Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) will today introduce legislation to curb the First Amendment rights of for-profit corporations that were recognized and restored (along with those of unions, nonprofit organizations, and other forms of association) in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
One thing should probably be noted upfront – while most of the self-anointed campaign finance ‘reform’ community engage in verbal gymnastics worthy of Mary Lou Retton to avoid sounding like they want to silence certain voices in the political process, Congressman Michael Capuano is refreshingly straightforward on this subject. During hearings for the thankfully-failed DISCLOSE Act last year, Capuano had the following to say about the chilling effect the bill would have on speech:
“I hope it chills out all-not one side, all sides! I have no problem whatsoever keeping everybody out. If I could keep all outside entities out, I would.”
While Representative Capuano’s commitment to the First Amendment may be suspect, his honesty on the subject is not.
The so-called “Shareholder Protection Act” is less forthright, although it isn’t hard to discern what the intent is.