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The Star Ledger: These citizens are united in hypocrisy

Paul Mulshine exposes the hypocrisy of many critics of the Citizens United decision and explains the issues at stake:

Let’s imagine that every citizen had to ask a government agency whether it was permissible to voice an opinion. Let us further imagine that the citizen was then warned that expressing that opinion at a certain time and in a certain manner could result in a prison sentence.

That’s what happened to David Bossie of Citizens United when he made an inquiry with the Federal Election Commission on the question of whether he could televise a movie that his corporation had produced. The movie was a documentary highly critical of Hillary Clinton. Citizens United wished to show it on cable TV within 30 days of the Democratic presidential primary elections in 2008.

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After FEC officials told Bossie (see below) that he couldn’t do so, he protested that he had a First Amendment right to show the film.

“They said, ‘Listen, little man, go away. You do not have that right, and if you do it after we tell you not to do it, we’re not only going after you civilly, we’re going after you criminally and you can get five years on every count,’ ” Bossie said in an interview available on the internet. …

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