Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mary Lou Marzian bites Louisville Courier Journal

If the Louisville Courier Journal has a favorite Kentucky state legislator, it could well be Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a left-wing politician of epic proportions. It is more than a little odd, then, to see her filing a resolution in Frankfort to muzzle our largest newspaper, a left-wing media outlet of epic proportions.

House Concurrent Resolution 6 would force media corporations to stop attempting to influence elections in Kentucky. That's not Rep. Marzian's intention, of course, but that's what you get when you don't think things through.

And she seriously didn't think this one through.

HCR 6 calls on Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and prohibit corporate political support through federal and state legislation.

A little thing called a "media exemption" jumps out as problematic here for fans of the Courier Journal. Banning corporate political speech nationally won't generally concern Gannett, the CJ's corporate parent, because federal election law exempts what it defines as "media" from such regulation, but Kentucky law contains no such loophole.  

That means Rep. Marzian can't shut off corporate political activity for Kentucky corporations she doesn't like without also silencing those she does like. 

A bipartisan trait of most politicians somehow prevents them from universally recognizing the value of absolute individual rights. Some like absolute gun rights but can't imagine missing an opportunity to prohibit ingestion of some substances. Others, like Marzian, like speech from friends supporting their worldview but can't endure thoughts from political opponents. Sometimes, amid all their infringing and prohibiting, these politicians get a little sloppy. This is one of those times.

Why don't these people just once, when faced with a choice between limiting freedom unevenly and promoting its unalienable aspects stop twisting themselves into pretzels to justify controlling people and just let freedom happen?

Kentucky's Constitution very unambiguously guarantees freedom of speech, promising "no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof." Rep. Marzian embarrasses herself attempting to use Section 150 of the Kentucky Constitution in her resolution to justify stifling political speech of corporations, when this section speaks to vote buying activity of both individuals and corporations. Is she saying she wants to muzzle private citizens in Kentucky as well as her hometown newspaper, which seems to never tire of endorsing her and her ideas?

I'd love for a Courier Journal reporter to ask her that.