Connecticut is punishing 16 Republican legislators for criticizing the governor, in the name of “clean campaigns”
So-called “campaign finance reform” is all about one thing – making it illegal to criticize government.
For proof, you need look no further than Connecticut, where their “clean campaign” public funding regime is being used to wage a dirty war against the Governor’s critics.
The government is punishing 16 Republican state legislators for criticizing liberal Democrat Governor Daniel Malloy by name.
According to the state, since their political campaigns receive public funds, they cannot engage in speech that is unapproved by the government.
And there’s nothing more unapproved by government than criticism.
The Daily Signal reports:
Connecticut is one of at least three states that have a “clean campaign” system, in which a candidate collects very small donations of $5 from a large pool of people to qualify for a near fully-funded campaign by the taxpayer. In all, 13 states have some form of public financing for state elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
However, the enforcement action taken by the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission, or SEEC, against 16 Republican candidates—including state Sen. Joe Markley and state Rep. Rob Sampson—could be unprecedented, some national observers said.
The state’s sanction against the legislative candidates was for mentioning Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, a Democrat, by name in mailings that referenced “Malloy’s bad policies” and “Malloy’s tax hike” for their own races in 2014, when Malloy was also on the ballot. The lawmakers used similar reference in campaign literature this year and in 2012, but face no sanction because Malloy appeared on the 2014 ballot.
The move to criminalize dissent is the end goal of so-called “campaign finance reform”, which routinely stacks the deck against candidates not backed by labor unions or taxpayer funds.
“A government that funds speech will seek to control that speech,” Center for Competitive Political president David Keating tells the Signal. “Bureaucrats who control the funding will try to penalize candidates for trivial violations.”
The state will hear the case against the 16 legislators in September. Their attorneys plan to challenge the fines on constitutional grounds.
If the fines are upheld, it could mark the start of a new front in liberalism’s war on dissent.