Beware the unintended consequence of shallow thinking.
They might oppose a millage, pass out literature and information about proposed spending by their local governments. Some might simply try to engage their neighbors in a campaign process through simple means. They might try to encourage certain priorities as well, and may do so by only spending a few bucks at the local copy mart.
All of this free speech is protected, right? In fact, such expression is legally permissible without a legal regimen, allowing up to $1000 to be spent currently. Candidates for public office, as well as ballot advocacy groups can opt out of reporting requirements if they do not reach that $1000 spending threshold.
However, as long as there are men occupying government, this too can change.
2016 Senate Bill 841: Repeal low-spending exemption to comprehensive campaign finance regulatory regime was Introduced by Sen. David Knezek (D) on March 3, 2016,
to repeal an exemption from state campaign finance reporting mandates that applies to political campaigns that raise and spend $1,000 or less. The bill would have the effect of imposing the full state campaign finance regulatory regime on any individuals or citizen groups who wish to organize small scale campaign activities.
H/T to Rose Bogaert on this. She writes:
” The only purpose that this legislation can serve is to make it harder for citizens to inform the public. We are already paying government to tell their side. Unless they have made a drastic change in the software they use for campaign reporting it is a lot of nonsense for tracking and perhaps harassing those who may not agree with the administration or unions.
They just past a law and had to change it because it did not allow government to inform the public after sixty days prior to the election. That was insanity. They changed it to not allow any indication of how to vote on an issue. That was the old law just not enforced. This bill is just another attempt to limit the information to the voters.
She is right.
And I wonder if such advocacy would be tested in the free speech of bloggers, opposing such things as road proposals, medicaid expansion, and simply professing an opinion of favorability for a candidate in such a venue?
In any event, the arguing for full and complete transparency this must be based upon is near sighted and imprudent. The very nature of casual activism and participation would be diminished as cheap-to-free engagement in any political endeavor becomes chilled with a new regulatory process never before experienced.
Take Rose’s advice. Make a contact or two.
Senate Elections and Government Reform Committee
David Robertson (R) Committee Chair, 14th District
Patrick Colbeck (R) Vice Chair, 7th District
Judy K Emmons (R) 33rd District
Mike Shirkey (R) 16th District
Morris W Hood III (D) Minority Vice Chair, 3rd District
Committee Clerk | 517-373-1721
Please Call them and tell them to vote NO!
This kind of nonsense is right up there with registering ‘journalists’