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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 28, 2005 08:06 AM

The free-speech-curtailing effects of McCain-Feingold are still at work in Washington state, where my old friends, conservative radio talk show hosts Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson, are feeling the chill.

In via the Seattle Times:

Comments made by radio talk-show hosts this past summer supporting anti-gas-tax Initiative 912 should be considered in-kind political contributions, a Thurston County Superior Court judge reaffirmed Wednesday.

Judge Chris Wickham also found that the I-912 campaign had complied with his ruling by reporting the contributions to the state and closed the case.

The ruling was called a blow to free speech by the law firm representing the I-912 campaign, which is seeking to overturn a 9.5-cent-a-gallon increase in the state gas tax. They vowed to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“Campaigns and media figures are going to have this in the back of their heads. ‘Am I too close to this, am I talking about this too much? Should I be having lunch with this guy from the campaign?’ ” said William Maurer, executive director of the Institute for Justice Washington Chapter, which represents I-912 in the case.

Brian Maloney
has more.

Free speech fight in Washington state, Pt. III
Free speech fight in Washington state, Pt. II
Free speech fight in Washington state

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