Friday, January 15, 2010

AG Rob McKenna Says Supreme Court May Take R-71 Case Today

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The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to decide today if they will hear our case regarding the names of those who signed R-71.

Those seeking to release the names say it is about "open government".

We say it is about the effect of threats and harassment on free speech.

State Attorney General Rob McKenna, who along with Secretary of State Sam Reed, seeks to release the names, is quoted by the Seattle PI as saying he believes the high court could make R-71 one of the few appeals they'll consider this year.

Here's why he believes that.

McKenna says, "The reason that the Supreme Court might take it is that they have a penchant for First Amendment cases, especially when they involve novel questions, so they might take it, we'll see."

Our lawyer, James Bopp, Jr., says people have a right to participate in the political system without the government compelling them to identify themselves.

This case has been followed closely by legal scholars since it was filed. If heard, the outcome would have national implication.

Also, today, State Representative Mike Armstrong's HB 2612, that would exempt signature petitions for referenda and initiatives from public inspection and copying, will hold a hearing.

The hearing is at 1:30 PM, in room D in the O'Brien building on the Capitol campus in Olympia.

Be vigilant. Be discerning. Be active. Be prayerful.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

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  1. Careful what you wish for. A Supreme Court ruling case will allow organizations from the left, as well as from the right, to take advantage of opportunity to conceal the identities of petition signers and campaign contributors.

    Imagine, the Teamsters and SEIU joining forces to launch a signature drive to increase the minimum wage, or mandatory state-controlled health care. Now imagine THOSE signatures being exempt from disclosure.

    Does no one remember how the unions flourished before the open-government laws, because they were able to conceal their purchase of elected officials? Do we really want to go back to the days of smoke-filled rooms and secret campaign contributions?

    Imagine, for a moment, the local chapters of Planned Parenthood and NARAL sponsoring a "freedom-of-abortion" initiative. Now imagine THOSE signatures being exempt from disclosure.

    A supreme court decision on this case could also affect the disclosure of

    Now imagine both of these left-wing intiatives making the ballot. We might not get to know who contributes to them. We might not know who is bankrolling these left-wing efforts.

    We could also lose the ability to find out whose purchased the left-wing candidates who run as "democrats." I have a feeling the "democrats" will find a way to adapt quickly and turn this to their advantage.

    I'm sure the Teamsters and Planned Parenthood are watching this case closely.

  2. I don't think this issue includes financial reporting. It involves referenda and iniatives and peoples right to participate in the political process with out fear of harassment from the other side. Most people of faith do not harvest names from these sources and harass them. However, gays rights activists have been very active in these activities in California, following Prop. 8, a number of other states and here in Washington state.

  3. I see your point, but I'm not exactly sure that signatures on an initiative to promote state-sponsored abortion or state-sponsored heath care should be shielded from public view.

    Also, in the R-71 campaign, there were attempts to the names of the contributors to PMW from disclosure - the PDC was asked to grant an exemption for the same reasons the lawsuit was filed to block release of petition signatures. I can see someone, abeit with good intention, wanting to take this one step further to try to protect the identities of those who contribute to ballot measures and candidates that uphold traditional values. If a court ruled on this, then the ruling would also allow the "sinestra" wing to shield their contributors from public view as well. My point is, will will greater harm than good result in the long run?

  4. Generally I don't agree with
    F & F but I do on this .

    The issues of abortion, homosexuality, ETC are emotional issues.

    When people feel that they are in a war, civil law does not apply and all is fair in dealing with the enemy.
    Like terrorism (bombings) and harassment.

    In this case the signers of 71 are in danger from the
    extreme left. Also the doctors and nurses that work in birth control clinics are in danger from the extreme right.

    The names should not be made public.

  5. I am so glad this issue is going forward! Thinking of the sweet elderly who signed my petitions, I would be horified if they were contacted and horrassed by the 'other side' on this issue! Yes, it's a matter of our basic freedom. The freedom of expression, to agree that we disagree, and yet have the opportunity to exercise our right to sign petitions, no matter that the issue is. To me this is simple. Maintain the freedoms that have been established via our forfathers!


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