• Churchill: Cuomo targets the NRA - and free speech

    From Gene Poole@21:1/5 to All on Wed Jul 31 12:42:32 2019
    XPost: alt.freespeech, alt.survival, alt.politics.usa.constitution
    XPost: soc.retirement

    Albany, N.Y.

    Andrew Cuomo versus the NRA? You know the governor is loving
    this.

    The public brawl with the group Democrats hate most is just what
    Cuomo needs to carry him through next month's primary and to
    elevate his standing for the coming presidential race. It's a
    wonderful way to change the subject and brush aside those
    unpleasant corruption headlines.

    But there's something to consider if you are among those
    cheering the governor during this particular fight: His attack
    on the National Rifle Association is more harmful to the First
    Amendment than the Second.

    Cuomo, you see, has essentially weaponized the state's
    regulatory authorities to go after a political organization with
    which he disagrees. It is also an organization that will stand
    in his way if he really does run for president.

    Specifically, the fight involves an insurance policy that is
    promoted by the NRA for those who carry concealed weapons. The
    governor says the program is illegal in New York because it
    could cover acts of "intentional wrongdoing."

    If it is true that the insurance is illegal I won't pretend to
    be an expert in insurance law the state is within its rights
    to target it.

    But the effort is much broader than that. Cuomo, as the NRA
    notes in a recently filed lawsuit, is using the power of state
    government to pressure banks and insurance companies to stop
    doing business with the gun rights group.

    "We must push further to ensure that gun safety is a top
    priority for every individual, company, and organization that
    does business across the state," Cuomo said in an April press
    release. "I am directing the Department of Financial Services to
    urge insurers and bankers statewide to determine whether any
    relationship they may have with the NRA or similar organizations
    sends the wrong message."

    The DFS, which regulates the banking and insurance industries,
    followed up with letters urging companies to reconsider doing
    business with the NRA and other gun-rights groups. Consider the
    potential for "reputational risk," the letters say.

    "Simply put, the defendants made it clear to banks and insurers
    that it is bad business in New York to do business with the
    NRA," the group says in its lawsuit. It adds that the
    "blacklisting campaign" is a violation of speech and association
    rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

    The NRA is wrong about much, but they have that right. What
    Cuomo is doing using the power of the state to target a
    political enemy is tyrannical.

    If you're willing to excuse the danger this time because you
    believe the NRA is uniquely awful, at least consider the
    precedent being set. What if conservative governors decide to
    similarly target progressive causes or companies that do
    business with liberal advocacy groups?

    To get a sense of what that might look like, we don't have to
    travel far. We have an example from right here in Albany,
    implemented by ... you guessed it! ... Andrew Cuomo.

    Two years ago, the governor issued an executive order requiring
    state agencies to stop doing business with companies and
    organizations that support boycotts, divestment or sanctions
    against Israel for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians
    otherwise known as the BDS movement, a popular cause on the left.

    Cuomo's order even required that the state Office of General
    Services create a blacklist of companies involved in the BDS
    movement and make that list available to everyone online a
    nice little bit of public shaming for anyone daring to diverge
    from the governor's point of view.

    The move was outrageously antagonistic toward free speech, but
    that has long been the pattern with Cuomo. He doesn't want to
    debate those who disagree with him. He calls his opponents
    enemies and tries to intimidate them. He tries to shut them up.

    (Yes, it is quite Trumpian.)

    On Monday, Cuomo was still enjoying the attention provided by
    his battle with the NRA. Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," he
    said, "If they went away, I would offer my thoughts and prayers,
    Joe, just like they do every time we have another situation of
    innocents losing their lives."

    It's an effective line among Democrats, and Cuomo has repeated
    it in recent days. It's also an effective line for the NRA,
    given how it will induce a flood of donations.

    Cuomo versus the NRA? In the short term, both sides win.

    https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Churchill-Cuomo-targets- the-NRA-mdash-and-free-13136475.php


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