With all the talk on the SOPA/PIPA issue online yesterday, it was easy to almost forget that voters in South Carolina will be voting in the GOP presidential primary on Saturday. I hadn’t heard much from any of the candidates (save one) on the Stop Online Piracy Act or PROTECT IP, so I did a little researching to find out who supports it and who doesn’t.
I’m not a single issue voter, but this one is big. SOPA and PIPA blatantly violate the First and Fifth Amendments. They also censor and regulate a perfectly good Internet. I’d have a really hard time voting for anybody who would show any sign of supporting this legislation.
To those of you in South Carolina specifically, I hope you’ll consider this post carefully before voting on Saturday. How these candidates respond to new issues that haven’t been their talking points for the last several months is a good sign of where they really stand on the issue. SOPA and PIPA are censorship bills, and any politician who shows signs of supporting these bills should not be taken seriously.
Ron Paul – Opposes SOPA and PIPA
“My campaign, and the entire freedom movement, would not be as strong as they are today without a free Internet.”
I’ve followed Paul for 4+ years, so his opposition to SOPA and PIPA wasn’t a shock to me. They directly violate the First and Fifth Amendments, and that’s more than enough reason for the Good Doctor to be opposed to this insanity.
Mitt Romney – Opposes SOPA and PIPA
“Let me tell you the challenge we have. If everyone going to Washington has spent their whole life in politics and none of them has spent any time in the private sector, you end up with pieces of legislation that kill the private sector – unintentionally, in most cases.”
“I will work with each enterprise that’s affected by law to understand how it will actually affect that business because the job of a regulator is not just to catch the bad guys and stop bad acts. It is to encourage the economy and to encourage the good guys…all [regulators] think about is how to stop business and stop the bad guys.”
“Every regulation that’s come out during the Obama years I will put a hold on when I become President, and I will review those regulations, and get rid of the ones that I don’t like.”
These quotes were pulled from a video at a campaign stop where he was asked about SOPA/PIPA, which is probably why they sound all “campaigny.” Given his history of changing sides on issues, I’m not sure we can trust anything Mitt says, but this week Mitt seems to be opposed to SOPA.
Also, I’m not sure how feasible it is for him to review all regulations that pass under Obama and “get rid of the ones” he doesn’t like. We should probably just assume that’s just feel-good campaign talk.
Rick Perry – Opposes SOPA and PIPA (allegedly)
I couldn’t find a direct quote of Perry talking about SOPA or PIPA, but I did find a link to this article that claims Perry is opposed to this legislation. If you have a quote from Perry on this issue, let me know, and I’ll update this post.
Rick Santorum – Supports SOPA and PIPA (generally)
“My general feeling is that we have a free market and a free market that works; but, like any freedom, there has to be regulation…”
Anyone who takes the stance that all freedom should be limited because people can’t handle real freedom is no good for any elected office. Beyond that, given his inability to remedy his little Google problem, I’m not shocked to see him favoring censorship of search engines.
Newt Gingrich – No Stance on SOPA and PIPA
I couldn’t find anything anywhere that puts Newt either in favor or in opposition to SOPA or PIPA. I’m sure he has an opinion, and if you happen to hear it, let me know.
Update 1/19/12 @21:21 – In tonight’s debate, Santorum said SOPA goes too far and he does not support it. (flip flop after everybody else on stage opposed it.)