Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cost of "Free" Speech: $300.00 per Hr.

Did you think that free speech was protected by the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution? Think again. It would appear that those amendments have gone the way of the 2nd and 10th.
George F. Will in Newsweek
A few people opposed to a ballot initiative that would annex their neighborhood to Parker, Colo., talked to neighbors and purchased lawn signs expressing opposition. So a proponent of annexation got them served with a complaint charging violations of Colorado's campaign-finance law. It demands that when two or more people collaborate to spend more than $200 to influence a ballot initiative, they must disclose the names, addresses and employers of anyone contributing money, open a separate bank account and file regular reports with the government. Then came a subpoena demanding information about any communications that opponents of the initiative had with neighbors concerning the initiative, and the names and addresses of any persons to whom they gave lawn signs. They hired a lawyer. That has become a cost of political speech.

Before any of you consider putting up yard signs in this political season you had better investigate the cost per hour of trial lawyers these days. What next; bumper stickers?


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