Free and Equal

Sun Times Columnist Mark Brown wrote an interesting article today regarding people who gather petition signatures.  He provides information and quotes from Christina Tobin.  Ms. Tobin operates the Chicago based company Free and Equal Inc.  The company’s purpose is to help candidates gain ballot access.  They charge a premium for their services.   Ms. Tobin also operates a sister non-profit foundation called Free and Equal, which advocates for ballot access and changes in election laws.

This is all fine and well.  She runs a lucrative business and advocates for a worthy cause. Unfortunately, her website also advocates for two notorious criminals.  There is a graphic on the website- “Defending the Victims of Two wars”.

Who are these victims?  One is Marc Emery.  Mr. Emery is a notorious dope dealer serving five years in federal prison.  He is a “victim” of the drug war.  The other “victim” is the notorious Bradley Manning, also known as Pfc. Bradley Manning. He leaked sensitive military information to Wikileaks.  Manning currently resides in a prison in Quantico, Va.  He is waiting to see what the military or the government is going to do to him.

It is one thing to run a for profit political advocacy company and a non-profit political advocacy foundation focused on ballot access.  It is quite another to advocate on behalf of criminals.  Especially treasonous criminals who endanger the lives of others.

Mr. Emery, a Canadian, violated U.S. drug laws.  He was caught, prosecuted, and sentenced.  His supporters are trying to get him moved to Canada to serve out his sentence.  This is not unusual, as the United States has a treaty with Canada for such a purpose.  But Mr. Emery was no ordinary dope dealer.  He ran a rather large operation while at the same time publicly advocating for overturning drug laws.  He was (in)famous.

Mr. Bradley is a traitor.

Bradley Manning is the worst of the two.  He violated his military oath and various military and U.S. laws.  For far too many he is being considered a collateral hero and is being hailed as a heroic whistle blower in the Wikileaks affair.  Bradley Manning did not just violate laws.  He knowingly and purposely violated a sacred trust.

Why should any group who openly supports these kinds of criminals have media credibility?  This should tarnish their credibility.

The media needs experts to verify stories or for quotes and soundbites.  One would think they would use reputable people.  Ms. Tobin is a concerned ballot activist who found a way to make money and advocate for her pet cause.  Unfortunately, she damages her reputation and credibility by advocating for criminals and traitors.

“The only limits we place on ideology are that we will not support initiatives, candidates or parties which support racism, sexism, or homophobia, or which advocate violence as a political solution.” (From the Free and Equal website.)

The drug trade and treason cause violence, death, and mayhem.  Advocating for crime and treason as political solutions is perfectly OK by Ms. Tobin.


About Peter V. Bella

Peter V. Bella is a passionate cook and photographer. Mr. Bella started cooking as a child with his parents. He has taken professional courses through the years. Mr. Bella a a freelance photojournalist and writer based in Chicago.
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