Over the past few days, the Obama campaign’s attempt to bully TV stations airing the ad and stop scrutiny of his radical ties is part and parcel of a larger campaign to chill the free speech of conservative political activists and donors. Among their attempts to suppress the First Amendment, they have demanded the Justice Dept. investigate the American Issues Project and one of their donors who has funded the ads exposing Obama’s connection to Bill Ayers.
The Obama camp should be careful what they wish for. Here is the closing of AIP’s second response to the Justice Dept.
Re: Response to August 25, 2008 Letter to DOJ from Obama Presidential Campaign (“Second Letter”)…
…Of course, should the Department decide to yield to the pressure from the Obama Campaign and undertake its requested ‘investigations’ of donors to politically related conservative causes, the Department would necessarily be required to do so in an even-handed, non partisan and non-ideological approach. In that regard, the Department would be required to review all donors to all causes and political / policy organizations, whose contributions exceed $5,000 per calendar year to any such causes, the vast majority of which are donors to liberal causes, not conservative ones.
Based on calculations from the Center for Responsive Politics (www.crp.org ) the following are leftwing donors whose substantial contributions to political causes in the last three election cycles have consistently landed each of them on the top donors list and surely each of these donors warrant the Department’s review, scrutiny and prosecution, if the Obama Campaign standard is to be applied evenly:
George Soros: 2004: $23,450,000 2006: $ 3,542,500 2008 (to date): $ 4,650,000 Steven Bing: 2004: $13,852,031 2008 (to date) $ 4,850,000 Peter Lewis: 2004: $22,997,220 2006: $ 1, 624,375 2008 (to date) $ 850,000 Herb and Marion Sandler: 2004: $13, 008, 459 Linda Pritzker: 2004: $3,300,000 2006: $2,101,000 John Hunting: 2006: $1,647,000 2008 (to date) $1,243,000 Alida Messinger 2004: $ 3,580,200 2006: $ 1,042,000 2008 (to date) $ 883,000 Pat Stryker: 2006: $ 1,331,293 2008 (to date): $ 300,000 Jon Stryker: 2006: $ 1,271,313 2008: $ 604,054
The list is quite lengthy and this is but a partial list of those the Department would be obligated to pursue if it bows to the demands of the Obama Campaign to undertake investigations of wealthy donors making large contributions to political causes. The Obama Campaign should be aware that most of the donors on the list are individuals who consistently support left-wing, liberal and Democratic causes. And most of the donors listed above have made public statements regarding their intent to use their wealth to impact the outcome of federal elections should the Department need further evidence of their activities.
The letters from the Obama Campaign to you and your Department are a gross misuse of the power and prestige of that organization. However, because of the environment in which we function, it is important that AIP respond to the ongoing baseless allegations in the letter war now being waged against it by the Obama Campaign.
AIP has violated no provision of law. The donor(s) to AIP have violated no provision of law. However, if the Department of Justice decides to initiate investigations of donors to AIP and other conservative political and policy organizations, as well as the activities of citizens groups such as AIP, we will be prepared to counter such efforts with our list of targets and entities with which we disagree politically and philosophically for the Department to also investigate and prosecute. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Cleta Mitchell, Esq. Counsel, American Issues Project
But, AIP is not the only target of the Obama camp. From The LATimes.Com
In a surprising attempt to stifle broadcast criticism of its candidate, the presidential campaign of freshman Illinois senator Barack Obama is organizing supporters to confront Chicago's WGN radio station for having a critic of the Illinois Democrat on its main evening discussion program.
"WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears," Obama's campaign wrote in an e-mail sent to supporters. "He's currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. (Wednesday night) pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers."
Kurtz, a conservative writer, recently wrote an article for the National Review that examined Obama's ties to Ayers, a former 1960s radical who helped found a protest group that advocated violence.
The magazine was blocked in its initial attempts to obtain records from the University of Illinois at Chicago regarding the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school reform project that Obama chaired and Ayers co-founded.
It appears Obama only believes in free speech if he agrees with it.