Thursday, February 11, 2010

More good news from the legislative session

Another dumb bill failed to advance during the Wyoming State Legislature's 20-day budget session. This dumb bill was based on the recent anti-democratic Supreme Court ruling endowing corporations with the rights of citizens especially the right to buy any election they want.

Here's the info, via Jeremy Pelzer's story in the Casper Star-Tribune:

State representatives on Wednesday voted down a proposal that would have erased state restrictions on independent political spending by corporations, labor unions and other groups.

The rejection keeps Wyoming's election law at odds with a recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision and could make the state the target of lawsuits this election season.

Currently, corporations, labor unions and other groups are not allowed to make independent expenditures on behalf of political candidates in Wyoming. But last month, the Supreme Court ruled that such bans on the federal level violated corporations' First Amendment rights to free speech.


Ben Barr, a Maryland-based constitutional attorney with the Wyoming Liberty Group who wrote a legal brief cited in the Supreme Court decision, said a corporation or other group could resort to a lawsuit to overturn the state rules.

"The Legislature does need to act on this, otherwise Wyoming is in a way being a renegade and quite frankly unlawful after the Supreme Court has spoken on the issue so definitively," Barr said.

Yes, Mr. Barr, the Supreme Court spoke definitively and its five reactionary judges are beyond the pale on this issue. They're not so much renegades as Palin-style mavericks pretending to be populist champions but really being stooges for multinational corporations. Congress is working on legislation to block the impact of the Supreme Court's ruling.

Why would Wyomingites want to turn over their elections to big corporations? Aren't Wyoming Republicans concerned about the right of individual citizens? We know that they are very concerned about second amendment rights (more legislation coming up on that topic). But what about the all-important first amendment?

And who is this Mr. Barr? Another darn outside agitator? Doesn't he know that Wyoming likes being a renegade? Much better than being mavericky.


Meg Lanker said...

Ben Barr actually graduated from UW's law school if I'm not mistaken.

Michael Shay said...

You may be right, Meg. I visited the Wyoming Liberty group web site looking for Barr bio info but could find none. Lots of wingnuttery but no bios. You should go check out the site at

Anonymous said...

Ben Barr got his undergrad degree from UW and his law degree from Chicago-Kent, and his brief was cited by the Supreme Court in its Citizen's United opinion.