Tags: Perry: | McCain-Feingold | Hoax

Perry: McCain-Feingold Is a Hoax

Friday, 04 May 2001 12:00 AM

LYNCHBURG, Va. - NewsMax.com's senior editor says the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance "reform" bill is a "hoax" that would keep journalists from reporting accurately on American politics.

Appearing as a guest on the Rev. Jerry Falwell's nationally televised "Listen, America" program, John L. Perry termed the bill – passed by the Senate 59-41, and now pending in the House of Representatives – "a frightening piece of legislation.

"It's worse than a myth. It's a hoax that is being perpetrated upon us" under the guise of campaign-finance "reform."

Instead, Perry said, "it is nothing more than a back-door attempt to amend the First Amendment to the Constitution out of the Bill of Rights. It's that serious."

He and Falwell agreed the McCain-Feingold bill would inflict crippling limitations on the rights of issue-advocacy groups to express their views in the weeks immediately before election, the very time voters are most attentive.

It would make illegal the advocacy by nonprofit groups for or against a candidate – or even the critical reference to a candidate by name – a month before primaries and two months before general elections.

Falwell, founder of Moral Majority and of Liberty University, where the televised program originates, asked Perry:

"You've been a journalist more than 50 years. You look on this bill as something very menacing. What would it do to hinder you?"

Perry replied that "in the first place, it would impair the efficacy of the First Amendment, and any time anything happens that hurts the First Amendment it hurts all of us journalists. It hurts me."

But, he added, "it goes further than that.

"Part of my job as a journalist is to get out and record the facts on what is happening, to convey that information to people and, in opinion columns, to express views about it.

"If I am cut off from learning what various groups in the nation are saying and thinking and what they are pressing for, I'm going to be reporting a distorted picture of the political landscape.

"That hurts my integrity, hurts my believability, and it hurts the democratic process."

Falwell said that "amazingly, the American Civil Liberties Union is with us on this one.

"Amazingly, the labor unions are with us.

"And amazingly there are a lot of people out there on the left and the right – pro-choice and pro-life – who are with us on this.

"Why?"

Perry replied that "it is a case not of whether your ox is being gored or my ox is being gored. The whole herd of oxen are being gored. Everybody stands to lose.

"That's why the ACLU is active about this. It's why Big Labor woke up and suddenly discovered they were going to be in trouble.

"We all are in the same boat on this thing. So this is why you're picking up some strange allies. And it's a healthy thing."

Falwell asked if Perry felt the McCain-Feingold bill would pass the House.

"Yes, I do," Perry answered, "unless ... unless enough people act to make the difference.

"They can bring their influence to bear upon members of Congress.

"This is still America. This is still a good country. And we can still win this fight."

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LYNCHBURG, Va. - NewsMax.com's senior editor says the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill is a hoax that would keep journalists from reporting accurately on American politics. Appearing as a guest on the Rev. Jerry Falwell's nationally televised Listen,...
Perry:,McCain-Feingold,Hoax
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2001-00-04
Friday, 04 May 2001 12:00 AM
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