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Free speech in Connecticut

I did not hear about this when the issue arose in 2014:

Republican Party Chairman JR Romano said he called the State Elections Enforcement Commission earlier this week to make sure Democratic lawmakers running for re-election know the rules about using a candidate for another office in their campaign materials.

Just in case some of them may want to refer to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in those materials, Romano thought it was best for Democrats to know the rules in advance.

In 2014, the State Elections Enforcement Commission issued this opinion, which said that if a candidate wants to mention another candidate who is not in the race, they can, they just have to apportion the cost of the ad to the opponent in that other race.

via Connecticut News Junkie

I can understand the rationale for this sort of rule, but in the final analysis, it makes no sense. In 2014, apparently it was the Republicans who wanted to tie Malloy to the Democrats (at least in this neck of the woods they were tied already), and this year it’s the Democrats who want to tie the anvil Trump around the neck of Republicans about to enter the electoral waters.

The fact is, Trump is not just a candidate, he’s an issue to himself. It says something about a person if they can support an openly racist “tiny fingered, Cheeto-faced, ferret wearing shitgibbon”. (You can google that one yourself). It says something about a person, in my opinion, if they can remain a member of a party that puts such a shitgibbon forward as its candidate. Groucho said he refused to join any club that would have him as a member. He was a man of principle. Republicans should have to explain their willingness to join any club that would have Trump as a member, never mind its leader.

This rule allows candidates from either office to evade any issue that tangentially involves a candidate for another office, even if it’s crystal clear that the ad in question is designed solely to assist the paying candidate and harm the target. I takes an important issue off the table, or at least makes it harder to raise, and one has to wonder whether it runs afoul of the First Amendment, which is still in force, at least until January.

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