Free Speech

Sure, talk is cheap. But the right to talk is priceless. Here’s what Goldwater is doing to defend that right.

<p>Sure, talk is cheap. But the right to talk is priceless. Here’s what Goldwater is doing to defend that right.</p>

Fenger Pointing

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak is white-hot news this week for his alleged role in "leaking" the name of a CIA analyst's identity. The "Prince of Darkness" was in a far more jovial mood when he spoke at the Phoenix Ritz Carlton as the guest of the Goldwater Institute on Sept. 11.

Chances are, if you live in the Southwest, you either speak Spanish or meet someone who does on nearly a daily basis. In Arizona, Hispanics make up more than 25 percent of the population and are by far the largest minority group in the country. When it comes to the business of spreading ideas, Hispanics are a growing market.

A new Supreme Court opinion striking down major portions of Vermont's campaign finance reform laws bodes well for free speech.  At issue were restrictions on how much money can be spent on political speech and contributed to candidates. 

I met Professor Bernard Siegan during my first year of law school.  He had been rejected for an appointment to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals the year before and his spirits were dampened. The toll of political fights often takes place off camera, but it can be tremendous. Judge Bork’s memory still looms large in the national debate, but people often forget how the godfather of property rights, Bernie Siegan, was “Borked” by the same group of Senators.

Did you know that ordinary organizations like the Sierra Club and the NRA can’t advertise their views on issues and candidates on television or radio in the months leading up to federal elections? That’s the result of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) that was challenged yesterday before the U.S. Supreme Court as a violation of the free speech rights of Wisconsin Right to Life.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) recognized Northern Arizona University (NAU) as the October 2005 "winner" of its Speech Code of the Month award. Please hold your applause, though - the award is given to colleges whose speech codes run afoul of the First Amendment.

Concerned by complaints from homeowners, Gilbert councilman Don Skousen is exploring a ban on door-hanger advertisements.  Such a ban would stop all sorts of everyday advertisements, from pizza coupons to invitations to church. 

Love them or hate them, these advertisements are protected forms of speech.  The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned similar municipal ordinances for violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Remember college? During political campaigns, it was common practice to put up signs-even paper entire walls-with ads supporting your candidate. But what if you had known that putting up those signs would actually help the opposing candidate? Would you bother posting signs or getting involved at all?

That's the speech-chilling conundrum faced by groups from the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce to Arizona trade associations that want to voice support for or opposition against various candidates for public office.

From the steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse where Barry Goldwater announced his presidential bid some 40 years ago, Don Goldwater, nephew of the late senator, today announced his candidacy for governor, advancing a platform committed to "the fundamental principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty."

While the Goldwater Institute does not endorse candidates for political office, we would be remiss in not recognizing the entry of a candidate who shares the family name and promises to uphold the principles Senator Goldwater advanced.

National Public Radio reported last week that Houston schools have been implicated in a cheating scandal after scores on the state's "high-stakes" graduation test in some Texas school districts made suspicious leaps.

The way NPR reported the story is worrisome enough. But perhaps as troublesome is the way the story was characterized by the Dallas Morning News reporter, who stated: