Kucinich targets First Amendment rights of energy firm employees 

Evidence continues piling up that contemporary liberal Democrats have but one response to political speech with which they disagree – they seek to use government power to censor it.

The latest example comes from Rep. Dennis “The Menace” Kucinich, D-OH, who has filed an amendment to the DISCLOSE Act being debated today in the House of Representatives to kill the First Amendment political speech rights of employees working for energy firms seeking to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.

Kucinich’s amendment bars all companies that “enter into negotiations for a lease for exploration for development and production of oil and gas under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, during this period… directly or indirectly to make any contributions of money or other things of value, or to promise expressly to impliedly to make any such contribution to any political party, committee, or candidate for public office or to any person for any political purpose, to make any independent expenditure, or to disburse any funds for an electioneering communication.”

Apparently Kucinich has not read the First Amendment, which says “Congress shall make no laws respecting … freedom of speech.”

There is no reference in the Ohio congressman’s amendment text to an exemption of a company backed-political action committee to which employees make voluntary contributions, so it appears we can assume the Kucinich measure would render energy company PACs useless as tools for political expression.

Presumably, Kucinich thought of the amendment in reaction to the BP Gulf oil spill, but in typical big government fashion, he reached for a tool that is guaranteed to harm many more employees and companies than originally intended.

As a Baby Boomer who went to college in the uproarious 1960s, I never dreamed the day would come that it could accurately be said, as it must be said today, that liberal Democrats are the chief advocates of political censorship in contemporary American politics.

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Mark Tapscott

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