New York Daily News: New York vs. the First Amendment: New ‘campaign finance’ legislation is an assault on political speech rights (In the News)

David Keating

Once again, the fix is in from Albany. On June 18 at 1:45 a.m., politicians introduced a bill to regulate your speech. It passed both houses of the Legislature by 5 a.m. There were no hearings and no input from the public. There was no recorded floor vote in the Senate or the Assembly.

When Albany politicians pass a bill in the dead of night, you know they’re up to no good. Especially when they explain their actions with phony rhetoric about ethics.

Albany’s latest “campaign finance” bill, which Gov. Cuomo touts as the “nation’s strongest protections to combat Citizens United,” is in fact a blatant attack on your rights. Its 62 pages are chock-full of complex provisions, obscure speech traps and legal complexities.

If this becomes law, which looks sure to happen, you’d be a fool to say anything about a politician — especially in a campaign season, when that speech is most pertinent — without first consulting a lawyer. That’s not the American way, but it’s happening in New York.

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