Posts Tagged ‘Free Speech’

You’d figure that Citizens United, the conservative advocacy group, would still be basking in its recent, epic victory before the U.S. Supreme Court. The  5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opened the way for corporations to spend an unlimited amount from their treasuries to support or oppose political candidates and issues.

Well, it seems Citizens United didn’t like another part of the decision that said while it was okay for corporations to spend freely on elections, they would have to adhere to rules requiring them to document how the money is spent and where it came from, including identifying  individual donors. Dan Eggen in the WaPo writes that Citizens United sent a letter to the FEC this week arguing that the group should not be required to do any of that because … wait for it … it’s a member of the media.

“After a dozen films in six years, with more on the way, I think it is time that the FEC recognized us for what we are: a documentary filmmaking studio,” said David N. Bossie, Citizens United’s president.

The funny thing is, Citizens United’s  own Web site has little mention of it being a documentary film company: (more…)


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Public Citizen President Robert Weissman explained the ramifications of the recent Citizens United ruling during a webinar this past Tuesday. He also answered viewer questions and laid out Public Citizen’s strategy to get a constitutional amendment passed that would undo the ruling. The video above is an excerpt. The full webinar can be found on our Vimeo page.

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Ok, stop me if you’ve heard this one. A Republican walks into a bar with a duck under his arm. He turns to the bartender and . . . Oops. I forgot. The GOP is a few funny bones short of a sense of humor these days. As Public Citizen attorney Paul Alan Levy writes on the Consumer Law & Policy Blog, the Republican National Committee is in a huff over some T-shirts and bumper stickers that bear their Elephant logo or the acronym “GOP.” It seems the RNC has trademarked both logo and name and they’re threatening to sue the folks over at CafePress.com for allowing its users to sell shirts both supporting and making fun of Republicans. (more…)

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Paul McMann, a Boston builder who got on the wrong side of a former client will just have to suck it up and live with her online gripes about his services. Public Citizen, which represents the woman, won its case in front of an arbitrator who hears disputes about Internet domains. McMann has already sued three other times to have her sites — PaulMcMannSucks.com and PaulMcMann.com — taken down. He has lost twice, while the third suit is pending. The use of the URLs and her criticisms posted there are protected under the First Amendment, said Public Citizen attorney Greg Beck.

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When Seneca Technologies President Will White won his public records lawsuit against the state of West Virginia, he did what any Web entrepreneur would do with his newly-acquired bevy of local tax maps — he posted the information on his website. That didn’t sit well with Kanawha County Tax Assessor Phyllis Gatson, who is asking a court to force Seneca to take the maps off the Web. Why should you care?


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