Diana West is a best selling author and nationally syndicated columnist. I first became aware of her with her "The Death of the Grown-Up," which examined American culture in an age of infantilism.
Her most recent book is "American Betrayal: The Secret Assault On Our Nation's Character." It generated a firestorm of controversy on the right and, eventually, throughout the political spectrum for its well researched but unwelcome conclusions that America had been infiltrated to a far greater degree by agents of the USSR than previously known or publicly admitted. It can be purchased by clicking here.
Perhaps the best, most concise exegesis of her book was the overview of it on the Barnes & Noble website:
"Part real-life thriller, part national tragedy, American Betrayal lights up the massive, Moscow-directed penetration of America’s most hallowed halls of power, revealing not just the familiar struggle between Communism and the Free World, but the hidden war between those wishing to conceal the truth and those trying to expose the increasingly official web of lies. American Betrayal is America’s lost history, a chronicle that pits Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight David Eisenhower, and other American icons who shielded overlapping Communist conspiracies against the investigators, politicians, defectors, and others (including Senator Joseph McCarthy) who tried to tell the American people the truth. American Betrayal shatters the approved histories of an era that begins with FDR’s first inauguration, when “happy days” are supposed to be here again, and ends when we “win” the Cold War. It is here, amid the rubble, where Diana West focuses on the World War II—Cold War deal with the devil in which America surrendered her principles in exchange for a series of Big Lies whose preservation soon became the basis of our leaders’ own self-preservation. It was this moral surrender to deception and self-deception, West argues, that sent us down the long road to moral relativism, “political correctness,” and other cultural ills that have left us unable to ask the hard questions: Does our silence on the crimes of Communism explain our silence on the totalitarianism of Islam? Is Uncle Sam once again betraying America? In American Betrayal, Diana West shakes the historical record to bring down a new understanding of our past, our present, and how we have become a nation unable to know truth from lies."
Front Page magazine, produced by the well known David Horowitz, at first gave the book a glowing review, only to have it taken down and replaced by an astonishing hatchet job on both the book and its author. Not unexpectedly this created a firestorm. Horowitz went on record saying "She should not have written this book,'' an astonishing thing for a conservative to say who pretends to deep intellectual engagement.
West responded fearlessly and thoroughly. Her response can be read by clicking here.
No less than Amity Shlaes, author of Coolidge and The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression has said:
"Diana West masterfully reminds us of what history is for: to suggest action for the present. She paints for us the broad picture of our own long record of failing to recognize bullies and villains. She shows how American denial today reflects a pattern that held strongly in the period of the Soviet Union. She is the Michelangelo of Denial."
One reviewer put it like this:
"Every once in a while, something happens that turns a whole structure of preconceived ideas upside down, shattering tales and narratives long taken for granted, destroying prejudice, clearing space for new understanding to grow. Diana West's latest book, American Betrayal, is such an event."
-- Henrik Raeder Clausen, Europe News
Diana West is the exclusive guest for the full hour of Gilmore & Glahn radio, Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 4 p.m. CDT. Please go here to listen in real time. The podcast will be linked to below once the show has aired.
Gilmore & Glahn are honored to have Diana West tell their listeners the real story of what she found while conducting what she has called "investigative history." Don't miss Radio Worth Your Time™
PODCAST: The Diana West interview can be heard or downloaded by clickingHERE
Last weekend Rep. David FitzSimmons failed to be endorsed by republicans in house district 30B, which he has represented for the last two years when it became an open seat after redistricting. He has said that he will not run in the primary, thus bringing his office holding career to an end for the time being. He withdrew from the race at the last possible moment before facing a shellacking at the hands of a popular challenger, Eric Lucero, a respected member of the Dayton city council. Before the vote FitzSimmons spoke to the delegates, praising himself and then, crying due to feeling sorry for himself, fled the building after saying he was withdrawing from the race. It's difficult to respect such conduct. He owed it to the delegates he made stay all day to see the vote through, to lose with dignity and to appear on the same dais with the eventual winner for the sake of party unity. He did none of this. His true character was laid bare.
By contrast, Marty Seifert, who FitzSimmons helped defeat for the republican endorsement for governor in 2010, stopped the counting of the third ballot during that endorsing convention and threw his support behind Tom Emmer, who he asked to join him on the dais to unite the party (Emmer would have been incapable of such a gesture, had the vote gone the other way). This is what a man of integrity does; this is the behavior of a leader. This is what David FitzSimmons could not muster the capacity to do and that's unfortunate.
The dispositive issue that cost him the endorsement was said to be his vote in 2013 to legalize same sex marriage in Minnesota. The majority of his constituents who participated in the endorsement process felt strongly enough about that vote to effectively remove him from office. FitzSimmons represents one of the safest, and most conservative, districts in the state. The result should have surprised no one but the reactions I witnessed (well before the vote and after) demonstrated yet again that republicans are incoherent to themselves, with little understanding of how unappealing that makes them to general election voters.
Recall at the time of the vote FitzSimmons, and the four other republicans who voted for same sex marriage, were the toast of the town. Is there anything easier than fitting in with the liberal mindset of Minnesota, in particular the Twin Cities and its media elite? This isn't to say that the five did not believe in the merits of their vote; assuredly they did. The point is that at the time the vote was taken it was cost free, with discussion of subsequent fallout mentioned mostly in passing, an after thought to the "courageous" vote of "conscience" that they had just taken. As if principled opponents to genderless marriage were simply the bigoted caricatures that mean spirited opponents kept insisting they were; as if "don't limit the freedom to marry" was a substantive argument instead of a way station bumper sticker en route to grievous cultural problems; as if once marriage was no longer defined as between one man and one woman, other equal protection challenges would not be forthcoming, as indeed they have been and will continue to be, from, among others, polygamists. The argument was never as specious as same sex marriage proponents put it, that wanting to marry a dog or a horse would be laughed out of court. The argument advanced is one that will continue to advance: if the state has no compelling interest in the gender of marriage, previously essential for millennia across all cultures for all of recorded human history, then it has none whatsoever in the number of people to a marriage.
Current discussions of FitzSimmons' predicament take place as if the stakes back then were not high, for both sides. They were, of course. How surprising, then, can it be that politically active republicans in house district 30B would wait for their next opportunity to express themselves? Why is their sense of betrayal somehow of less account than the media generated profiles in courage of not just Fitzsimmons but the other republicans who helped democrats vote in same sex marriage? It was laid on extremely thick at the time. You can Google their names individually and note their uniform response of "Aw shucks, who me? A hero? Well, if you insist."
Media approval is a beguiling thing, especially for Minnesota republican politicians who are rarely used to it.
Here, though, we have something else: hitherto staunch defenders of the endorsement system wondering out loud about its continued relevance. Yet before Fitzsimmons was at risk, through his volitional act, they eschewed any notion that the endorsement process was outmoded, captured by unrepresentative activists who all too often selected candidates who could not win Minnesota general elections. How many times do republicans have to lose every state-wide race before this begins to sink in?
With FitzSimmons, we were treated to truly bizarre and demonstrably false headlines from right-leaning blogs like "Gay Marriage and the Political Lynching of David Fitzsimmons" and "David Fitzsimmons: Being Wronged For Doing Right." This is complete nonsense, bereft of evidence and written for reasons best known to their authors. FitzSimmons meets his constituents; to whom else is he responsible? If they select another to represent them, such is neither a lynching nor being done wrong. This is politics at work, democracy which, had not their preferred ox been gored, those same critics would have celebrated.
FitzSimmons said at the time that he voted his conscience. I have no reason not to believe him and there is a certain integrity in that. On the other hand, his constituents felt badly betrayed. Their feelings are the most under-reported aspect of this story. They actually count more than FitzSimmons', though you'd be hard pressed to find that sentiment expressed in the coverage which followed his defeat. He preened at the time that his vote might cost him his job. When his bravado chickens came home to roost, he wasn't man enough to stay for the vote that would defeat him but cried and ran off like a coward. He is no one's idea of a martyr except to the most craven, of which, apparently, there are more of in the activist base than I realized before last Saturday. An elected official lied to his constituents and was held accountable by them for it. If this bothers you, you might want to rethink the purpose and nature of elected office.
Baird Helgeson, the Star Tribune's best political reporter now that Kevin Diaz went to the Houston Chronicle, gives an outline of the talking points of both sides, with an obvious bias against Lucero, in his reporting that can be read here. Unfortunately, while Helgeson mentions it, he does not link to FitzSimmons' email essentially lying to a constituent about marriage. That email can be seen by clicking here. If you like to be lied to, David's your man. I've long known liberals don't mind it but until last weekend I didn't realize that was true of republicans.
The most obscured fact of this endorsement story is that FitzSimmons betrayed the trust of his constituents by campaigning on and promising repeatedly to oppose same sex marriage. It was the betrayal, as much as the issue per se, that animated the attendees to give Lucero 74% of their vote on the first ballot (sixty percent is required for endorsement). If the situation were reversed and house district 30B was thoroughly pro same sex marriage, and its representative voted to block it, the same critics would applaud the district's move to replace him. We'd be lectured on accountability, transparency and the need to respect the will of the delegates. What has just been described, of course, is the definition of hypocrisy.
The worst analyses of this matter were those that predicted doom for the entire republican party in Minnesota; who insisted that denying FitzSimmons the endorsement was a return to divisive social issues that will drag it down, now and forever, world without end. There is simply no evidence to support this contention and much to contradict it. Far from reverberating across the state and within the party, it will be forgotten about with the speed it deserves as we focus on surviving what--please God--could be the last session of the legislature run entirely by leftists.
On the same day house district 30B voted its preference, Rep. Pat Garofalo (HD 58B) was endorsed at his convention. He voted for same sex marriage, just like FitzSimmons. If a party-wide desire to re-litigate same sex marriage existed, one would think it would show up in that district as well. Rep. Jenifer Loon (HD 48B) has no announced opposition and her endorsement convention is upcoming shortly. She, too, voted for same sex marriage in Minnesota. Again, nothing to support the gloomiest of predictions which at times, on and off Twitter, seemed to be in competition with each other for Most Dire. Such group hysteria gets tiresome quickly. One supporter hoped the democrats picked up this seat. Now there's a politically sophisticated person! Others emphasized FitzSimmons' hard work for candidates and his giving of money to the party and various races. Both admirable qualities but do those pointing them out really think they give a politician a pass from betraying his constituents?
At the end of the day, David FitzSimmons is just another politician who lied to his constituents about one of their most important issues, about which, had he been honest, he would never have been elected in the first place. Having shown his previously hidden true colors to them, the delegates in house district 30B had every right to send him packing.
As my friends on the left would say, this is what democracy looks like.
Political neophyte Mike McFadden, selected by Norm Coleman, Vin Weber and the inside the beltway group of usual suspects, is running for the Minnesota republican nomination to contest against incumbent Sen. Al Franken this fall. McFadden has no particular qualifications to bring to the Senate but, then, neither did Franken so the point can't fairly be held against him. Congress, most of us could agree, is not filled with luminaries.
What can be held against him, and why I cannot and will not support him for Senate, is the fact that he is a wholly contrived candidate who says and does precisely what his patrons and handlers want him to say and do. He gives astroturf a bad name.
His candidacy is simply being forced upon republicans in the state who are expected to fall in line. Far more of them than is healthy are eager to do so, apparently in the belief that anyone with money will be our best candidate against Franken. This is a lazy analysis, on one level, and a perfectly understandable one on another. What it isn't, on balance, is acceptable.
It's not acceptable for two political has-beens with lobbying clients to pre-select and then impose a cipher candidate who will parrot the policy issue positions most in line with those paying clients. McFadden has no connection with the republican base and has gone out of his way not to develop one. He's well known now for avoiding debates with the other republican candidates or even engaging with the base in a meaningful way. Lately the campaign has tweeted him out and about with hapless republicans badly staged around him, unable to wipe an indifferent look off of their faces. One thinks of those "Kim Jong Il looking at things" Tumblr accounts only here it's "Mike McFadden meets the unwashed activists." His consultants have told him all he needs to know about those types. Who can blame him? The hoi polloi can scrape about in support of Julianne Ortman, Chris Dalhberg or others for the endorsement (quaint) but he and his wallet are going to bigfoot the primary and buy the nomination outright. It worked for Dayton, didn't it?
His initial rollout to "the troops" was particularly painful. Invented reasons for a guy who was very successful in the private sector were put in his unconvincing mouth as to why he suddenly felt the pull of "public service." His videos were better produced than, say, Scott Honour's, but at least with the latter you could get some sense of a personality; you really could see yourself having a beer with him. With McFadden's videos, you have to get past his daughter "introducing" us to someone who leaves us cold; you could see yourself as the subject of his next vivisection. McFadden's essential quality thus far is Robo Candidate.
But shortcomings as an actual candidate are one thing, a thing most republicans can, and do, get past. McFadden's positions on the issues, however, are an abomination; that is, when you can pin him down on one.
McFadden's website has no "issues" page. None. Contempt doesn't come any more clearly expressed unless you prefer "F you," which also works.
The republicans who are supposed to support him because Norm & Vin & Karl picked him are not held in sufficient esteem to have even boilerplate language on routine issues. No, this guy has to be uncommitted to many things because his value to their lobbying clients increases as a result. Need a senate candidate to parrot your position on something? You know who to call and who to pay. The number of activists duped by this vaudeville show is depressing.
Last summer, McFadden told the St. Cloud Times he supported the then recently passed Senate immigration bill. That legislation is a disaster for the future of the republican party and provides for amnesty for illegal aliens despite all protests to the contrary. The base knew this; the base was blown off. McFadden is given his positions and republicans will know them when and as he chooses to reveal them. The idea Mike McFadden will, in any meaningful sense, reflect the wishes of the base is unwarranted. Instead, the base should be glad he was scrounged up by their betters and put forth to give the appearance of a competitive race.
McFadden also recently declared that he would close the gun show "loophole" that few in the base believe exists or wish to close. Amnesty and support for gun control: isn't a democrat already running for this office? McFadden is clearly doing what his consultants tell him to and when. It's a sign of what bad advice he's already getting, however, that well before clinching the nomination he's running a general election campaign. Lovely: you lose the base before you try to woo it and you give a general election voter no reason to vote for DFL-lite. Haven't we seen this movie?
Last month the campaign announced a hilarious "steering committee" of republicans from whom the future in this state will never, nor should, come. An unimpressive lot, these people do what they are told. They would have been tickled to be on any candidate's meaningless steering committee if offered or ordered. Hypocritically, many of them demand that the endorsement be followed when it comes to the race in CD 6 because they support Tom Emmer but are perfectly happy with McFadden "not respecting the will of the delegates," as the phrase goes, and going to a primary. Integrity.
Yesterday Eric Black, formerly of the Star Tribune, now of MinnPost (like so many others there), held forth in somewhat inflated terms and declared that "expectations" have been "altered" in the Senate race because of McFadden. This is laughable. Short of Franken drowning a woman, people have written off McFadden beating him. The motions, though, must be gone through. Right. Black's analysis is conventional although consistent with the scripted nature of the empty McFadden campaign. Black focuses on the chimera of competition given a well funded candidate versus an underfunded one.
He avoids entirely just what a poor candidate qua candidate McFadden is; this will only get more noticeable in direct comparison to Franken who, say what one might, can't be accused of lacking personality. Black's article is long on process (which too many mistake for actual political analysis) and short on substance. This didn't stop people who want a job, or a different one, from crowing on Twitter that "even" the paleo liberals at MinnPost agree McFadden is our most formidable candidate. Of course MinnPost is pioneering "sponsored journalism," which is simply another term for paid content or advertising. I half expected to see a disclosure that Black's article was sponsored by the McFadden campaign.
The manager for Mike For Senate was parachuted in from Florida via political friends to Minnesota, a state with which he had no prior connection. He comes well regarded by friends whose opinion I value but, nothing personal, I'm sure he's already thinking about the next gig, after Mike loses to Al. Of course, this guy's employment is yet another manifestation of the fact that Minnesota republicans don't have an excess of local talent. People get snippy when you point out this obvious fact; they get put on steering committees, or its equivalent, and consider it some sort of achievement.
Minnesota republicans have to decide if they want to continue to be treated like stooges and children by formerly active republicans who have lost elected office and who now dine out like pigs on K Street, the Business Roundtable, American Action Network or some other self-serving organization. That more of my fellow republicans cannot see what a deus ex machina farce the McFadden campaign has been since its beginning is discouraging. They humor me by saying this is the way things go in federal races in Minnesota; that's there no reason I shouldn't understand this by now.
Except I do understand and I object. They seem to think that in doing so I'm making a big mistake. Actually, it's the other way around.
The biking "community" has long been insufferable in both their pretentiousness as well as their completely unearned but self-awarded moral superiority. These zealots demand to be taken seriously in their attempts to subvert automobile travel. Their self-absorption is breathtaking but bikers appear to have little, if any, self-awareness. Bikers come replete with standard issue positions of the lazy left on almost any political or social topic. Indeed, these types are the quintessential "the personal is the political" adherents which, if taken literally, means we should have a civil society minutely politicized. This, of course, is a hallmark of communist, totalitarian thinking. The arrested development of the permanent adolescent has no greater expositor than the biking types; beta-males incarnate.
The death of a newly arrived man in Minneapolis brought this creepy aspect of bikers to my attention. Marcus Nalls, late of Atlanta and only 26 years old, was killed recently when a van crashed into a parked car and then continued, striking then pinning Nalls under it where he died immediately. This sad accident was seized upon by the two wheelers in order to politicize his death. And if you don't think bikes and other fetishized modes of transportation aren't politics, you've not been paying close enough attention to the members of the anti-car movement.
Nalls' death is sufficiently sad unto itself, it seems to me, to require nothing more than remembering him as the person he was and wanted to become. Isn't that what will happen when we all die? His young age is especially sad, which is why we feel a greater loss for a twenty-something than an eighty-something.
Instead, an inconsequential aspect of him is rendered into the very substance of the man. This is what cults do. Of course tediously earnest bikers would insist that Nalls' biking "was his essence" or some such fatuous locution. Nonsense.
Only an unthinking collectivist approach could turn a personal tragedy into small potato political agenda advancing. Bikers manifestly think of, and act like, they are morally superior in almost every regard to you schlubs who do not bike. Revealingly, the individual is immediately lost into the collective and it is from this group approach that comes a sophisticated form of bullying, the lobbying and browbeating for road changes that makes driving a car that much more difficult. Roads are for cars, with bikes far secondary. The spandex crowd wants to reverse that order.
At any rate, I was fascinated by the "memorial" held by the shallow Minneapolis biking community: it was all about them, which is to say, all about bikes. How small the life inherent in the progressive vision.
WCCO-TV had a fascinating online report about the "memorial" which focused on Nalls' means of transport much more than the actual human being. "More than 200 riders made their way from Loring Park to the sidewalk along Franklin [where Nalls died]. There, in a solemn procession, they walked their bikes past the “ghost bike,” which is a memorial bicycle that’s painted white."
All cults need icons and what better, more effective icon than one associated with death? A ghost bike? Was this some sort of sick joke? No indeed, as I found out to my amazement. Such sorts of "remembrances" take place throughout the country when a biker dies. There's even a disconcerting website: http://ghostbikes.org/
Naturally, what is really going on is the narcissism of the biking community being put on prominent display for the public to see but mostly for themselves. One white bike after another: no individual, just the hope that bikers still living won't die in a similar fashion. White bikes are the crucifixes for the secular, "spiritual but not religious" types in our midst. The dislocation of religion into environmentalism and Portlandia lifestyles is relentless.
The WCCO report went on to state: "Some of them passed sobbing, while others stopped briefly to place flowers." Sobbing for a person you never met, never knew? Are dead bikers the new Princess Diana for this crowd? Because, given what life is, Nalls won't be the last biker killed and then grotesquely fetishized in death. You can read the WCCO story here.
My favorite part of the story, though, was this: "Ride organizer Ginny Herman says the people who came out to celebrate Nalls’ life have 'kind hearts.'"
Super duper kind hearts, Ginny, unlike those drivers of automobiles. You biker squishes are the best and you'll never fail to tell yourselves that first, then others. Go have a cup of chamomile tea with an organic bran muffin and journal the depths of your soul.
Simplistic, sentimental, and narrow-minded, the biking community is a symptom of the larger disease the infects society, which is to say progressivism but with which only a distinct minority of 20% of Americans identify. We owe it to ourselves and our children to resist them.
Marcus Nalls was a sous-chef at the Minneapolis Hyatt; he moved here from Atlanta for that specific job. Rather than some unctuous public demonstration of self-regard, those who might want to honor his memory should think of putting together a scholarship at a local culinary institute in his name. That, of course, would require the "kind heart[ed]" biking "community" to step outside itself and see Nalls as a human being and not a cause.
Gary W. Goldsmith is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance & Disclosure Board ("CFB"). He makes, as of 2012, $92, 417 per year and has been with the CFB for a Phyllis Kahn-like 19 years and counting. His salary is $51, 276 higher than the average for all Minnesota state employees. Let's start dealing with income inequality in the parasitical public sector before those who could never make it in the private start lecturing the rest of us.
CFB Boards of Directors come and go; Goldsmith remains, head of the permanent bureaucracy whose raison d'être is to manage, if not stifle, our 1st Amendment freedom of political speech. I can't fault him, exactly, for believing in doing what he does. I can, however, fault him for doing it in the manner he has, which is with an unassuming arrogance and a sure knowledge of unaccountability.
Goldsmith is a confirmed, featured speaker at a DFL, left-wing, government management festival hosted by the definition-of-unimpressive Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The HHH School, as it is known, is run by Prof. Larry Jacobs, a laughing-stock on social media for his mindless parroting of all things DFL and his imperviousness to any pretense of fairness or integrity. Jacobs is to preside over this farce masquerading as concern for the public when, in fact, the agenda being pushed is to punish political speech--and the manner of its transmission--with which the organizers disagree.
You can find the program for the event by clicking here.
Political speech kommissars also include Speaker of the House Paul Thissen, who is scheduled to speak for a mind-numbing 45 minutes. One can only guess at the number of platitudes and non-sequiturs that can be squeezed in during that amount of time. Doubtless he'll be up to the task.
There is also going to be a "debate" between Rep. Sanders (GOP), Rep. Simon (DFL) and Sen. Sieben (DFL) about what only God knows, the program guide giving no guidance. This effort in futility will be moderated by the never open-minded Lori Sturdevant of the increasingly irrelevant Star Tribune newspaper.
A 15 minute break follows, presumably to give oxygen to the suffocated audience so they can be propped up for what follows, which is dreadful indeed.
"Elections for Sale: Where's the Outrage?" This is rubbish but don't expect the liberals who have put this together, and who will constitute the overwhelming majority of the audience in attendance, to believe anything but that. To the outrage barricades! For Minnesota liberals, it's always the Paris Commune 1871. Or Selma 1968. Or Haight-Ashbury in the worst decade known to this country, the cancerous 1960's.
Brought in to lead the group in putting their dresses over their easily frightened heads is a Trevor Potter, the director of the not-widely known Campaign Legal Center. Gigs like this, and a relentless assault on political speech via regulation by bureaucrats, apparently constitutes the man's life work. I'd rather chose suicide but to each their own (he's a former FEC commissioner, the CFB writ hideously large). Something at this point is going to be moderated but the program offers no clue except the moderators will be yet another employee of the Star Tribune and the nutty professor, Larry Jacobs. The leftist tilt of the proceeding is irrefutable although it was pointed out that Rep. Sanders is a republican. That's like saying John McCain is a republican: it actually proves my point of viewpoint tilt and bias.
Mr. Potter is also an ersatz republican but in these sorts of proceedings the party label is not at all dispositive. What we have here, as in so many tedious & intellectually shallow academic proceedings, is a dearth of diversity of ideas. Who on that panel is going to challenge a single premise of this event? Not a one. That's how they like it. Potter actually worked for John McCain and--can't make it up--is a reporter for the Colbert Report. Yes, such a person is being brought in on your tax dime to exhort the ruling class into limiting your speech rights even further in Minnesota.
Finally, the confab ends with the ridiculous Erin Murphy, Majority Leader of the Minnesota House, giving a 15 minute harangue titled "A Call to Action." What do we do? Jump up and down? Blow whistles? Shake our fist at the man? Dress up as vaginas?
I haven't the slightest idea but why does Goldsmith disgrace the CFB by participating in a nakedly partisan event? He's been there 20 long years; clearly it's time for him to leave and another Executive Director be appointed. Terms for that position should be limited to two, two year terms. So much of Minnesota is stale (the arts, the media, the political milieu) that I feel like I live in a state suspended in amber.
The preface to the event gives the game away:
"Our democracy is awash in money."
Nonsense. More money is spent on advertising gum each year than in the presidential elections. This is a dearly held but specious premise by the Left. It must be asserted as a harm because otherwise they can't appoint themselves to micro-manage your political speech. The approach is fundamentally fascist.
"Minnesota has a history as a national leader in fending off big money in election campaigns but is now threatened by large infusions of cash out of the sight of voters."
If the former statement were ever true, and Minnesotans can't be beaten at believing good things about themselves, it no longer is. The latter part of the statement is asserted entirely without evidence. Even the reflexively liberal Star Tribune could not help but report recently that the money in this state flows from Alida Rockefeller and a few other bored dilettantes, both inside and outside Minnesota. Even so, I've defended, nay applauded, her and others' rights to use money politically without much government regulation. The idea that anything is threatened by "large infusions of cash" is more fear mongering and have you ever met more scared people--about anything and everything--than your typical liberal? Then again, if liberals looked at both evidence and outcomes they could no longer be liberals; they're thought-proof, the rare David Mamets to one side.
"As the Minnesota Legislature convenes in 2014, it is time to update state law to shine the bright light of public disclosure on campaign money."
Why now? Because the DFL still controls both chambers and the CFB is seeking something like a million dollar increase in its budget, which is quite large for a group that consists mostly of make work. Apparently, Goldsmith is throwing in with those powers whom he believes can deliver the cash. It's rather unseemly but hypocrisy comes with liberal territory.
Don't be confused: the goal of this liberal assault on political speech is to ferret out donors to independent expenditure committees and other groups that do not and should not have to disclose their donors. The speech mandarins pretend this is to avoid confusion on the part of the voters but it is not; they're the only ones who think voters are this stupid.
The real goal is to apply public pressure to businesses and individuals from contributing in the first place. Yet people have a right to associate and to donate without their membership being revealed. This was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court when it refused to allow the state of Alabama from forcing the disclosure of members and donors of the NAACP (NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958)).
Congratulations, DFL & CFB: you're the latter day incarnation of Jim Crow Alabama!
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A gives the CFB the ability to make recommendations to the legislature but that's an ability it should use sparingly and wisely. Instead, Goldsmith's appearance at the clown show put on by the risible Larry Jacobs erodes public confidence that the board is impartial. This confidence is hanging by a thread, currently, given the refusal of the CFB to meet in open session when considering whether to fine the DLF senators who conspired together to, essentially, steal the election in 2012. The DFL Senate Caucus was fined $100,000 for their corruption. The public was deemed unworthy of knowing what deliberations the Board undertook in letting the unethical individual senators off the financial hook because it met in executive session, closed to the public and press. This is corruption by another name. The CFB should never meet in executive session except when getting legal advice or being updated by staff on an ongoing investigation.
Transparency is desired except when Goldsmith & the Board support clear, partisan objectives. They cheerfully and sanctimoniously exempted from disclosure a donor who worked for a Catholic organization who wanted to donate to a pro same sex marriage group in 2012. The CFB makes a case by case exemption in favor of policy outcomes they support but this isn't fair or just. No matter.
Now Goldsmith has thoroughly politicized the CFB, almost to the point of no return. He should not participate in the HHH event if he wants to have any credibility with the legislature or, far more importantly, the public that he ostensibly serves.