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.

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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.

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About 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.

  • seazen

    I gather this country was founded by a bunch of corporations who then sat down and wrote the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. They declared that "all corporations are created equal" and should be free to pursue "profits, power, and control." I guess this is why it is really, really good for me and others that Sheldon Adelson and the Kochs can spend hundreds of millions of dollars pushing their own agendas because all that makes me a "better informed" voter.

    Corporations are not people. They are legal constructs invented, in part, to shield living people from liability. Real citizens and voters are the employees of corporations and they are the one's whose freedom of speech should be protected – they actually can speak, after all. I do not have millions to spend on lobbyists either in Florida or in Washington trying to influence representatives. Money and wealth do not entitle the holders to greater voice in this democracy than the poorest of us.

  • Joe Budd

    I have to agree with seazen, just because I have more money doesn't mean I should have a bigger voice. Unfortunately, the premise of desiring an informed electorate is not the case. Being informed, it's obvious both sides would fail to meet some basic truth in advertising standards. If it's really about fairness then everybody, corporations and unions alike get the same $2500 voice I have.

    When we talk about hypocritical and Ted, what I will be watching is any statement he may make regarding the 2% FICA tax returning. He was opposed to it being cut in the first place.

  • Special Operator

    Just another reason corporations are moving "offshore" to an ever increasing degree. Wait until after January 1, when tax law chnges go into effect (whichever goes become law will "go after" most businesses………..of course, the "buddies of Mr. "O' will be protected)……………just watch the thousands upon thousands of U.S. corporations that will "run to foreign jurisdictions".

    The comments above obviously come from one who has never created a private business which provides jobs……………………and, it is typical of those in the White House and the Senate today. it's going to be a "rough few years", but history tells us that the Republic will survive as it has challenges of the past so long those who provide jobs and create wealth for many continue to move forward "looking towards tomorrow". Don't give up………………………….simply increase the tempo of the effort. General "Chesty" Puller, USMC, one of the most infamous and highly decorated Marines of all time was the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Divison at the Chosin Resevoir during the Korean War……………………….when advised that the Division was completely surrounded by the Chines Communist, the General said, "GREAT, NOW WE CAN ATTACK IN ANY DIRECTION"!!!!!!! This is where "job providers" are today politically in America……………..General Puller's Marine "fought their way out" and so will America's job providers.

  • Nevin

    @Joe: "If it’s really about fairness then everybody, corporations and unions alike get the same $2500 voice I have."

    Joe is spot on about this point! Could not have said it better.

    The interests of Big Business or Big Labor do not necessarily coincide with that of the National Interest. For example the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, etc. all supported more trade and technology transfer with communist countries such as the USSR, China, Cuba, etc. In fact they were the ones who promoted PNTR for China and recently Russia under the regime of the United Russia Party and ex-KGB Chekist clones. The history shows that most of organized big business supports America's enemies out of their class interest and short term lust for profit and use their weight through campaign finance to ensure that their gravy train is not interrupted. That is why the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act does not see the light of day…because Obama and especially Boehner and Cantor receive massive campaign funding from offshoring minded multinationals who benefit from China's currency manipulation and socialist economic subsidies and SOEs. In the meanwhile, China and Russia are building up their arsenals to threaten and overtake the US and its allies such as Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

    Big Labor is just as problematic…you have the ILA and their cozy relationship with Red China…which means the potential of PRC agents within the ILA…which in turn means in the event of war with China, we would suffer labor strikes that would greatly hamper our war effort. Not to mention that the ILA and the SEIU's Andy Stern have become propaganda mouthpieces for Communist China. (See Andy Stern's editorial in the WSJ entitled China's Superior Economic Model). Not to mention that Richard Trumka reportedly stated that heentered "into the labor movement not because I wanted to negotiate wages," but "because I saw it as a vehicle to do massive social change to include lots of people." Read: Socialism and not merely legitimate struggle for just compensation. Trumka wants to radically alter property and our social order. (However, I do agree with Trumka's strong critique of so called "free trade).

    So yes, having undue influence by actors such as the ones mentioned above is unacceptable from the standpoint of national preservation, security, and prosperity. Furthermore, some excellent candidates for political office were deliberately prevented from having a wider voice because they lacked massive amounts of campaign funds. Hence, the media did not take notice of their campaigns. In other words, they refused to be bought off by Big Business, Big Labor, and all of the political lobbies of the Left and so-called Right. Former Governor, Congressman, and now banker Buddy Roemer is a case in point. Americans deserve a choice in which candidate to be picked based on intellectual acumen, professional experience, and their stands on the issues and not on the size of their checkbook.

    With all due respect, the article above indicates why the Republicans lost and why the Democrats also have no credibility (i.e. progressive leftist hypocrisy).

  • Nevin

    @Special Operator: 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-lahttp://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15932840,00.html

    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.

  • Nevin

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/egypt-vows-structur
    See the link above…another example of the organized big business lobby promoting the interests of now the Morsi regime in Egypt. Do they care that Morsi is a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood and had a personal history of virulent anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and aggressive attitudes towards Israel? Or that Egypt plans to go to war with Israel (which they planned to under the previous Mubarak and Sadat regimes as the Badr-96 exercises reveal)? Nope…the multinational "job creators" seem to care about increasing the bottom line and increasing the political legitimacy of a budding Islamo-Fascist regime. Maybe this would be a good topic for local talk radio hosts to hammer home. And there are many libertarian and conservative writers who call for basically unimpeded political access via campaign finance for these same un-national interests such as the Big Labor and Big Business? It is high time for a debate on the definition of conservatism…is it about constitutional nationalism or about the ability to profit at all costs no matter what the harm is done to our national security and prosperity?

  • Chance Hammond

    Seazen's hatred of business is craziness. Corporations ARE people. That's all they are. They are people who have grouped together to form a business, working together toward a shared goal. As Jack Welch says, "Of course corporations are people. What else would they be?' Buildings dont hire people. Buildings dont make discoveries and innovations and hiring decisions. Most individuals working in a corporation are regular people, just like you and me, and your friends. Corporations are people in the same way that governments are people. The problem is that governments have a power over its "customers" that private corporations do not—government can require its "customers" to do as it wants, and the "customer" has no immediate altrernative. Citizens United did not give corporations the right to vote, it gave people the right to group themselves together to speak.

    "Corporations arent people" is doublespeak, spoken by socialists who really want to say that business is evil, that capitalism doesnt work, and that its unfair—- therefore let's re-distribute the wealth.

    • seazen

      Talk about doublespeak! That is the most twisted flow of illogic as has been posted in a long time. Corporations are not living, breathing, sentient beings. They are simply structures that are used by individuals to operate within the economy. Governments are not people, either. Churches are not people. Universities are not people. All are just places where people work, or worship, or teach, or whatever. Each institution has its own role in society but individuals have rights protected by the Constitution and are where "We, the People" comes from.

      And the silliness about the rejection of the artifice of corporations as people translates into being a socialist that believes that business is evil, that capitalism doesn't work, that is not fair and there we should redistribute the wealth is an invention of your mind.

  • Hank Sha

    The liberal media blasts corporate America all the time..They have no right to voice their point of view?? How is that fair?

  • TL heart

    The only purpose of a business is to make money! It is not to satisty the screwed up thinking of the demcoms of the world.

  • Hank Sha

    So Al Sharpton a convicted liar in the Tawana Brawley case, can speak every day and voice his opinion but the president of IBM can not speak even if she is willing to pay for the privilege??