Ruling revisits political speech regulations

By Freedom Newspapers In 2002 the McCain-Feingold election regulations legislation, or Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), became law. The law made it illegal for a corporation to use its general treasury funds to pay for “electioneering communication,” within 30 days of a federal primary election or 60 days of a federal general election. Despite obvious […]

Court limits use of non-union member dues

By Freedom Newspapers “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Who could deny such words? Who among us would want our money taken from us and used to aid political groups and to advance political ideas that we find […]

Iraqi reports overshadowed

By Freedom Newspapers There’s a certain air of second-guessing from people who, quite frankly, are not in a strong position to be able to say “I told you so” in the 229-page report released Friday by the Senate Intelligence Committee on pre-Iraq war intelligence assessments made in January 2003. Only a few critics outside the […]

Religious rights era may end with Falwell

By Freedom Newspapers The passing Tuesday of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., at age 73 coincides with what just might be the passing of the influence of the political movement that he helped launch. While the Rev. Falwell struck us as a genuine and decent […]

Reform laws give justices chance to make statement

By Freedom Newspapers A case argued last week to the U.S. Supreme Court highlighted the absurdity of relatively recent reform laws that restrict political speech during the period just before an election. Such laws require regulators and courts to make absurdly fine distinctions that such bodies are not really qualified to make and should not […]

Wall epitomizes communication problems in Iraq

By Freedom Newspapers Good fences make good neighbors, Robert Frost has his neighbor say in the famous poem, “Mending Wall.” But his own sentiment — this is poetry so it’s open to interpretation — seems to be rather contrary: “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling […]

Police officers push limits of videotaping

By Freedom Newspapers Give police agencies an inch, and they’ll take a mile. That’s the gist of a court decision reining in the New York City Police Department, which has increasingly stretched the legal limits placed on its ability to videotape peaceful demonstrators and passersby at political events. The U.S. District Court decision, although applying […]

Freedom needs boost nationally, globally in 2007

Editorial I f there was a stock-market-like ticker that tracked the trajectory of freedom in 2006 — let’s just call it the “Freedom Index” — it would have been an off year. At home and abroad, personal political liberty, free markets, limited government and other quintessentially American values suffered setbacks, with a few notable exceptions. […]

Election chatter heard ’round table

By Ned Cantwell: State columnist An exhaustive political season and its climatic November showdown still have people talking. Snippets of conversations that might take place at Thanksgiving dinner tables around New Mexico. At a mansion in Santa Fe: “The thing I am most grateful about, and I think most New Mexicans are grateful about, is […]

Saddam death sentence may set example

By Freedom Newspapers One hopes that the death sentence imposed on former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by an Iraqi court will resonate most meaningfully in places like North Korea, Zimbabwe, Cuba, and perhaps even in Iran. It cannot but help to focus the mind for people like Kim Jong Il, Robert Mugabe, the Castro brothers […]

Feelings of obligation, apathy common among voters

By Marlena Hartz : CNJ staff writer On Tuesday, Tucumcari resident Larry Marshall will cast his vote in the general election. But behind his vote lies an eroded faith in the American political system. “I don’t trust one politician,” Marshall, 43, said. He votes, he said, “because there is always a lesser of two evils.” […]

Inexperience Obama’s biggest asset in presidential run

Sen. Barack Obama has been traveling the country to stump for fellow Democrats. But uppermost in the minds of many is his hinting on national television about a possible 2008 campaign for president. Intellectual yet unassuming, the Illinois Democrat rose from working-class parents of different races to earn degrees from Columbia and Harvard. With his […]

Politicians present seedy showdowns

By Ned Cantwell: State columnist Political junkies anticipate October of election year with the same fervor a Cowboy nut paints his face blue when Dallas makes it to the Super Bowl. Political nastiness is endemic to the nation, but it doesn’t get much better than the eye gouging and ankle kicking of New Mexico politics […]

Foley e-mails prime example of excess power

By Freedom Newspapers The media and the blogosphere are brimming with comments on the sad story of Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who resigned from Congress after ABC News made public some of the suggestive — and well beyond suggestive — e-mails and text messages he had exchanged with young male congressional pages. Did the […]

Task force yet to tackle main ethics issue

By Ned Cantwell: State columnist They have to feel like David staring ashen-faced up at Goliath. It’s like someone handed them a teacup after Katrina and said, “go clean her up.” They are trying to row a kayak through gunk. Working diligently toward its October deadline to submit recommendations to Gov. Bill Richardson is the […]

Political anomalies: Nothing new there

By Ned Cantwell: State Columnist The always reliable “everyone does it” as an excuse for conduct everyone should not be doing has a new cousin. Comes now the cop-out “it’s nothing new.” “Everyone does it,” coupled with “it’s nothing new,” gives tacit approval to all sorts of nefarious behavior. For example, it would certainly seem […]

GOP change suggests bloody campaign

By Ned Cantwell: State Columnist After winning the primary election as the Republican nominee to face Gov. Bill Richardson in November, Santa Fe physician Dr. J. P. Damron was fired by his party. Check that. He wasn’t fired. He voluntarily resigned as a candidate. Dr. Damron’s resignation so surprised New Mexico Republicans who did not […]

Former senator’s death ends classic success story

Freedom Newspapers With the passing of former U.S. senator and Treasury Secretary Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. last week, the nation lost someone who was influential on the political stage for more than two decades. As a native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, however, Bentsen represented something greater than that. The story of Lloyd […]

Talks with China useful if only to open dialogue

Freedom Newspapers Highly public meetings between heads of state, like the meeting in the White House on Thursday between President Bush and Chinese president Hu Jintao, are “90 percent political theater and about 10 percent substance,” says Ted Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. But symbolic or […]

Ruling could open door to regulating political speech

Freedom Newspapers The Federal Election Commission has been widely hailed for a decision last week that, to a great extent, keeps the Internet free of federal campaign regulations. While the new rule is not as onerous as some regulations that had been considered, it does interject federal regulation into one aspect of Internet political activity, […]