Killing Free Speech in Illinois

“Good Government” groups seem to have it in for free speech. On the federal level, this has led to the passage of the execrable BCRA nee McCain Feingold law limiting various forms of political expression and especially expending money to distribute your opinions.

Illinois seems to have local forces bent on the same evil ends. Of course it’s all dressed up in nice, nonpartisan language claiming to be a good government initiative. Most of these infringements on free speech sport the language of the little guy standing up to moneyed interests but the reality is that the big guys always do know how to get around any restrictions (see the emergence of once obscure 527 committees into 2004 election powerhouses for a real world example).

Who, in reality gets hit? The small guys who are scared to even open their mouths are the biggest losers. Their more courageous compatriots who can’t afford competent legal help are also unduly burdened in their free speech distribution rights. It’s just a mess for everybody but the guys who can buy exceptions in the law and can hire very good lawyers to work around any restrictions. 

We can already see the mess that is being made at the national level with BCRA/McCain Feingold. We don’t need to replicate it in Illinois. But people will try, yes they will try. For them BCRA’s free speech suppression isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.