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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 30, 2007 / 12 Iyar, 5767

When Talk Isn't Cheap: Campaign finance regulators say speech isn't free — it's a form of ‘contribution’

By John H. Fund


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Campaign finance laws are increasingly becoming a tool to suppress political speech, and the courts are finally waking up to the danger. Last week a unanimous Washington state Supreme Court struck down an outrageous interpretation of a law that had been used to classify the antitax comments of two Seattle talk-radio hosts as "campaign contributions" subject to regulation — that is, suppression — by local prosecutors and officials who disagreed.


Washington's highest court struck down a decision by Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham, who in 2005 ordered KVI radio hosts John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur had to place a monetary value on "campaign contributions" they made when they argued in favor of Initiative 912, a ballot measure to repeal a 9.5-cent-a-gallon increase in the state's gasoline tax. The antitax measure ultimately lost by 6% of the vote, in part because its opponents outspent its supporters by 20 to 1.


But the "unofficial" support of the measure by talk-show hosts such as Messrs. Carlson and Wilbur, who went so far as to actively tell listeners how they could sign petitions to get I-912 on the ballot, infuriated the self-styled Keep Washington Rolling coalition, which backed the gas tax hike. The coalition convinced a local prosecutor in San Juan County, along with the cities of Kent, Auburn and Seattle, to sue KVI radio demanding that it be brought under the state's campaign finance laws.


In siding with the localities, Judge Wickham insisted he was not restricting speech, merely requiring the reporting of "in kind" contributions to the antitax campaign. But in fact he was equating speech to money, for these "contributions" consisted entirely of speech.


State law bans any entity from contributing more than $5,000 in cash or services within three weeks of an election. As the November 2005 election neared, the state's Public Disclosure Commission warned the group sponsoring Initiative 912 that it faced fines, penalties and civil prosecutions if anyone contributed more than $5,000 — and that Messrs. Carlson and Wilbur could violate the law if they kept talking about Initiative 912 as the election approached. "The idea that I couldn't talk about I-912 in the last 2 1/2 weeks of the campaign, which are the most pivotal, was just outrageous," Mr. Carlson told me.


First Amendment scholars tell me that if the Supreme Court had upheld Judge Wickham's ruling, it would have had a chilling effect on talk and news shows across America. And what would have been next? A judge ordering a newspaper to determine a monetary value for an editorial endorsement? In Parker North, Colo., residents who are fighting an annexation move are being sued merely for putting up yard signs and passing out flyers without registering these "contributions" with state election officials.


Washington's largely liberal Supreme Court agreed that political free speech was jeopardized by the attempt to regulate media outlets under campaign finance laws. Writing in concurrence, Justice Jim Johnson noted, "Today we are confronted with an example of abusive prosecution by several local governments. . . . This litigation was actually for the purpose of restricting or silencing political opponents." The court took the unusual step of sending the case back to the trial court to determine the nature of any constitutional violations the prosecutors who brought the case committed and whether the Initiative 912 supporters have a right to collect attorneys' fee from the local governments who sued them.


Also last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving a Wisconsin pro-life group that ran afoul of McCain-Feingold restrictions on ads run by advocacy groups within 60 days of an election. Court observers believe the oral arguments went well for those challenging the law, and there is cautious optimism the court will pare back its pro-regulatory view of political speech. Certainly, the Supreme Court justices would benefit from a close reading of the Washington state court's decision.


Those in the media who support campaign regulations such as McCain-Feingold, believing that their own free speech is safe, could stand to read the decision too. The zealous pursuit of Messrs. Carlson and Wilbur showed how overreaching government officials can use such laws to intimidate the media into silence. One can only imagine how the media cheerleaders of McCain-Feingold would have reacted if they had been ordered to estimate a value for their all-out efforts to promote the legislation and were then faced with restrictions on their own speech.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor John H. Fund is author, most recently, of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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