Friday, June 05, 2015

Grayson Leads Huge Bipartisan Effort To Strengthen Freedom Of The Press


On Wednesday the House passed an important amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2578). Alan Grayson wrote it and led the fight to pass it so that the federal government would no longer be allowed to harass journalists with the intention of forcing them to reveal their sources. It passed with huge bipartisan support, 245-182. Although 71 Republicans voted with Grayson and the Democrats, these were the 11 Democrats who crossed the aisle and voted with the anti-democracy GOP leadership:
Gerry Connolly (New Dem-VA)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Rubén Hinojosa (TX)
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)
Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Raul Ruiz (CA)
Adam Schiff (New Dem-CA)
Bobby Scott (VA)
Brad Sherman (CA)
Albio Sires (NJ)
Adam Smith (New Dem-WA)
Grayson: "Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy. Threatening journalists with prosecution to force them to reveal their sources undermines that freedom. Thomas Jefferson said, 'Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.' I'm glad that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle voted today to protect the Constitution. Confidential sources have helped reporters bring to light scandals and misdeeds that otherwise would have remained hidden. From Watergate to the Pentagon Papers to the abuses of prisoners in the War on Terror, the media has held those in power answerable for their actions. This amendment protects those journalists who are working to keep Americans informed."

Although several California Republicans-- Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock, Dana Rohrabacher-- backed Grayson's amendment and voted for it, right-wing extremist Steve Knight (CA-25) refused. The progressive Democrat running against him, Lou Vince, a former LAPD officer and ex-marine, was furious. "Steve Knight," he told us today, "likes to point to the Bill of Rights only when it fits his political agenda. The freedom of the press is a cornerstone of American democracy. If Knight truly valued liberty as he claims to, he would have voted in favor of this bipartisan measure."

Grayson's exact wording:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to compel a person to testify about information or sources that the person states in a motion to quash the subpoena that he has obtained as a journalist or reporter and that he regards as confidential.
Schumer would rather get journalists to focus on the twisted lies he's been planting about Grayson with compliant journalists, one of whom is whining that Grayson cursed at him. Never mind that Grayson just got legislation passed that would protect professional journalists from tyranny in the most profound sense; just remember that Grayson responded badly when a journalist accused him of whichever planted lie Schumer and the Patrick Murphy campaign camp were planting that week.

Grayson will be announcing his run for the open U.S. Senate seat Marco Rubio is abandoning. If you'd like to see the Senate upgraded with a brilliant, stalwart progressive fighter-- rather than downgraded with the addition of another Wall Street hack who votes with the GOP (Patrick Murphy)-- please contribute what you feel comfortable giving to Grayson's campaign fund.

Grayson's Been Busy... Legislating

Thursday he wrote and passed 4 amendments to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, the most of any Member of Congress of either party. All 4 amendments were agreed to overwhelmingly in bipartisan voice votes. His first amendment will increase funding for housing for the elderly by $2,500,000 and reduce funding for policy development and research by a similar amount. The second one increases funding for fair housing and equal opportunity by $150,000. The third prohibits the use of funds to enter into contracts with entities [like defense contractors] who have been convicted of fraud. And his final amendment "prohibits the use of funds to make incentive payments pursuant to 48 CFR 16.4 to contractors for contracts that are behind schedule under the terms of the contract as prescribed by 48 CFR 52.211 or over the contract amount indicated in Standard Form 33, box 20."

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At 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would that this were possible. As was once said, Freedom of the Press belongs to the person who owns the printing device. I can see no Constitutional means of eliminating the influence of money over the media, and having public ownership of same doesn't instill confidence that a corrupt government (such as now dominates Congress and SCOTUS) wouldn't abuse their power.

Add in the pending domination of the Internet by the "providers" and no good means of mass communication remains available to counter the growing corporatist control over information.


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