Washington Post: How a political opinion cost a D.C. activist $2,000 (In the News)

By Eric Wang
Civic-minded citizens of the District: Think twice the next time you write a blog entry, post on Facebook or Twitter or attend a meeting or rally to support or oppose a ballot initiative. You could be required to register and report with the city or else pay a large fine. The Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) at the D.C. Board of Elections dropped this end-of-the-year bombshell in an enforcement proceeding arising from November’s election, in which District residents voted to legalize marijuana.
In the run-up to the vote on Initiative 71, District resident William V. Jones III created the Web site “Two. Is. Enough. D.C.” Under the premise that having two legal recreational substances (alcohol and tobacco) was enough, the Web site provided opinions and information opposing marijuana legalization. According to the OCF, Mr. Jones also invoked the “Two Is Enough” slogan when he “participated in various meetings and demonstrations” in the D.C. community.
After leaders of the pro-legalization D.C. Cannabis Campaign suggested that Jones was violating campaign finance laws by not registering and reporting as a “political committee,” Mr. Jones registered “No On Initiative 71” to engage in activities opposing the initiative. The D.C. Cannabis Campaign nonetheless filed a complaint with the OCF against the purported group known as “Two Is Enough.”

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.