagrees with?

 

That isn’t the America I fought for.

 

I told you when we met at the Memorial Day Commemoration this year at Ft. Vancouver, that although I am a Republican, you have earned my vote. I said that because I find you to be an honest and honorable man who will put partisanship aside.

 

I respectfully urge you to once again put partisanship aside and support “The Broadcaster Freedom Act” and help keep America’s Speech free.

 

Thank You

Lew Waters