I just released a short (2:45 minute) video summarizing my case against Amendment 65. The transcript, from which I strayed only slightly, follows. See also my main document on Amendment 65.
Colorado Amendment 65 asks politicians to support “an amendment to the United States Constitution that allows Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending.”
Why is this a truly horrible idea?
1. Amendment 65 would impose censorship, giving government power to forcibly restrict who may speak, how they may speak, or what they may say.
2. Amendment 65 would, for the first time in the nation’s history, repeal a portion of the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment begins, “Congress shall make no law” restricting free speech. Amendment 65 says Congress should make such laws.
3. Amendment 65 threatens to violate people’s right to speak out on political issues, whether alone or as part of a group, such as a corporation or a union.
4. Any censorship law will leave so-called “loopholes,” leading to calls for additional restrictions. The logical and inevitable result is the censorship of documentaries, books, and newspapers, in addition to flyers and television ads.
5. Amendment 65 would give incumbent politicians the power to silence their critics. That is inherently corrupt.
6. Amendment 65 would give powerful interest groups a means to silence their opponents with less political power.
7. Amendment 65 would create bureaucratic hurdles for small groups to speak out, while large groups with tons of money would just hire more attorneys to find the loopholes and comply with the bureaucratic rules.
8. Although it is true that “money isn’t speech,” we must spend resources to publicly advocate our ideas. Censorship by restricting how people may spend resources on speech is still censorship.
9. It is not true that people who spend more “drown out” others’ voices. For example, Pat Stryker, who is worth $1.4 billion, has spend millions on Colorado politics, yet she has not restricted my ability to speak at all. The only party who can restrict my ability to speak is the government censor.
10. You have a brain! We have the ability to think independently about political ads. We don’t need to forcibly restrict them. I’m as annoyed as anyone by these political ads, but the price of free speech is that we have to put up with speech we find annoying or even abhorrent.
For more about why Colorado Amendment 65 is a truly horrible idea, please see my web page at AriArmstrong.com. See particularly “Colorado Amendment 65: An Assault of Free Speech.”