Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, July 11, 2005

Double Standard

A flap over the restriction of the words “Wal-Mart” and “moratorium” at City Council meetings has arisen in the town of Yelm, near Olympia. The ACLU has gotten involved and the issue has been publicized nationally. The ACLU claims that the constitutional right to free speech has been violated, but they don’t plan to sue the city.

Interestingly enough, the ACLU has not chosen not to get involved in another free speech matter that also arose in Thurston County. A judge there ruled that Seattle radio station KVI must report the airtime of John Carlson and Kirby Wilbur as in-kind contributions to the No New Gas Tax campaign. Even that stalwart of liberalism, The Seattle Times, was taken aback by that ruling, believing it will lead to regulation of the media.

Personally, I don’t blame the Yelm City Council. We have seen first-hand here in Pullman how fanatical these anti-Wal-Mart loons can be. A letter to the editor of today’s Summer Evergreen put it succinctly:
I’ve read – and written – some gibberish in my time, but I yield to Wiley Hollingsworth’s sermon (Summer Evergreen June 30, “Oppose Wal-Mart corporate empire.”) If that doesn’t make some of the anti-Wal-Mart folks who have been flooding the letters to the editor columns (Moscow/Pullman and Spokane) wonder who they are in bed with, nothing will.
Yelm City Attorney Brent Dille said: "It's the council's meeting. They can decide what they want to hear and what they're tired of hearing. You can understand if you're barraged for two months at meetings -- the same people saying the same thing." Sound familiar? It’s just the like letters to editor in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News for the last 6 months: the same old people saying the same old thing.

Certainly, the ACLU is no friend of Wal-Mart. But it is really showing its liberal bias by not acting in the KVI matter.

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