Freedom battles tyranny across the globe, with the right to speak out politically essential for freedom to prevail.
A decision handed down this week by U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa, in a case brought by Eric O’Keefe and Wisconsin Club for Growth, inspires much hope to protect speech and prevent tyranny here in America.
O’Keefe, the group and “all or nearly all right-of-center groups and individuals in Wisconsin who engaged in issue advocacy from 2010 to the present” were targeted by the Milwaukee County District Attorney and others in a bizarre, secretive politically-motivated criminal investigation. Armed agents raided homes at dawn, seizing computers, mailing lists, files, etc.
O’Keefe and conservative state leaders were then slapped with subpoenas (demanding all their documents) and a gag order. This effectively silenced them from talking about the investigation. Under the circumstances, these groups found themselves unable to raise funds or engage in political activity since.
The thrust of the case against them was the mere assertion that spending on TV ads about collective bargaining or other issues was campaign spending for Governor Scott Walker. Judge Randa found no evidence of express advocacy for Walker and, therefore, no lawful basis for the outrageous persecution.
“The plaintiffs have been shut out of the political process merely by association with conservative politicians,” his decision read, adding a warning that, historically, “attempts to purify the public square lead to places like the Guillotine and the Gulag.”
O’Keefe’s Wisconsin Club for Growth spends what some call “dark money” — donors are not disclosed — but the judge explained that our constitutional system cherishes and protects the free discussion of political ideas by groups like O’Keefe’s as possibly “the best way . . . to address problems of political corruption.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.