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Three Democratic members of the Federal Elections Commission voted to punish a conservative filmmaker for distributing a cost-free film critical of President Obama.
Filmmaker Joel Gilbert distributed “Dreams of My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception” to millions of voters in swing states through his firm Highway 61 Entertainment prior to the 2012 election, according to the Washington Examiner.
Gilbert acted on his own volition without ties to the Mitt Romney campaign or any other political group, party or candidate. Nonetheless, an FEC complaint was filed against him in the matter causing him to fire back with a standard media exemption.
The Examiner reported:
But despite giving the same exemption to liberal movie makers like Michael Moore and Daily Kos, the Democrats recently voted against Gilbert in a February action, reviving their bid to punish conservative media, a campaign initially targeting online news outlets like the Drudge Report.
Lucky for Gilbert, the three Republicans on the FEC also united to vote to give him the exemption. The tie vote blocked any action, and was followed by a unanimous 6-0 vote to close the file. Had he lost, Gilbert would have been required to report who helped fund the anti-Obama movie.
In order to prevent blocks like this by Republican commissioners, Democratic lawmakers have called for an odd number of FEC members. Republicans replied that such a move would result in harsher rules directed at conservative media.
Republican Commissioner Lee E. Goodman has warned about this for three years, and said that the Gilbert vote is one more indication that the Democratic commissioners are focused only on conservative “wrongdoers.”
“Freedom of the press isn’t so free when three government commissars vote to punish a filmmaker for distributing a documentary film,” he told the Examiner.
“Conservative documentary films have faced tough sledding at the FEC, no matter how the films are distributed,” Goodman said, adding, “It’s chilling.”
Watch the clip via Joel Gilbert.
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