Kinda makes you wonder what our government really cares about... Read on:
"The only defender of free speech on the Texas presidential ballot is Michael Badnarik," Libertarian Party of Texas Chair Patrick Dixon announced recently, and what is true in Texas is true of the nation.
Both President George W. Bush and John Kerry have publicly called for an end to some or all political advertising by "527 groups," which are independent groups that participate in political advertising outside of the political party system.
Examples of 527 groups include MoveOn.org and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- which are, respectively, anti-Bush and anti-Kerry organizations.
These groups received their name (527) from the section of federal tax law that regulates them.
Currently, 527 groups are not bound under campaign finance restrictions so long as their advertising is not coordinated with any political campaign or party. But both Bush and Kerry support new legislation that would make such groups illegal by closing what they consider to be loopholes in existing campaign finance law.
Dixon and other Libertarians consider 527 groups to be one of the few remaining outlets for independent political speech.
"Silencing 527s runs contrary to the First Amendment," Dixon noted -- pointing out that eliminating such groups would worsen a political system that is already dedicated to silencing dissenting views.
"The Democrats and Republicans already have money and power. They appear to fear the inevitable growth of third parties."
And the two largest political parties want to erect even more obstacles to prevent political dissent.
"They pass onerous ballot access laws to keep Libertarians and independents off the ballot," Dixon said. "They re-draw voting districts to arrange the outcome of the election before any ballot is cast."
Recent campaign finance laws -- namely the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act -- "have made it even more difficult for third parties to compete," he said. "The only recourse third parties have for fund raising is through 527 organizations, and now they want to abolish them."
By supporting further restrictions on political contributions, Bush and Kerry have proven once again that they aren't concerned with First Amendment rights, Libertarian presidential candidate Badnarik said.
"The Texas Democratic Party has already conceded the state and has told its members not to support the Kerry campaign," Dixon said. "Michael Badnarik gladly accepts the challenge to take on George Bush and defend the freedom of speech."