Get this next one, ladies and gentlemen. We know that Kucinich is out there talking about the Fairness Doctrine. There is an ethics bill, though, before the Senate, and “The ethics bill before the Senate not only cracks down on lawmakers, but also subjects politically active ministers and neighborhood groups to the same rules as K Street lobbyists. Under the legislation, grass-roots organizations that attempt to ‘influence the general public’ to contact members of Congress would have to register as lobbyists and file financial reports — or face a $200,000 fine. The requirements could apply to a preacher who goes on TV or radio and tells listeners to call their congressman in support of a particular issue…” It also requires, ladies and gentlemen, bloggers who have over 500 readers to register as lobbyists and subjects them to the same fine. You know what this is? This is an extension of McCain-Feingold. McCain-Feingold if you want to boil it down to its bare essence, was to penalize people and prevent them from criticizing Congress.
That’s what it was. Of course it’s unconstitutional! McCain-Feingold was a First Amendment violation. But its purpose was to make sure that incumbents were not criticized at certain points prior to elections. This is the same thing. Now, bloggers, ministers and grassroots groups have to register much as lobbyists too, and if they say anything — if they go out there and advocate calling Congress or try to influence opinion — then they can be subject to fines! It’s the Shut Up Bill! It’s: You Can’t Criticize Us. This is your United States Senate saying, “We have just passed, in our ethics bill — the ethics bill designed to limit our ethical abuses — we’re going to include you in it. You can’t criticize us. If you do, you pay.” It’s not just the Fairness Doctrine. It’s all over. These people don’t want to be criticized. They don’t want to have to deal with it. Some of its ideological, but some of it isn’t. Some of it is just the way power, people with power, end up reacting when they become in their own minds all powerful and want to continue to hold onto it and don’t want to be challenged.