The Capital Times holds itself above other corporations — even us mere mortals — because it believes itself to get special powers from the U.S. Constitution. One of its editors, John Nichols, said so himself.
The Press, Nichols wrote last week, was protected by the First Amendment — “the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution.”
This extra special treatment gives The Capital Times dispensation from the campaign finance regulations that bind other corporations, or even individuals, the publication believes. That’s why it thinks it can promote an upcoming fundraiser for three incumbent alders without reporting their donation as an in-kind contribution to the candidates’ re-election campaigns.
I would provide the link here but that particular fundraiser already got enough free publicity on the CT website. It should not surprise you that the Voice of Progressivism also played the race card. It helpfully quotes fundraising event host Kelda Helen Roys to say that
the racial component of three alders of color being challenged is “difficult to ignore.”
Challenge the wrong incumbent in the City of Madison and you
might be probably are a racist!
Dollars to doughnuts, the Corporation That Speaks as if it Were a Person will not donate free publicity to the campaign fundraisers of the three incumbents’ opponents.
If one of the indentured servants here at Stately Blaska Manor donated $25 to a candidate, that contribution would need be reported to the city clerk. Corporations are prohibited from making ANY campaign contributions. The Capital Times will argue that, though it may be a corporation, it is a newspaper. Must one print daily, or can one print weekly? Monthly? On-line presence? Might the Koch Brothers publish its own “newspaper” — say, intermittently, to disseminate the news that Scott Walker and his Republican legislature are doing great things for Wisconsin?
I have formally asked editor Paul Fanlund, associate editor Nichols, and editor emeritus Dave Zweifel why they are exempt from campaign finance disclosure rules but not other corporations. I’ll post their responses here.
Don’t hold your breath.