The mainstream media has been waging a war on conservatives for the better part of the decade, but the intensity is now at an all-time high with the election of President Donald J. Trump.
Today, the message of limited government is being silenced on television, targeted through taxation, and even the subject of attack from so-called independent government agencies.
This consumer access problem may be snowballing, but that is not to say Capitol Hill conservatives are not strong enough to roll it back.
Conservatives outside of Washington have a right to be frustrated. The Republican Party controls both the executive and legislative branches, but with the liberal stranglehold on the mainstream media, the hapless Republicans hold all the cards and still fold.
Here are three essential steps Capitol Hill conservatives can take to rebalance leftwing domination of our mass communications grid.
1. End the government created broadcast monopolies
Why are there an overwhelming number of liberal television outlets but only one major conservative source? It is not just a matter of having public demand – after all, self-identified Republicans outnumber Democrats by an 11-point margin – it is also a question of who has the most money and best rapport with powerful, unelected bureaucrats.
The reason cable news is dominated by just a few behemoths is that no one can establish a new broadcast organization without federal approval and the payment of sizeable dues to Uncle Sam. Many would assume that puts – you guessed it – liberals – in a better position for success.
The left also maintains its media empire due to regulatory schemes, including ceilings on a number of stations broadcasters can control and restrictions on television stations’ sharing of advertising revenue.
Thankfully, today is a more promising time than ever for reform. Ajit Pai, Trump’s like-minded Federal Communications Commission head, has already spent some time removing red tape, allowing right-leaning companies like Sinclair Broadcasting Group to expand.
However, Congress and the White House should pressure him to go even further and make leveling the broadcasting playing field a hallmark of his tenure at the commission.
2. Kill the proposed advertising tax
The rise of the Internet has certainly helped conservatives cut through the several decades’ old media cartel to reach their audience with fewer disruptions – however, resurrecting an old tax idea in Congress has the potential to change that.
As part of the upcoming 2017 tax reform proposal, some in Congress are reportedly looking at adopting old provisions from a 2014 tax reform blueprint championed by former congressman David L. Camp, then-chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
In his blueprint, the Michigan Republican proposed an advertising tax. This levy changes advertising from being a normal, 100 percent deductible annual business expense to one that is only 50 percent deductible, with the remaining 50 percent amortized over 10 years.
If passed, this provision will be a disaster for the right-leaning media. Conservatives receive their news from online news sites, blogs, and other internet platforms at a disproportionate rate than liberals.
At the same time, the party of limited government also dominates the radio talk show circuit – another industry heavily dependent on advertising. While this tax will do little damage to The New York Times or The Washington Post, it will likely serve a hard blow to some of the Reaganesque print and broadcast outlets that cannot afford to wait ten years to receive their money back. As such, Congress and the “Big Six” tax reform panel should squish the idea while it still can.
3. De-politicize the Federal Election Commission
Apparently, even independent agencies are after the conservative message.
In what many consider an effort to reduce the power of conservative media, Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat FEC commissioner, has spearheaded an inquisition into the ad revenue sources for news sites like the Drudge Report.
Weintraub alleges her goal is to crack down on possible foreign influencers in the 2017 presidential election.
Translation: She wants to use the Russia hysteria in the political arena as an excuse to launch her own series of purges and show trials right-leaning news outlets.
Trump already took steps to mitigate partisan interest peddling at the commission this month. He recently nominated Republican Trey Trainor to fill one of the vacancies. Once Trainor is confirmed, and Republican Matthew Petersen leaves for his judgeship, the Republicans will hold their 3-1.
With conservatives dominating the FEC, there is likely nothing to worry about for the time being. However, the second we go back to a deadlocked commission, as is intended, we will almost certainly see more liberal decision-making – whether there are more case studies in having a stricter set of rules for Fox News than CNN or progressive commissioners unilaterally expanding the jurisdiction of the FEC to hurt Trump.
Fending off the war on the conservative media may be an uphill battle, but conservatives have faced and overcome hard tough odds before.
Washington bureaucrats can temporarily limit free speech and free markets – sure – but no one can kill ideas and strong political movements with a regulatory wand. Passion wins battles, and conservatives have plenty of it, along with complete control of Washington.
Now is not the time for Capitol Hill conservatives to give up. The time to win this fight is now.
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Oversized: Rosie O’Donnell Makes Potentially Illegal Campaign Donations
According to a New York Post analysis of campaign filings, Rosie O’Donnell made illegally oversized donations to five federal Democrat candidates.
“Nothing nefarious,” the washed up comedian and Donald Trump critic said. “I was not choosing to over donate.”
But O’Donnell regularly broke the Federal Election Commission’s rules that limit donations to $2,700 per candidate per election campaign. The limit is applies separately to primaries, run-offs, and general elections, with each considered a new race.
“If 2700 is the cut off — [candidates] should refund the money,” she said. “I don’t look to see who I can donate most to … I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”
But intent is not an element of the crime, and O’Donnell’s blind faith that politicians would simply return her money if she over-donated is either pathetically naive or a lie to cover for herself.
O’Donnell donated $4,700 to Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in his race against Judge Roy Moore. Jones won the race by
She also gave $3,700 to Rep. Conor Lamb, (D-PA), $2,950 to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), $4,200 to Lauren Underwood, a current Illinois congressional candidate, and $3,450 to Omar Vaid, an outsider congressional candidate from Staten Island, NY.
“My anxiety is quelled by donating to those opposing Trump [and] his agenda — especially at night — when most of these were placed,” she said.
Don’t worry plebeians, O’Donnell quells her anxiety by throwing bundles of cash at Democrats and breaking the law. Perhaps someone at the FEC can alert her that there’s medicine for that. And people still wonder why the political left is so out of touch with the average American.
According to campaign finance lawyer Jan Witold Baran, donors are rarely fined for excess contributions and then only if they are hiding the donations from the recipients. She said that campaigns generally are not penalized for isolated contributions over a limit.
Candidates who receive excess donations are allowed simply to roll the excess funds over to their next campaign.
In effect, the law is useless as it is seldom enforced. Leave it to the D.C. swamp.
“I also maxed out to Cynthia Nixon,” O’Donnell told the Post. “And I loathe Jeannine Pirro.”
Justin Amash Put Paul Ryan In Power, Now He Claims Boehner Was Better
His vote put the gavel in Paul Ryan’s hand
While speaking to Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) stated that former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was better than current House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Amash made this statement despite having voted for Paul Ryan’s Speaker-ship twice, both the initial vote, and for his re-election. The only Republican Congressman currently in office who has never voted for Ryan is Congressman Thomas Massie.
As a founder of the Freedom Caucus, Amash was influential in the deal that was cut with the most conservative wing of the GOP. It was widely reported that Amash’s decision to support Ryan is practically the only reason he was able to secure the gavel.
But the entire Freedom Caucus didn’t join in the deal. Amash could have chose not to vote for Ryan, but his vote ensured that Paul Ryan would be Boehner’s predecessor.
Not only did Justin Amash push Ryan to power, but gave Ryan a pass on a disastrous budget deal. Immediately before the vote for Speaker in the fall of 2015, Ryan had been the chief negotiator of the bill.
Amash has been critical of both Boehner and Ryan, getting into public spats with them both, but only voting for Ryan for Speaker.
But according to Amash, despite the fact that Boehner was more confrontational, he felt that it was preferable to being ignored, like he is under Speaker Ryan, stating:
“I would rather have the guy swearing at me and letting me have a vote than not considering me at all…Under [Ryan’s] speakership, we’ve had the fewest open amendments of any speakership. We’ve had zero….Everything has to be pre-approved by the Speaker…. Under Boehner, you could walk up…and offer an amendment as long as it was germane to the bill, you got to vote on it.”
While Amash’s statement may well be true, it is very hypocritical for him to continually vote for Speaker Ryan, likely to attempt to get on his good side, and then attack him for being worse than John Boehner was.
You can’t have it both ways, Justin.
Indiana Senate Candidate Wears MAGA Hat in Campaign Ad
He’s not afraid to MAGA.
Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Indiana, and current Congressmen Todd Rokita went into attack mode on his two primary opponents in a new ad. He pointed out the fact that his main opponent, Rep. Luke Messer, has a history of anti-Trump statements, and how his other opponent, Mike Braun, voted Democrat until 2012.
At the end of the ad, Rokita put on Donald Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” hat as he pledged to stand with both the President and Vice President to “drain the swamp.”
Rep. Luke Messer has been described as the “longtime nemesis” of Rep. Todd Rokita, and if that’s the case, Rokita has definitely come out on top so far.
While Rep. Messer was opposing President Donald Trump’s agenda, Rep. Rokita was standing with the President, from his Presidential campaign until now. Another ad put out by Rokita shows just a few of the anti-Trump attacks that have been propagated by Messer.
Indiana Republicans are very pro-Trump. These attacks on Messer are likely to make a big impact on his perception to voters.
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