Thursday, September 02, 2010

Rush Holt Stifles Free Speech...Again

By Abram N. Spangel

Love him or hate him, no one can accuse Rush Holt of being an advocate of free speech.

Just yesterday Rush Holt performed a Tony Soprano impersonation by announcing that he was going to "request" that television stations pull an ad critical of Holt's policies with respect to Israel.

Let's look at Holt's record on free speech.
In September of 2006, Holt tried to pressure Connecticut television stations to pull commercials produced by U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson who was running against Democrat challenger Chris Murphy to represent Connecticut's 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Holt voted against repealing the so-called fairness doctrine which is aimed at stifling conservative voices on talk radio shows.

When the FCC pushed to regulate broadband Internet access in May of 2010 under the decades old rules governing telecommunications, Holt was silent. One problem with this more rigorous regulation is that using land-line phone rules to govern Internet traffic will reduce capital expenditures on Internet infrastructure by billions of dollars, ultimately leading to less Internet content.

On July 2, 2010, the Transportation Security Administration informed all of its employees that all of the TSA's computers would block out websites that provided controversial opinion. Again, Rush Holt had no issues with this level of censorship.

In a town hall meeting on Obamacare in Marlboro, NJ, in late January 2010, Holt ripped the microphone out a female constituent's hands when he didn't like the direction of her question. Holt isn't participating in any real live town hall meetings anymore. Further, in his telephone town hall meetings, Holt's process of screening out of potential unfriendly participants is tighter than a mosquito's ass stretched over a basketball hoop.

Holt is doing everything he can to avoid, or at least delay, debating the Republican challenger for his seat in Congress.

Holt expressed no concern when President Obama claimed that there was a role for the government to play in censoring speech when he said, "information is becoming a distraction, a diversion which is putting pressure on our country and on our democracy" in his commencement address at Hampton University in Virginia on May 9, 2010.

Despite all of Holt's efforts to impede free speech, there is one situation whereby Holt supports free speech. Many residents of New Jersey's 12th District have witnessed it first-hand. Holt suddenly becomes a free speech advocate when he has the opportunity to abuse his franking privileges to carpet bomb the district with his campaign material at taxpayer expense.

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