A family foundation paid to have 145 billboards erected in Ohio and Wisconsin proclaiming that “Voter Fraud is a Felony.” This, like “look both ways before proceeding through an intersection” is pretty much common knowledge, but it never hurts to be reminded of the fact.
Groups of liberal activists feel differently. They argue that the billboards amount to “voter suppression.”
During the last year, whenever conservative groups and state legislatures attempt to tackle the problem of voter fraud, liberals cry “foul” and claim any such attempt amounts to voter suppression.
Their argument is a weak one when applied to the various states’ voter-ID laws recently enacted. The courts have generally upheld them in all but a very few instances. But this is ridiculous — the billboards merely make a statement of fact. What’s more, even if the billboards stated an opinion, there’s the matter of the exercise of our First Amendment right to free speech that comes into play.
So what was the upshot? According to the National Review:
“Beginning this week, the billboards’ owner, Clear Channel, will start to remove the signs. For a few days, Clear Channel had withstood the pressure, claiming it didn’t have the right to censor political speech.Then it claimed it “made a mistake” by signing a written contract to rent the billboards without forcing the sponsor to identify itself. Then it knuckled under completely by saying it would insist the sponsor either reveal itself — thus shifting all the protests and intimidation toward the sponsor — or remove the billboards. The sponsor declined to become a piñata, so the message will disappear. As penance, Clear Channel will donate ten signs of its own in the Cleveland area that read “Voting Is a Right. Not a Crime!”
Conclusion? Conservatives are juyst too nice. Read further at The National Review.
The following is a TV report of the controversy:
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