Click here to add your voice to the vox bloguli.
"Of course, the only place these people really want to keep the money out of is their conservative opponents' campaign war chests and the war chests of the independent groups that support them," writes Ryan H. Sager at Tech Central Station [via InstaPundit] in a behind-the scenes look at the "campaign-finance reform movement, where ideologues plot to restrict the speech of their fellow citizens while reserving a special free-speech zone for themselves":
Consider a report just out from the folks over at Political Money Line, "Campaign Finance Reform Lobby: 1994 to 2004." Ignored by the media to date, it details how the supposedly grass-roots campaign-finance reform movement has been funded over the last decade to the tune of $140 million . . . the vast majority ($123 million) came not from retirees scraping together their last nickels for the cause of democracy, nor from schoolchildren collecting deposits on cans plucked from dilapidated playgrounds . . . [but] from just eight ultra-liberal foundations (including the Ford Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Institute).
No wonder McCain-Feingold contained a "media exemption." The media -- on top of having their voices amplified when private citizens, labor unions and corporations are barred from speaking -- are relatively easy to write some checks to. (Millions of bloggers, on the other hand, might be a little harder to corral -- hence the calls for a crackdown.)
But it's not just direct payments to the media that are the problem. It's the climate of sanctimony that the McCainiacs have created. All of the major reform groups . . . are funded by the same eight liberal foundations.
Yet, by maintaining the fiction of independence from one another, they appear to much of the press to be a pack of scrappy underdogs sinking their teeth into the ankles of the big-money men.
Well, it's a sham . . . They are the big-money men. And, with the release of the Political Money Line report, it's time the media started treating them as such. The billionaires and liberal foundations constantly calling for more restrictions on the freedom of ordinary Americans to assemble and speak are not a movement -- they are a lobby.
And the first lobbyist who should be called out is none other than the Reformer-in-Chief, Sen. John McCain. The senator has been caught with his pants down this week, accepting what are essentially campaign contributions to a phony think tank called the Reform Institute.
We wrote to the senior senator from Arizona last week protesting potential muffling of the blogosphere, and now this week a coalition of conservative and liberal bloggers has formed to fight for our First Amendment rights. We heard about it first from Michelle Malkin and added our signature this morning. If you're so inclined -- whether or not you have a blog -- please add your voice to the vox bloguli.
*Theme from "Rawhide"