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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free Speech or Breaking the Law?


Voting in California while getting threatened and harrassed. from wolfsbayne on Vimeo.

It's a video that didn't cost much to make but it's full of spectacle, story and emotions.

Entrepreneur, technologist, social media nerd, hunter and music producer Brooks Bayne went to the polls today in Sherman Oaks, CA wearing an anti-Obama T-Shirt.

"We were excited about voting today in Sherman Oaks, but we were threatened with violence and arrest over shirts we made. We were accused of "electioneering". California, you need to define this term better in your statutes.

I don't work for any party. And I wasn't showing my support for a candidate, nor was I attempting to obtain votes, or hand out campaign materials.

I'd like to see all states define "electioneering". If you don't work for a party or candidate, you should be able to wear what you want when you vote."

What do you think? Was this free speech or was Brooks breaking the law?

5 comments:

Rob said...

He was clearly being an ass by wearing a controversial shirt and carrying a camera. Breaking the law? No. I'd have prefered seeing voters ignore his idiocy as I would have done. It's boring video and discourages future sensationalized stupidity.

Eric Susch said...

They should have hauled these guys off just for being jerks. Did they break the law? Yea, and they did it on purpose too, just to piss people off.

I'd like to see these two guys in court before a judge explaining with their weasel words why they didn't break the law. I'd PAY to see that video.

Brooks Bayne said...

eric,

i laugh at you. "weasel words"...too rich.

the video itself is evidence that i didn't break any laws. for one, electioneering isn't defined properly, so that charge is void for vagueness, and two, the poll worker clearly instructs that the shirt can't be worn in the building. next.

where i'm from you can wear anything you want at the polls as long as you aren't wearing campaign materials to *endorse* a candidate. california may want to make its law less vague.

now, regarding your ad hominems, thank god we still have a republic so people aren't hauled off for being jerks, otherwise, we might have to haul you off too.

but seriously, i wasn't trying to piss anyone off. i've worn the shirt several times and had interesting conversations as a result. was i hopeful that i could get some interesting dialog on video? sure. did i? imo, you bet.

you never know what's gonna happen when you engage liberals in their bastion of california. you might make new friends, or you might get attacked. i, for one, will always try to engage those with whom i disagree. otherwise, how does the dialog advance?

imagine the cries of racism had the story been reversed. say....a black guy wearing a shirt with obama's picture on it showing up at the polls and getting attacked (verbally or otherwise) by white ppl. omg, the liberal press and the liberal everyman would have a field day with that, and you know it. so spare me your platitudes of "hope" and "change".

btw, thanks for the link, tim.

brooks

Eric Susch said...

(sigh)

I don't really want to dignify Brooks' response because I think the video speaks for itself. I feel compelled to say a few things though because Brooks responds to my comment with a whole lot of garbage that has nothing to do with what I said. I want to make sure my initial comment was clear.

I think these two guys broke the law but I am not a legal authority on that. And neither is Brooks. Simply saying that a law is vague doesn't make it so. The final authority is a judge in a court of law, or a jury. Arguing with the poll workers and the other people in line, on, and on, and on is just trumped up reality show type BS. It doesn’t mean anything.

For anyone who can’t figure it out, my comment about being hauled off for being jerks is hyperbole. I think they should be hauled off for breaking the law. That way a judge, who has law experience, can decide if Brooks’ weasel words carry any weight.

Also, my response above has nothing to do with Obama, or Liberals in California, or any other canned partisan nonsense that Brooks goes on about. Brooks and his friend tried to disrupt the election as a prank so they could post a video online. This is quite clear from the video because they shoot themselves and their partisan shirts before they go to the polls in anticipation of trouble. And yes, as you can tell from the tone of my comment above, as an American I find that quite offensive.

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