California Democrats Sue College Republicans (Yes, Really)
“accusing them of lying to voters”
It turns out Democrats don’t like “resistance” when it’s used against their party. Who could have guessed?
California Dems Suing College Republicans in Latest Temper Tantrum
Despite Jerry Brown using “goon squads” to intimidate voters, and angry Democratic Party leaders verbally assaulting signature gatherers, organizers of the effort to recall California state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Orange County) gathered 85,000 signatures in support of a recall election.
Sensing Newman’s vulnerability, legislators changed the recall rules ex post facto (which will assuredly be legally challenged by recall supporters), and now Democrats are stepping up their attacks on people who organize dissent in the state.
College students. Or, more specifically, three College Republicans who volunteered as signature gatherers.
That’s right. The California Democratic Party is suing them, accusing them of lying to voters and saying that the recall would repeal the gas tax.
First of all, that any California Democratic Party official or candidate would accuse Republicans of lying to get votes – and say it with a straight face – is a massive insult. These are the people whose confiscatory gun control scheme was called “Safety for All” in ads. These are the people who claim that sanctuary cities are simply shielding hard-working, law-abiding, family-centered immigrants from being deported. These are the people who call taxpayers “freeloaders” when they finally get sick of forking over the highest gas taxes in the nation.
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This is the way that you silence dissent. Throw a lawsuit at people who aren’t likely to have a lot of resources to defend themselves and for whom the publicity could have a very negative effect on post-college job chances. That sort of thing has a way of making people fearful more broadly. There’s a similar effect when a big corporation sends a cease and desist letter to someone criticizing the big corporation in public. Not a lot of basis to do so, but has a chilling effect on public criticism.
The Democrats aren’t interested in this going to court — they want a public settlement where the kids promise to behave themselves and the Republicans look foolish. The net effect that they want is to make people think twice about working in opposition politics.
The risk in this, however, is that the college kids aren’t interested in rolling over and coming to a settlement and that they have some equally powerful backers. If that holds up, then the Democratic Party leaders could find themselves on the wrong end of litigation, although I’m not sure that there are a whole lot of venues in California that would prove unfriendly to the Democratic Party.
This raises a question to my mind: Do the College Republicans need equally expensive representation, or do they just need sufficient representation? So long as they could get a decent-not-superstar legal rep, would that be sufficient to stop this line of attack?
It’s dangerous to have lunch money in California.
i sense an anti-SLAPP motion in their near future, and a subsequent dismissal of the suit, with an award for damages & costs.