A key Federal Election Commission Republican warned Wednesday that liberals are moving aggressively to “amend the First Amendment” so that conservatives are silenced and businesses are chased “out of the democracy.”
In some the toughest criticism leveled at Democrats, Commissioner Lee E. Goodman said that the attack started once the Tea Party changed American politics in the 2010 election and now dominates the politics of the Left.
“It has triggered a very aggressive movement by people to amend the First Amendment, left intellectuals have placed it on the table,” Goodman said on Boston’s Howie Carr show.
“The general tenor of the Left in American politics today has certainly spoken out against First Amendment rights. It has been a reversal over the last 50 years,” he added, citing FDR Democrats who defended socialists and communists.
From trying to reverse the Citizens United decision to using the IRS to kill Tea Party groups, Goodman said that the Democrats have moved to change free speech in the country.
“I have been concerned about bias both in how complaints are brought to the commission just like in the way, the lobbying campaign for Lois Lerner. It was all one sided. But generally I try to make my First Amendment case by pointing out that we have to impact liberal and conservative speech in the same way. But I have been concerned from time to time about every time a conservative group comes up, somehow, some way, exceptions and distinctions are made and this is the problem giving government the power to regulate speech in the first instance because ultimately human beings have to make that decision,” he told Carr.
“It’s now the left attacking conservative speakers, like free market speech because they are concerned that the big corporations might convince somebody, they might speak about free market economics,” he said, adding that liberals want to “chase them out of the democracy.”
Democrats on the FEC have led the attacks, publicly calling for reversal of Citizens United and even for regulating conservative news sites like the Drudge Report.
They have also treated complaints against conservatives differently and tougher than those against Democrats or left-leaning outlets.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org