Uh-oh, I Might End Up in Jail

Josh Richman scans the SecState’s initiative website and finds a whopper (PDF).

Amends constitution to hold candidates for public office, government officials and employees, and members of the media criminally liable for intentionally making a false statement of “material fact” about legislative acts, elections for public office, or the employment or dismissal of government employees. Imposes on violators a 2 to 10 year prison term, a $10,000 to $500,000 fine, or both, and a lifetime ban on serving as a government official or employee, or member of the media.

Yay! That would be grrrreeeeaaattt for Calitics. Or something. But wait it gets better, this language is familiar. From Richman

But if the “false, scandalous and malicious” thing sounds familiar, that’s because I didn’t make it up – it’s verbatim from the Sedition Act enacted in July 1798 to quell political dissent.

Yeah, that one worked sooo well that we should definitely bring it back.  And goodness knows I’m not tough enough, a few years in the clink would serve me well. And the banning from the media would also save me a lot of time too.

Full text of the proposed initiative here.

UPDATE: You can find the Legislative Analyst’s review of this measure here.

7 thoughts on “Uh-oh, I Might End Up in Jail”

  1. A state law banning a person from participating in what it defines as Mass Media runs into really major First Amendment problems.  

  2.    Initiative proponents often underestimate the difficulty and/or cost of getting measures on the ballot. Unless the proponent is some eccentric rich dude with money to burn it won’t get anywhere near enough signatures to get on the ballot. If it did make the ballot it wouldn’t pass and if it did pass it would be thrown out in court. Those are some big ifs, so I don;t think your loved ones are going to have to learn any “file hidden in cake” recipes…

  3. While we can all agree that this has no chance in any court that recognizes the 1st Amendment, it is still fun to speculate about who might really be hurt by thins.  I think it would be the advertising distributors since they would lose at lest half their campaign ad revenue.  

  4. I read the proposed initiative.  It’s completely nuts, on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.


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