Pssst! Lobbying is speech. Pass it on.

My new Cato post tells of New York regulators’ threat to impose large fines and penalties on a woman who they claim spent more than $5,000 to advocate for legislation without registering as a lobbyist. In particular, she purchased billboards and hired a plane to drag a banner as part of a one-woman crusade to ease New York laws on filing claims of sexual abuse.


  • Isn’t lobbying also bribery?

    • No. How is purchasing a billboard bribery, unless a politician owned the billboard?

      There are, of course, certain lobbying practices that border on bribery, but lobbying itself is not.

  • Is the New York Times Company registered as a lobbyist?

  • Of course, McClure says that his agency will enforce the law. Well, the law should be enforced against him. He is acting under color of law and is violating her First Amendment rights. She should swear out a complaint, and he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Is it “free speech”? Nope. The fact that this woman has had to deal with means that the First Amendment, as to her, doesn’t exist. And we all know that none of the bureaucrats will pay a price for this appalling infringement on her rights.