Dem Congressman Ted Deutch, the hypocritical enemy of free speech

ted deutchEvery businessman and woman in Florida needs to know what U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch is doing to stifle our free speech.

Yes, he’s at it again, a continuation of his anti-business crusade. He’s pulled out the stops on his campaign to hurt business, and this is no passive effort. It’s an activist attempt to deny corporations and businesses their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

Deutch introduced still-pending legislation in late 2011 to ban corporate contributions in the campaign finance system. His measure would outlaw business contributions at the local, state and federal levels. He says he did it because of “corporate control… of our democracy.” Notice he doesn’t include union contributions as part of the problem? Deutch’s proposal is designed to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling that corporations and unions are guaranteed the same freedom of speech rights as individuals, to financially promote the election of one candidate over another.

Now we see Deutch plunging the political knife deeper into the backs of business managers and owners by asking the Palm Beach County Commission to support his push to deny rights to businesses, and to pick a fight with the nation’s highest court.

At first, the County Commission seemed surprised at Deutch’s request, but agreed to consider it. For a moment, it seemed the commission would start to slide down this slippery slope of regulating businesses’ campaign spending. But, to their credit, four commissioners were hesitant to enter the fray, suggesting it was — in the words of Commissioner Taylor — “a little far-reaching” for the commission to take a position on a national issue.

In the end, the commission did the right thing and decided not to support this anti-business proposal.

What thrusts Deutch’s proposal into the realm of hypocrisy is that he blasts corporations for stealing democracy from “the people” while, at the same time, shamelessly engaging in corporate fundraising events to finance his own re-election campaigns. For example, earlier this year, Deutch attended a fundraising breakfast organized by an AT&T officer and telecom lobbyist. The invitation lists the costs for hosts at $2,500 and  guests at $1,000. Confronted by a reporter from Republic Report at the event, Deutch dodged questions.

He is playing the political game of do as I say, not as I do.

For those believing in justice for all, not just “their group,” here’s the way this issue needs to work:

If we conclude that informed voters are a good thing for democracy, campaign spending should be encouraged and not restricted. Limits on campaign spending reduce the total information available to the public about candidates. Public trust is not increased when campaign funding is restricted. As the Cato Institute put it, “Getting more money into campaigns benefits voters.”

Taxing businesses, which can’t vote, is a form of taxation without representation. At the very least, businesses have the right to defend and protect themselves by being able to make political contributions. But the leftists want businesses to come to the political fight with no sword and no shield, only a wallet from which leftists can pluck tax revenue. Well, companies will pay their fair share of business taxes, but we want a voice in the political process. Since my company cannot cast a vote, my form of political speech is a checkbook that allows business-friendly candidates to get their message out to voters.

If you don’t like that, it means you are probably one of those who want to confiscate money from businesses to spend on things that benefit you and your political agenda. The real immorality here is a protection racket — a tyranny of the majority extortion scheme that forces businesses to spend some of their money to protect the rest of it. Now, Ted Deutch wants to take that away.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.
John R. Smith

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17 thoughts on “Dem Congressman Ted Deutch, the hypocritical enemy of free speech

  1. BOCA spin doctor says:

    Would it also apply to unions? If not, it should!

  2. MORT KUFF says:

    Ted Deutch is every bit as morally corrupt as is his mentor, the ethically-deprived Robert Wexler.

    A pox on both these reprobates. They are each of them, non-patriots and fake Jews.

    If there was ever a matched set of mis-representative bookends, this pair is it.

    They give the word 'despicable' a bad name.

  3. Nevin says:

    @Special Operator: Hopefully this post will go through, since it did not make it the first time. Companies move offshore because it is in their self interest, paying no attention to the needs of the nation and maintaining prosperity as existed from roughly 1945 to the 1970s. Even during periods of time when Republican Presidents such as George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were in office and creating more favorable conditions for all levels of business, offshoring continued and in the case of Bush expanded dramatically. In fact, there were special Commerce Department programs in the 1980s that encouraged the relocation of factories under the maquiladora program targeted at the Mexican-US border in effect since the mid 1960s. It is inexpensive labor costs, in some cases currency manipulation (which also increases profits for the offshoring minded multinationals e.g. China), and host governments (such as Red China) building infrastructure and securing land at little or no cost to the business. In other words, socialism for the multinationals courtesy of statist or outright communist governments.

    Such a phenomenon was not unique for the US. West German companies offshored work to East German factories to produce their own products. See: http://www.dw.de/east-germany-relied-on-forced-la
    Or to quote former GE Chairman Jack Welch: “Ideally you’d have every plant you own on a barge to move with currencies and changes in the economy.” (1998)

    Craig Barrett CEO of Intel noted that “Companies such as Intel have a responsibility to their shareholders to hire the best talent available” no matter where it is and no US job is safe and secure.

    Perhaps Thomas Jefferson was right when he stated: “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

    In the interests of the long term survival of capitalism, we have to combine free enterprise with a notion that wealth should not be penalized and at the same time government policy should be crafted to preserve the national interest, which means a resounding NO to so called “free trade,” open borders that depress wages, and shutting the doors to political corruption through too much interlocking between government, Big Labor, and Big Business. The “little guy” needs to be invested in the capitalist system again, very similar to the employment models of the 1940s-1970s.

  4. Jayne says:

    This article is disgusting and a complete lie!!!! Congressman Deutch isn't trying to stifle 1st amendment rights – he is trying to counter the hideous Supreme Court decision which decided that Corporations are people – they aren't!!!!!

    Each individual of a Corporation should be allowed to contribute the maximum allowed by law to a candidate – we just watched over $2 BILLION dollars spent on this past election – just imagine how many people these Corporations could have hired for the amount of money they spent trying to get Romney elected – and he lost!!!

    We need our Corporations out of our elections – period!!

  5. Big Bamboo says:

    @Jayne: the business community is sick of the politicians like Deutch telling us how moderate they are at campaign time, taking checks from us, then going on anti-business voting sprees. Ted Deutch is among the worst at doing this, and somebody needed to call him into the street for what he has a habit of doing. Somebody needed to tell the world "enough is enough, Ted", because this time you pushed the envelope too far. If Ted Deutch persists with the anti-business platform, his credibility with business leaders will continue to pay a price. Why should he get any money at all from business? Let him collect it from the liberals and statists in his district, and from his misguided apologists like Seazen.

  6. Jayne is typical of anti-capitalist liberals (OK, it's a redundancy) who spin every situation. Corporations and crony capitalists like GE and Costco CEOs gave big time to Obama — but she doesn't mention that. Unions are a primary source of income to Dems most of it coming from taxpayers though union dues. No mention of restricting unions, tho. Deutch is a typical career pol who spends the income of future generations just as the Greeks did. They're thieves on a grand scale but don't realize that only capitalism can produce the wealth that they take–FedGov cannot produce wealth, it can only spend it. Her final statement knocks spending to support the businessman who created thousands of jobs as she supports the Deutches and Obamas who kill job creation through humongous taxes and extreme, counter-productive regulations.

    Every person, corporation and union should be able to spend all they want to support their candidate but they should have to report it online within 24 hours. Obama does not report a large percentage of his campaign income probably because it comes from the Middle East Muslims who owe him for restricting oil production here and backing off support of Israel.

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