From now till the election, I will bring you “Reasons Why” Kent Conrad and/or Earl Pomeroy do not represent North Dakotans, American Ideals, or Freedom in general.
We begin our series by focusing on HR 1606, “The Online Freedom of Speech Act.”
This bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling [R-TX], dealt with the FEC’s interpretations of the term “public communications” within the McCain-Feingold law. Congress identified a large number of mass media that, as “public communications,” would be subject to McCain-Feingold’s many restrictions – including broadcast, cable and satellite communications, newspapers, magazines, mass mailings, telephone banks – even “outdoor advertising facilities” are mentioned. The bottom line is that virtually every type of mass media in America was identified by Congress in the statute, except for one: the Internet.
Matt Mechtel, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from North Dakota, told me via email: “The restrictions put in place by McCain Feingold have been disastrous for challenger races of either party. The bill has effectively locked the average citizen out of the political process, allowing only Millionaires to run for office against incumbents.”
Earl Pomeroy voted against this measure; as did 76% of Democrats; with 82% of Republicans voting in favor. Even though Rep. Frederick Boucher [D-VA], Rep. John Conyers [D-MI], and Rep. Timothy Ryan [D-OH] were full co-sponsors; Congressman Pomeroy still decided to tow the party line.
Regarding Pomeroy’s vote, Mechtel had this to say: “The fact that my opposition wants to tighten the stranglehold on free speech with these regulations shows his inability to distinguish what is truly the best interest of the people of this state. It seems curious that congress has no problem controlling what their challengers might say or print about them.”
Opposition to the bill was based in a belief contention that the bill, if passed, would open the floodgates to unlimited corporate and union money being spent on Internet activities to benefit federal candidates and in coordination with federal candidates. One specific charge is that the Hensarling bill, if passed, would allow federal candidates to coordinate with corporations and unions to spend soft money funds to purchase Internet banner and video ads on behalf of candidates.
The full text of the bill can be found here, but the simple fact of the matter is that Earl Pomeroy does not respect the 1st Amendment of the Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The McCain-Feingold law was a regulation on the 1st Amendment, but even it left out the internet as being regulated. Representatives like Pomeroy had to go farther in regulating our liberties.
Reason #1 Why Earl Pomeroy doesn’t represent North Dakotans – he supports limitations on Constitutional Protected rights. Even worse, he supports using his power as a sitting Congressman to prop himself up as an incumbent.