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Thursday, February 15, 2007

 

"Issue Ads"

The supreme court is deciding a case that deals with campaign ads and their rules. In the 2004 campaign there were three ads run by "Wisconsin right to Life" that did not adhere to funding rules. Ads funded by businesses, labor unions, and other groups -- can be banned 60 days before a general election, and 30 days before a primary. Issue ads cannot mention any candidates or party affiliations. The ads asked people to call specific senators and support certain ideas. The basis for these rules is the campaign finance reform laws from congress.

The appellate court acknowledged the entities first right amendment to free speech, but maintained that the Campaign Finance Reform laws were constitutional. the supreme court will rule whether or not these specific ads apply to the rules. I do not believe that they will overturn the laws set forth by congress.

My reading of the powers of Congress does not suggest to me that they have the power to make laws relating to campaign finance reform. The organization used its right to free speech and spent the money on the ads. The message of the ads are not directly causing harm to anyone. The government is attempting to regulate trade in this industry. The organization is willing to buy the ad space and the tv/radio companies are willing to sell it. The government is not protecting the liberties of these individuals.

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