Democratic officeholders seem to be operating a conspiracy to stifle free speech and suppress heterodox thought. They’re on C.P. time, alright: Communist Party time. Glenn Reynolds named names in his USA Today column “Dear attorneys general, conspiring against free speech is a crime.” Glenn identified U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as co-conspirators. Glenn laid out the conspiracy as follows.
First, Schneiderman and reportedly Harris sought to investigate Exxon in part for making donations to groups and funding research by individuals who think “climate change” is either a hoax, or not a problem to the extent that people like Harris and Schneiderman say it is. This investigation was denounced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Hans Bader as unconstitutional.
After Bader’s critique, Walker subpoenaed the Competitive Enterprise Institute for documents including donor lists. In the subpoena, Walker effectively asks for all CEI communications on climate change and energy policy from 1997 through 2007, including private donor information. “If we are forced to hand this information over,” CEI comments, “then these private individuals—our donors—would lose the confidentiality they are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution and according to Supreme Court rulings.” The purpose of this subpoena is, it seems quite clear, to punish CEI by making people less willing to donate.
Glenn noted “an unprecedented meeting by 20 state attorneys general aimed, environmental news site EcoWatch reports, at targeting entities that have ‘stymied attempts to combat global warming.’ You don’t have to be paranoid to see a conspiracy here.”
The Times reports: “The Exxon Mobil subpoena seeks communications with a veritable who’s who of conservative and free-market organizations, including the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Heartland Institute, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, FreedomWorks and the Media Research Center. The subpoena also lists pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Oil and Gas Association.”
CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman responds in a statement we have received by email:
The attack on First Amendment rights by U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Walker, Al Gore, and a coalition of attorneys general, is clearly political targeting aimed at stifling free speech and intimidating policy groups and private individuals who disagree with them. CEI is vigorously fighting these attacks on our rights, and the rights of all Americans who are protected by the Constitution and the First Amendment. Exxon’s subpoena reveals an astounding number of organizations and individuals targeted by these AGs, which further proves it is not only CEI’s First Amendment rights at risk, but anyone who holds different opinions than these government officials, whether that is on climate change or any other issue.
The Democratic establishment is writing a new chapter in the saga of liberal fascism.