North Dakota Democrats Are Assaulting Free Speech
Setting aside the campaigns and the candidates and the politics, there has been a very disturbing development in North Dakota politics in the form of assaults on certain types of political contributions. Democrats, along with their allies in the state media, have attacked contributions from individuals who work in the oil industry (despite what is said by some candidates, oil companies cannot actually give money to candidates).
Most recently, Democrat Public Service Commission candidate Brad Crabtree has all but called Republican members of the PSC (Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk specifically) criminals for accepting perfectly legal, 100% disclosed contributions from people who work in the coal and wind power industries.
While it’s true that the PSC regulates these industries, and that any financial relationship between those working in those industries and the regulators ought to get close scrutiny, the suggestion that these contributions shouldn’t even take place is ludicrous. If that’s the standard, that politicians can’t take contributions from those who fall under their governing purview, then no candidate for any office could take any contributions.
Because who among us isn’t governed by these people? We all pay the electrical rates the Public Service Commission regulates. We all live under the laws passed by the legislature. We are all governed by our statewide and federal officials. If contributions from the governed to those doing the governing are inherently unethical, and that seems to be the standard being set by the Democrats and their media friends in the state (though they seem fine with the unions and environmental groups who contribute to their campaigns), then what option are we left with but public financing of elections?
Which may be the point. Public financing of elections, where each candidate is allotted a fixed amount by the government with which to campaign, has long been something championed by the left and it’s not hard to imagine why. Liberals love mandating equal outcomes – why should one candidate enjoy more success in raising money from the masses than another? – and they also love control, which is what public financing of elections would mean.
Just as we’ve seen with the Chick-fil-A debacle, the left has no problem attacking those with what they consider to be the wrong set of ideological or theological values. Can you imagine a government commission dedicated to deciding which candidates can get funding and which cannot?
The creation of such a monstrosity would be the hallmark of the end of American democracy.
It is one thing to suggest that a given politician is too heavily influenced by this or that special interest, whether it be oil companies or environmental groups, etc., etc. It is another to suggest that the people who make up these groups – because make no mistake, we’re talking about individuals – shouldn’t be allowed to express themselves politically through contributions at all.Tags: Brad Crabtree, Brian Kalk, free speech, Kevin Cramer, North Dakota News, political speech