Going to Jail for Speaking Out

Institute for Justice has this great and simple video on the issue of reporting lobbying activity as grassroots activists.


In Washington, the state IJ is suing for their registration laws, the fines for not registering your activities with the government – even if you never contact an elected official yourself – are on par with those for extortion and identity theft. That’s nuts. In Massachusetts, you can choose to organize with your friends and neighbors for a little political activism without government consent or you can start a brothel – both carry the same punishment.

3 thoughts on “Going to Jail for Speaking Out”

  1. This is the typical Institute for Justice MO. Position the issue as one that is restricting small groups/businesses and use them for the test case, obscuring the fact that the laws the IJ are trying to abolish were typically written with much larger targets in mind.

    The more appropriate question to be asking is – should there be any controls on lobbyists at all? I wish they’d just come out and say it.

    1. It doesn’t really matter who the laws were designed for, it just matters how they impact citizens. I don’t care if those citizens are part of the “little guy” or the big, behemoth corporation. It’s just that the big guys have the money to spend on lawyers to keep them out of trouble. We little folks don’t. These stories are a way that IJ can communicate the message of the impact in a way that casual observers can understand. It’s much for interesting to learn about the effect of a law than to have a debate about the philosophy as a whole.

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