A St. Louis television station reports — their words — “The Barack Obama campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign.”
Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri are joining “The Barack Obama Truth Squad.”
They mention Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis Circuit Attorney and Bob McCullough, prosecutor for St. Louis County in Missouri.
The reporter says, “They will be reminding voters that Barack Obama is a Christian who wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year.”
While the report never quite comes out and says that anyone running an ad saying those things would be subject to prosecution, that certainly is the message implied.
Not all things that are wrong are illegal. Saying that Barack Obama is a Muslim is wrong, but it does not warrant prosecution by the state.
I would cite Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, but an angry mob just took my copy to their book-burning…
UPDATE: AIP responds:
Washington, DC – September 26, 2008 – Barack Obama is now using local law enforcement officials to carry out his campaign of legal intimidation by assembling a group of high-ranking Missouri police officials and prosecutors – including St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough and City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce – to identify and target anyone the campaign determines is producing “misleading” political advertisements.
“This is an outrageous and shocking attempt by the Obama campaign to again employ Stalinist, police state tactics against those who dare to disagree with Barack Obama,” said Ed Martin, American Issues Projects president. “I am frankly stunned to see public officials like McCullough and Joyce abusing their official prosecutorial positions to serve as attack dogs for a national political campaign. I am quite certain Missourians elected these individuals to enforce the laws and arrest criminals, not to throw people in jail for daring to practicing free speech.
“The Obama campaign continues to provide a chilling preview of what would happen to political freedom in an Obama administration.”
This new effort is only the most recent attempt by the Obama campaign to crack down on free speech. Obama’s lawyers twice demanded the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute the American Issues Project, its officers, board of directors, and donors. The campaign also threatened stations running American Issues Project’s ad in an unsuccessful attempt to compel them to pull the spot, and ran its own ad in response.
Notably, this ad failed to dispute a single fact the American Issues Project has put forth.