Indiana’s 5th Congressional District (INCD5) race is heating up, and I read some things from a couple of months back. Apparently Victoria Spartz, who bought the GOP nomination, took umbrage with “opponents [who] have accused me of working with Russian oligarchs.”
She said the “attacks are 100% FALSE. In fact, they are so baseless and so malicious I am considering taking legal action against the individuals promoting them.”
1) The First Amendment protects political speech under a strict scrutiny standard, the highest level. Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 420 (1988); McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n, 514 U.S. 334, 346 (1995).
2) If lying in an election campaign is actionable, trump would be broke. (Oh, wait - he is.) Also, Spartz is a fan of trump & trump does not work. He cheats at golf and tweets. To accuse a trumpesque candidate of working might be negative, but trump lies about working.
3) Russia is “located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.” Wikipedia.
4) An oligarchy is a “government in which a small group of persons exercises control” Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th ed., 2014, p. 1260. Spartz, as a GOP candidate, hardly can complain about oligarchs - trump indicates he wants to be one.
5) But Russia maybe isn’t an oligarchy. Bill Browder wrote of his business dealings in Russia: “When Putin became president in January 2000, he was granted the title President of the Russian Federation, but the actual power of the presidency had been hijacked by oligarchs... As soon as he took office, it became his highest priority to wrest power from these men and return it to its rightful place in the Kremlin, or more accurately, into his own hands.” Browder, “Red Notice,” 2015 ed., p. 165.
Let’s do the connections. Spartz loves trump. trump loves Putin. Putin owns Russia. If Spartz has a problem with this equation, she need only disavow trump and Putin. Otherwise, she should focus on her own policy shifts.
Much of her campaign has focused on the evils of socialism. Now, with COVID killing so many and people talking about how good Medicare is, Spartz has begun to waffle. But let’s be real: socialism was not the problem where Spartz was born, in Ukraine before the USSR split up.
The leading economies of the World are largely socialistic - as are the health care systems of 34 of the 36 nations ranked ahead of the U.S. The problem was that the Soviet Union’s form of socialism was dictatorial. Then again, it was dominated by the KGB.
Putin spent 16 years in the KGB and was a lieutenant colonel. So maybe Spartz should think about whom she criticizes. And, by the way, during the campaign, I never said Spartz worked with Russian oligarchs.