How often do you see quality videos for candidates or issues right here in Longmont? (Not counting craptastic anti-religious rantings, which of course are not quality). Well, here’s one for a certain city councilman who’s up for re-election. Enjoy.
As the video says, “Produced by Longmont Advocate and not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee IAW LFCPA Pg 3.” What’s that? That’s the new Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act (IAW means In accordance with), to some meant to even the playing field, but in reality it complicates things so much that your average citizen will just avoid doing anything related to elections, including and most importantly excercising their Freedom of Speech. That includes donating how ever much money you like, within reason, but who defines “reasonable”?
But as you know, I write opinion and commentary, here and several other places including in print in the Times-Call and YourHub (Denver Post). I also did podcasts, or audio commentary, and lately commentary through videos. I’ve been doing this for several years, not just around election time. But back to this LFCPA Pg 3, it talks about “electioneering“, and more importantly what shall not be considered an “electioneering communication“:
1. Any news articles, editorial endorsements, opinion or commentary writings, including all electronic communication, or letters to the editor printed in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical not owned or controlled by a candidate, or agent of a candidate committee, issue committee or political committee;
2. Any endorsements or opinions aired by any broadcast facility, including cable or satellite not owned or controlled by a candidate or agent of a candidate committee, issue committee or political committee; or
3. Any communication by persons made in the regular course and scope of their business or any communication made by a membership organization solely to members of such organization and their families. (emphasis added)
I think that about covers me, as I’m not owned or controlled by anyone, nor am I an agent for anyone or anything – except the excercising of free speech. I also didn’t spend any money making this and future videos, or got paid to do it. I don’t have to pay to distribute these writings, audio or video, but I may play along with this silly “indicia” the city has instituted – which is sort of like a trademark signifying you’ve registered with the City Clerk. But I think that’s geared more towards 527’s, which I’m not. But you never know, I may want to make my own mailers, which will cost money.
Go read the new ordinance, see if it will make you want to participate more in the process, or less. My guess is less, which is exactly how incumbents want it to be. Better yet, test it in court, I’m sure someone will sooner or later.