Posted on | October 13, 2010 | 39 Comments
BOSTON — Tonight in a debate at Shrewsbury High School, Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern shocked the audience when he declared, “I think the Constitution is wrong” (0:32):
Discussing campaign-finance regulation, and apparently referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s January Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling, McGovern said:
“We have a lousy Supreme Court decision that has opened the floodgates, and so we have to deal within the realm of constitutionality. And a lot of the campaign finance bills that we have passed have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I think the Constitution is wrong. I don’t think that money is the same thing as human beings. I don’t think money equals free speech. I don’t think corporations should have the same equality as a regular voter in this district.”
In a subsequent question from the audience, Tina Hood of Worcester said “it blew my mind” when she heard McGovern say the Constitution is wrong. The Democratic congressman denied having said that and instead talked about the Constitution’s “general welfare” clause justifies social programs criticized by his Republican opponent, Marty Lamb.
UPDATE II: Marty Lamb talks about the debate:
UPDATE III: Press release from the Marty Lamb campaign:
Holliston, MA …Tonight, Marty Lamb, Republican candidate for Congress in Massachusetts Third District, was shocked at Congressman James McGovern’s words and his attitude toward the U.S. Constitution.
During the debate Congressman McGovern stated, “the Constitution is wrong,” when questioned about campaign finance. Congressman McGovern does not seem to believe in the First Amendment—the freedom of speech.
“I am deeply troubled by the Congressman’s statement. I don’t think that Jim McGovern is smarter than our forefathers. I support the first amendment. In fact, I support all the amendments,” said Lamb. “The first action a Congressman takes is an oath is to uphold the Constitution. This oath should not be taken lightly.”
Lamb also criticized Congressman McGovern’s desire for campaign finance reform which includes public financing. “He wants to take your tax dollars during a recession to buy lawn signs for politicians. That’s crazy” said Lamb. “This is coming from an incumbent who took over $300,000 from lawyers, lobbyists, and health and insurance pacs and officials. Hypocrisy at its finest.”
UPDATE IV: A friend on Twitter scoffed at the possibility of Marty Lamb winning the 3rd District. Scott Brown won it with 58%, so please tell me again why McGovern can’t be beat. Martha Coakley ran a lousy campaign, but even she was never so abysmally stupid as to say the Constitution is wrong. This is Grijalva-level stupid.
UPDATE V: Linked by Jane Jamison at Uncoverage and Dave C. at The Point of a Gun. Meanwhile, 3rd District voter Da Tech Guy strives to be fair and balanced, but Jehuda the Rhetorican is glad that at last an honest Democrat has been found in Massachachusetts.
UPDATE VII: Linked at Fox Nation.