Retaliatory Strike

29 April 2004

Stupid Cowards and Clean Elections
by Craig J. Cantoni

(originally published in the Arizona Republic on April 21)

Last May, the Arizona Daily Star of Tucson ran an editorial calling me a coward for being one of two plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Arizona’s clean election law. The editorial showed how the establishment, especially the left-leaning media, will try to discredit those who fight for free speech and other liberties.

The editorial lied…

...that I’m a front for right-wing organizations. Actually, I’m a private citizen with strong libertarian beliefs who, as readers of this column know, criticizes both Democrats and Republicans when they abuse government power. The true coward is the Star, which, like the rest of the establishment media, can hide behind clean election laws and engage in political speech that is outlawed for private citizens and groups.

The Star’s real beef is that I’ve founded and funded an organization called Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). HAALT’s mission is to stop the immorality of the government taking money from some citizens for the benefit of politically favored citizens or groups instead of for government services that benefit all citizens equally, such as national defense. Of course, as a left-liberal newspaper, the Star somehow rationalizes that when the government takes money from one person and gives it another person, it is something other than theft. To them, it is compassion, social justice, fairness or some other twaddle.

Over half of political and governmental activity is in stolen goods, whether it is rich corporate farmers getting subsidies from the rest of us, the elderly sending the bills for their medicine to their grandchildren, corporate employees receiving favorable tax treatment for health care at the expense of the self-employed, or riders of Phoenix’s planned light-rail line having non-riders pick up 88 percent of the cost of their ride.

The fatal flaw of the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights is that it is legal for the government to take all of your money, if that is what the majority wants to do. That explains why John Kerry and other politicians openly advocate theft and class warfare without fear of being arrested or being called a thief by the likes of the Star.

It is illogical for the Star and other do-gooders to endorse government theft and then to wail about the corrupting influence of money in politics. The Star is worse than a coward. It is a stupid coward.

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Mr. Cantoni is an author, public speaker and consultant. He can be reached at

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