Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 132
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for March 28, 2002

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Who needs the First Amendment anyway? The City of Warrensburg has passed a “disorderly conduct” ordinance, the U.S. Congress has railroading through so-called “campaign finance reform” and the state is considering more police powers for anti-terrorism. What do all of these have in common? They all have the opportunity for abuse and infringement on our freedom.

The right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment, yet so-called campaign finance reform limits the ability of “special interests” to inform their constituencies about a specific candidate’s position. This affects everyone because everyone is a member of a special interest group of some sort. Whether it’s a union, a business group, a senior citizen organization, an environmental group, a pro- or anti-abortion group or the National Rifle Association, we’re all threatened. And the Congress and President are violating their oaths of office to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States.

Here in Warrensburg, we’re just interested in controlling the right of the people to peaceably assemble. While the Chamber of Commerce is rightly concerned about enforcing the ordinances against a business because people may mingle outside it, the concern goes much deeper than that. According to Warrensburg’s ordinance, if I stand on a corner with a sign saying why I dislike the policies of a candidate for public office, and someone takes offense at what I have to say, I can be arrested if “ traffic is obstructed.” A group of teenagers standing outside the Teehaus can be similarly treated. This gives way too much leeway to the police to control the activities of groups officialdom dislikes. There’s got to be a better solution to West Pine Street.

| Old Drum Net Home | Gadfly Index |

This website compliments of
Cedarcroft Enterprises
including Cedarcroft Farm Bed & Breakfast
431 Southeast County Road Y, Warrensburg, Missouri, 64093
(660)747-5728 \