John Lott and Bradley Smith examine public disclosure laws, in which donations are used to further an idea, not buy a politician:
“How would you like elections without secret ballots? To most people, this would be absurd. We have secret balloting for obvious reasons. Politics frequently generates hot tempers. People can put up yard signs or wear political buttons if they want. But not everyone feels comfortable making his or her positions public — many worry that their choice might offend or anger someone else. They fear losing their jobs or facing boycotts of their businesses.
And yet the mandatory public disclosure of financial donations to political campaigns in almost every state and at the federal level renders people’s fears and vulnerability all too real.
Proposition 8 — California’s recently passed constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage by ensuring that marriage in that state remains between a man and a woman — is a dramatic case in point. Its passage has generated retaliation against those who supported it, once their financial support was made public and put online.
For example, when it was discovered that Scott Eckern, director of the nonprofit California Musical Theater in Sacramento, had given $1,000 to Yes on 8, the theater was deluged with criticism from prominent artists. Mr. Eckern was forced to resign.”
That’s pure McCarthyite Blacklisting. Prop. 8 malcontents have decided to attack individual voters rather than battle ideas. This, incidentally, is what union elections will be like if Democrats pass their “Hey, I Know; Let’s Coerce Workers into Joining the Union!”-Act.
When California’s judges hijacked the Consent of the Governed, they fenced their ill-gotten gains at the Liberal Establishment Pawn Shop. The voters then duly-deputized themselves to recover their stolen property. And now Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown has broken both his word and his oath, and will oppose the citizens and side with the thieves.
The story is not that 30 out of 30 states have passed these amendments. The story is this: It is an ourage that citizens have been forced to protect their right to self-government from the constitutional crime-wave that is sweeping their judiciaries by passing these amendments in the first place.
Here is Matt Labash’s gritty, fascinating and frankly disturbing must-read article on Detroit:
Those in Detroit who are neither recipients of sweetheart contracts or Kilpatrick family members on the city payroll at inflated salaries think he got off easy. Because what led to the perjury was concealing an $8.4 million payout from city coffers to settle a whistleblower suit brought by cops who’d been fired for investigating, among other things, the murder of a stripper named Strawberry who, prior to her death, was allegedly beat up by Kilpatrick’s wife when she caught her entertaining her husband. […]
How bad is Detroit? It once gave the keys to the city to Saddam Hussein. Over the last several years, it has ranked as the most murderous city, the poorest city, the most segregated city, as the city with the highest auto-insurance rates, with the bleakest outlook for workers in their 20s and 30s, and as the place with the most heart attacks, slowest income growth, and fewest sunny days. It is a city without a single national grocery store chain. It has been deemed the most stressful metropolitan area in America. Likewise, it has ranked last in numerous studies: in new employment growth, in environmental indicators, in the rate of immunization of 2-year-olds, and, among big cities, in the number of high school or college graduates.
Men’s Fitness magazine christened Detroit America’s fattest city, while Men’s Health called it America’s sexual disease capital. Should the editors of these two metrosexual magazines be concerned for their safety after slagging the citizens of a city which has won the “most dangerous” title for five of the last ten years? Probably not: 47 percent of Detroit adults are functionally illiterate.
After that, you’ll probably need a laugh, so here’s Dave Barry’s Year in Review:
Finally, in what some economists see as a troubling sign, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac invest $12.7 billion in Powerball tickets.
Tensions run high in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, which all the experts agree is extremely crucial. Barack Obama gets into trouble with rural voters for saying that rural Americans are “bitter” and “cling to guns or religion.” Responding to charges that this statement is elitist, Obama responds: “You are getting sleepy. Very sleepy.”
The economic news is also gloomy for the U.S. automotive industry, where General Motors, in a legally questionable move aimed at boosting its sagging car sales, comes out with a new model called “The Chevrolet Toyota.”