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Conservatives Beware: The Speech Police Are Coming For You


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conservatives-beware-the-speech-police-are-coming-for-youThe Federalist:

Imagine this: Amidst a close election, a partisan government lawyer with questionable authority investigates a conservative nonprofit supporting a political candidate. The government theorizes the candidate and organization are communicating too much—”coordinating” in legal parlance. A court eventually exonerates the group finding the government’s theory onerous. But it does so only after a years-long investigation that clouds the group’s operations, impedes its fundraising efforts, and ultimately negates its ability to influence voters during the election.


The above scenario indeed happened. But it was not, as the reader may suspect, the recently terminated ‘John Doe‘ investigation, which targeted Wisconsin Club for Growth–as well as other organizations–for supporting Scott Walker during his recall election. The nonprofit was the Christian Coalition, the candidate was George H. W. Bush, and the government lawyer was then-Federal Election Commission enforcement chief Lois Lerner.


What We Can Learn from Wisconsin

Jim Bopp, the Christian Coalition’s lawyer, detailed the government harassment in a 1999 article. The FEC demanded over 100,000 pages of documents, with harassment of all 49 Coalition state-affiliates stretching back years before any alleged improprieties occurred. The collected documents included sensitive information about donors and lobbying strategies. The FEC also deposed almost 50 people from the Coalition and Bush’s campaign, including the former President himself. The defeat hardly harmed Lerner’s standing, however. Shortly thereafter she became the FEC’s acting general counsel before absconding to the IRS in 2001.Scissors-32x32.png

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