Taking down D’Souza

Brad Smith is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School and the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He is also the chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics as well as the author of Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform.

Professor Smith brings his expertise on campaign finance law and regulation to bear on the prosecution of Dinesh D’Souza in “Taking D’Souza down and other abuses of power.” Professor Smith frames his column on the kind of alternate history with which so many of us have occupied ourselves in the Age of Obama. This one somehow exceeds the bounds of imagination. Indeed, it may induce a cerebrovascular accident among unwary conservative readers:

In 2004 leftwing filmmaker Michael Moore released his film Fahrenheit 9/11, a searing attack on the legitimacy of George Bush’s election to the presidency in 2000, and his handling of events before, during, and after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2011 on the World Trade Center. Moore was unequivocal in his stated hope that the movie would “help unseat a president.”

Fahrenheit 9/11 was produced by Moore’s production company Dog Eat Dog Films, a corporation. At the time – before the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission—it was illegal for corporations to spend money “in connection with any election to any political office,” and illegal for an officer of a corporation to consent to such an expenditure.

Imagine if fourteen months after the election, Moore had been indicted by a Bush-appointed federal prosecutor for violating the prohibition on corporate spending. Imagine if Moore was arrested, cuffed, criminally charged for his activities, had his passport confiscated, and bail set at $500,000–what would have been the reaction from the America’s liberals? Of the press? Of Senator Barack Obama?

Professor Smith observes: “Something much like this is, in fact, going on now, with nary a peep from the mainsteam press or the American left, and definitely not a peep from the President.” Please read the whole thing here.

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