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Politico Op-Ed: Are liberals beginning to embrace the Constitution?

In recent days many radical liberals have changed their tune regarding campaign finance laws. The drumbeat of the past two years has begun to shift. President Obama is no longer assaulting Citizens United or Super PACs, instead he is encouraging his supporters to open their check books. Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer now believes that “I think as a First Amendment principle, Citizens United was correct.” Even veteran Washington Post and Newsweek scribe, Robert J. Samuelson has declared “Except for contribution disclosures, campaign finance laws should be scrapped.”

Unsurprisingly, the only ones still trying to rein in the First Amendment are those interested in silencing all other voices but their own. Whether they be incumbent elected officials (for example, a certain liberal congressman from Maryland or justices on the Montana Supreme Court), or media corporations like the Washington Post seeking a monopoly on political speech. Why is their speech more worthy of protection than others?

Two prolific fundraisers, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) led the fight to curtail independent speech with their 2010 legislation, the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (“DISCLOSE Act”). According to Schumer and Van Hollen’s latest FEC disclosures they have $10 million and $1.9 million cash on hand respectively. They have the means to engage in political speech, but would rather their opponents be left without sufficient resources to respond.

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Citizens United