Thursday, January 15, 2009

What Idiots! (Whoops - that Statement May Be a Class A Misdemeanor on July 1, 2009)

Republican representatives Randy Truitt and Mark Messmer have proposed House Bill No. 1521 in the Indiana General Assembly that among other things, makes it a Class A misdemeanor to "intentionally participate in the preparation, dissemination or broadcast paid political advertising or campaign material, or in the drafting of a letter to the editor, that:
(1) concerns:
(A) the personal or political character or acts of a candidate for nomination or election to a public office; or
(B) the effect of a public question;
(2) is designed or tends:
(A) to elect, injure, promote, or defeat the candidate; or
(B) to promote or defeat the public question; and
(3) contains information or a statement that is false;"

What idiots. This is a violation of the Indiana and United States Constitution. It will mean that television, radio and newspapers will be reluctant to run political campaign ads. It will stifle speech because being charged criminally is never inexpensive or fun even when one is acquitted, and people won't want to take the chance of the standard authoritarian prosecutor filing charges.

IT WILL MAKE IT HARDER FOR CHALLENGERS TO DEFEAT INCUMBENTS! Incumbents have lots of advantages in name recognition, something to offer donors (access to an elected official) etc.

Whoops, maybe Truit and Messmer aren't idiots after all. It is another Incumbent Protection Act.


Matt Wittlief said...

This is beyond outrageous. By the way, I'm following this blog closely now. Thanks for your insights and commitment to public awareness.

Patriot Paul said...

From the sound of it, so much for oped and blunt reporting. I can think of a number of Bill of Right violations. These people must have too much time of their hands.

Anonymous said...

Surely you are not serious. Of course, it was the Indiana legislature that simplied pi. said...

Seems to conflict with truth in advertising.