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He’d be in good company. Eugene Debs ran for president from a jail cell in 1920, having violated the Espionage Act by publicly opposing U.S. involvement in World War I. But Debs was in jail for speaking out against the war. McCain has another problem, and it isn’t the unsubstantiated sex scandal. Should he spend much more money, he may be in violation of his own law.
By signing up for matching money, McCain agreed to adhere to strict state-by-state spending limits and an overall limit on spending of $54 million for the primary season, which lasts until the party’s nominating convention in September. The general election has a separate public financing arrangement.
If the FEC refuses McCain’s request to leave the system, his campaign could be bound by a potentially debilitating spending limit until he formally accepts his party’s nomination. His campaign has already spent $49 million, federal reports show. Knowingly violating the spending limit is a criminal offense that could put McCain at risk of stiff fines and up to five years in prison.
There are some, including the ACLU, who believe that McCain/Feingold violates the First Amendment, so maybe he can champion the opposition to the law of his own making. Since we now know that pols borrow quotes from each other all the time, nobody should begrudge McCain credit should he repeat Debs’ words upon conviction:
Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Then he can break out into an old spritual – swing low sweet chariot….
The image comes from Debs’ Wikipedia entry.
Addendum: Darn for the irony! Somebody e-mailed me saying that she doesn’t think that this particular limit is part of McCain-Feingold. Still, there’s enough irony left for a decent meal.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Clendenen Goes Door-to-Door to Meet Constituents
Humboldt County Second District Supervisor candidate Clif Clendenen has begun walking neighborhoods in Fortuna, going door-to-door to talk with area residents about the focus of his campaign. As part of his commitment to be accessible and approachable, Clendenen would like to meet with as many of his constituents as possible by walking neighborhoods in Fortuna, Hydesville, Rio Dell, Scotia, Garberville and Redway.
Clendenen can be found going door-to-door in neighborhoods from 4 to 7 p.m. on many weekdays and on most weekends. His goal is to be able to personally meet as many Second District voters as possible. In order to better meet voters in more rural areas of the district, Clendenen has held meetings recently in Garberville and Miranda, with the next set for Weott on Thursday, March 13 from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as participating in house party events such as the one recently held at the home of Sal and Naomi Steinberg in Carlotta, with others set for the upcoming weeks.
“I’m looking forward to the chance to talk one-on-one with as many people as possible,” Clendenen said. “Between now and the election I think it’s absolutely vital to meet with people on their doorsteps and in their living rooms so I can listen to everything they have to say.
“Being able to communicate in this way is something I’ve learned from my years as a business owner and as a resident of this community, and it reflects the way I’ll serve the people — being part of an open, responsive and efficient government, which is something we need now more than ever.”
Clendenen, for the past 30 years the owner of his family business Clendenen’s Cider Works, helped develop the Fortuna Apple Harvest Festival, is a former board member of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce and is the founding president of the Fortuna Concert Series. He is also a past director of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau. Clendenen has been actively involved in Fortuna’s General Plan Update, advocating for responsible growth that will preserve the city’s small-town character and foster sound economic development and diversification.
Re the photo: Clif Clendenen recently began walking the neighborhoods of Fortuna, and is pictured here at the home of Jimmie Ballenger. Pictured clockwise with Clendenen are Jimmie Ballinger, Virginia Anderson, Margaret Rodrique, Mary Carroll and Lola Harland.
And I mean back! I noted his return previously, but he seemed to have mellowed. Lately he’s taken up the Bari crusade again. Steve Talbot, who produced the documentary Who Bombed Judi Bari?, was in Booneville for a visit (the Redwood Summer people weren’t impressed, particularly not Judi). KZYX icon Annie Esposito showed and spoke up.
At one point in her monologue directed at the gentlemanly Talbot, who clearly wanted to shake free of the monopolizing Esposito to allow other people in the audience to ask questions, Esposito turned her cadaverously pale, unnervingly spectral, ghostly gray self towards me and said in that breathy, oddly muffled, underwater burble of hers, “You slander people all the time, right, Bruce?” I must admit that I briefly panicked. Had Dr. Death sent his administrative assistant to prepare me for Final Departure? I grabbed a full glass of beer out of Irv Sutley’s startled hands and was gulping it down as the last I’d ever enjoy when Ms. Death mercifully returned her befuddled attentions to Talbot. I’ve never been formally introduced to this person and here she is calling me by my first name! Liberties aside, Ms. Esposito, if you’ll take out your handy dandy reporter’s notebook and listen very carefully here’s a second simple distinction a reporter ought to be able to make: Slander is spoken untruth; libel is written untruth. Both are deliberate, conscious lies. Of course most non-ideological, adult-type persons also know that there’s a difference between libel and slander and mere error. If errors are not corrected, well, maybe then you can talk libel and slander. Funny thing about it was, while Ms. Esposito was slandering me Saturday night at the Ox she was waving an article written by the late Bari at Talbot as if Talbot hadn’t read it, as if he hadn’t long ago responded to it, as if both articles hadn’t appeared in the AVA, the only media entity on the Northcoast where the case has been fully discussed, complete with the deliberate evasions and libels of me in my own paper by such dogged male simpletons (and Sweeney surrogates) as John McCowen and Nick Wilson. If KZYX were anything like the “free speech radio” it advertises itself as it would have been fully discussed on local air years ago.
He’s trying to restrain himself. But it’s like the scorpion and the frog. And he’s still convinced that Mike Sweeney is the bomber. Sweeney has never been amused.
I could say much more about this. I have all my old notes in boxes in the attic somewhere. But I don’t really want to dredge this up again, not even to distract from the Reggae War. But Anderson may very well be one of the great writers who won’t be recognized for it until he’s dead. Sort of a modern Mencken. Here’s hoping Bruce moves on to something fresh, with less obsession.
It’s good to see the Pulitzer quote back on the masthead – Newspapers should have no friends. He’s always taken that admonition to heart.
The drawing is by Jan Baughman and accompanies this article heralding Bruce Anderson’s return to Mendoland.
I’ve interviewed him previously. Leo Casey, a left wing union activist based in New York City, will talk about the recent change in power (specifically Fidel Castro’s resignation), its implications, and most importantly how the American left should respond.
A few years back Casey was involved in an e-mail exchange with a number of activists who “support” Cuba and I found one of his posts particularly compelling and posted it on this blog. It’ll give you an idea of where he’s coming from. He also drafted this Statement on Cuba which was signed by progressives across the country (including me) and is posted at the Nation Magazine site.
Please feel free to call in to argue the points respectfully. The last show was fairly contentious. 7:00 this evening on KMUD of course.
Addendum: The international union movement is relieved over the release of union activist Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos, out of prison after 5 years. Only about 70 political prisoners arrested in that 2003 crackdown left.