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Humphries has a right to speak



Published: Thu, October 28, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Humphries has a right to speak

The over reactions to Tom Humphries, president of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, endorsing a Republican candidate conveniently fail to recognize his previous endorsement of either a Demo-cratic Party candidate and/or a cause championed by Democrats.

While reasonable minds may differ about his endorsement of a candidate of either party, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of the people to speak freely, especially concerning political candidates and political causes.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently decided the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case and the court essentially emasculated the McCain- Finegold Law (Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002) that prohibited non-profit corporations from campaigning for political candidates of their choice during short periods of time prior to elections. A fair reading of the court’s 25 page opinion extends this First Amendment right to all organizations including labor unions, the Sierra Club (specifically referenced by the Court) and yes, including Mr. Humphries and the Regional Chamber (the word “Commerce” having sadly been deleted from its name.)

Hopefully, the few headliners who stomped away as members of the Regional Chamber will return, and just as hopefully, existing and new members will continue to attract commerce to our community.

Atty. Carl D. Rafoth, Youngstown


Comments

11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Hopefully Betras does not return. He is a complete blowhard.

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2Education_Voter(816 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes. And I don't think that the writer would disagree that his employer also has the right to dismiss him. While he may have a right to free speech in our community, he does not have an unconditional right to his position the leadership of the Chamber of Commerce.

For example: Subway's "Jarod" has every right to eat where he likes. But it would be embarrassing for Subway if Jarod were to be caught wolfing down a Quarter-pounder at McDonald's. Subway would be within their rights to dismiss him.

Mr. Humphries behavior added to a negative impression already being given by the national and state chambers of commerce. He picked a thoughtless and selfish time to exercise his freedom of speech. He should have the courage to resign from his position, or apologize for changing the image of the Chamber forever.

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Humphries has never met a government contract he hasn't profited or tried to profit from. He has no business being the head of the chamber; if all he does is try to steer business to his personal company. He got spanked on Dan Rivers show yesterday when a caller asked him if his company was trying to push a data processing contract to Tim Ryan - who rents space from the chamber of horrors... excuse me commerce.

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4valleyop(14 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey author50 (Sam Moffie) how much is Betras paying you to post comments on this board? You post on everything so he must be sending a lot of cash your way!

You always call for full disclosure, so why don't you stand up and tell everyone how and why you have become the Betras lapdog?

Don't make any excuses Sam, tell everyone what Betras has promissed you! A hint for all of our readers, it has to do with the Board of Elections.......

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5Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

If Tom Humphries endorsed Ted Strickland, there would not be a story here. And all of you know that is the truth.

This hatchet job on the character of Humphries is just that. Things are not going as well as Betras would like, so why not demonize someone else to take attention away from his failing candidates and failing ideas.

And if you think Bill Clinton is coming because Betras had anything to do with it you would be sorely mistaken. The Ohio Democratic Party knows turnout is looking horrendous across the state, so they need to try and increase the turnout as much as they can in areas like Youngstown that they THINK are a sure thing.

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6theotherside(328 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Humphries certainly has a right to speak. I agree. He also then bears responsibility for what he says as well. In this case, the exercise of the right to resign from the Chamber of Commerce as a result of what he said. Seems fairly simple to me.

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