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May 9, 201411:02 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Blaska engages in blatant issue advocacy — the issue being free speech

(page 1 of 2)

Spring is finally here. The indentured servants at the Blaska Experimental Work Farm are harvesting the asparagus, singing simple peasant songs as they work — mainly stadium anthems from Journey, Kansas, and Queen. It is their right as Americans to express themselves, thanks to Judge Randa, so long as their expression does not deny others a right to speak also. (Time, Place, and Manner.)

Reacting to O’Keefe and Club for Growth v. Schmitz, et al., the normally levelheaded Greg Humphrey writes, “Issue advocacy is not a healthy part of our political process …”

Yet, is that not what he does on his blog (written under a pseudonym), what I do on my blog, what The New York Times and MSNBC do daily? Advocate for issues?

The Progressive sees “Judicial Hijinks in Effort to Kill Walker Criminal Probe and Destroy Evidence” but finds no irony in citing the First Amendment in defense of a journalist refusing to disclose his sources. (Doing so would restrain the flow of information, is the argument.) You got to wonder if the “evidence” seized in the secret Club for Growth et al. investigation included a pocketbook copy of the Constitution. (Exhibit A.)

Other liberal speakers (exercising their rights) have criticized a federal judge for stopping a state criminal prosecution. But as Judge Randa himself said, the constitutional right of speech trumps all. Schmitz, Chisholm, and the other Javert-like prosecutors were not trying to stop an imminent act of terrorism, break up a heroin ring, ferret out a defrauder of widows, or capture a murderer. Their purpose was to criminalize coordination of speech — in other words, to prevent citizens operating in the political sphere from talking to each other!

Citing two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, Randa wrote:

… the constitutional rights each citizen possesses that are superior to the operation of government. One of these rights is the First Amendment right to speak freely, which ― has its fullest and most urgent application precisely to the conduct of campaigns for political office. The First Amendment is premised on mistrust of governmental power.

By its involvement in this scandal, the state Government Accountability Board has sealed its fate. The Legislature will attend to GAB soon. It will be reduced to running elections, not regulating campaigns. May freedom ring!

A month ago I asked readers to vote for the Madison opinion leader least likely to come to the defense of free speech. Shown below are the results.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
May 9, 2014 01:08 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The poll results are obviously skewed as Blaska, Sykes, Belling, Schneider, et al are not included.

May 9, 2014 03:50 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I'm a defender of the First Amendment. It says so right on my ACLU membership card, which I carry everywhere I go. I'm proud of it, even if I'm not proud of the type of speech it protects, such as the Koch Brothers efforts to dissuade young people from signing up for healthcare under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare, a label tacked on by conservatives exercising their free speech rights and so catchy that Obama adopted it himself).

It's kind of hard to keep insisting that the liberals are out to take your free speech and guns away when exactly nobody stood in the way of the Kochs financing an anti-Affordable Care Act campaign, essentially endorsing law breaking (if you don't have health care, you can be fined by the federal government). The First Amendment is so great, it essentially allowed the Kochs to assert that we should only obey the laws they paid ALEC to write. What a country!

Mr. B: Why not host a poll for your intelligent readers wherein you ask them to identify the conservatives most likely to protect the free speech rights of the Capitol protesters. Before you answer, have you ever told one of those folks to shut up?

May 9, 2014 07:12 pm
 Posted by  Mr. C

Progressives advocating for Student Loan forgiveness now should surprise no one. The various student loan and grant programs represent 50 years of building up an entitlement program that benefited mostly the liberal institutions of higher learning that raked in the free flowing dollars and then churned out the progressive majorities that elected Barack Obama twice as their thanks. These ivory towers had no incentive to control tuition costs as the money kept pouring in. Now that the progressive coalition has been strengthened by this setup, it's time to move on to phase 2, which is to demand the loans be forgiven, either in full or in part. In the end it's been just another giant transfer of wealth to enrich the progressive cause.

May 10, 2014 12:58 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The loons over at The Corporation are really beginning to lose it. Nichols wants to reinvigorate communism in Madison but calls it renewing democracy. Zweefs rambles as usual. Fanlund thinks Gov. Walker has turned everyone into Koch-ridden zombies. Crazy Craver still thinks McCain-Feingold is still the best thing since sliced bread. I can't help but laugh at the level of ignorance they display. I am sure glad I don't have to drink the water in Madison. By the way, why is it named Capital Times? Shouldn't it be Capitol Times, with an "o", not "a"? Capital Times sounds it should be a paper about making money, not losing it.

May 12, 2014 09:19 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Anony at 3:50 p.m. asks: "Why not host a poll for your intelligent readers wherein you ask them to identify the conservatives most likely to protect the free speech rights of the Capitol protesters. Before you answer, have you ever told one of those folks to shut up?"

Blaska answers: No.

May 12, 2014 10:26 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

For the record, liberals are advocating for student loan REFINANCING, like what you do with your mortgage and other long-term debt. Buying and selling debt how much of the economy functions these days, not that you'd ever read about that in this alleged business mag.

May 13, 2014 10:16 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Yes, taxpayer-subsidized debt. Not that you or the Democratic front group One Wisconsin Now would ever mention the strategy of holding down costs.

May 13, 2014 02:32 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Taxpayer-subsidized debt is how the world works, Dave. Take a look at any large public infrastructure project and see how it is funded. You better catch up with the real world, buddy.

May 13, 2014 02:54 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

"Large public infrastructure project" ? You mean highways? Bridges? Sewage treatment plants? Or do you mean the Edgewater Hotel expansion/remodel (the proposed subsidy for which brought down Mayor Dave)?

Why should the taxpayer subsidize your Queer Studies major?

Unless we have met, I am not your buddy.

May 13, 2014 07:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


You sure are testy when the truth hits ya in the face. And yes I mean highways, bridges, sewer and water projects, flood control, airports, railroads and all sorts of public infrastructure. The Edgewater is one small project in one town. Small potatoes..

And your short fuse and name calling attitude are sure a thing to be proud of. And by the way, the taxpayers did subsidize a portion of my several degrees. But I earned that subsidy (GI Bill) keeping guys like you safe from the commies.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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