[Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

Mike Godwin mnemonic at gmail.com
Thu Jul 12 15:16:39 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 6:38 AM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:

>> I'm not speaking for WMF, but I don't see the connection here.
> The connection is free speech.

Analytically, however, the issue raised by Citizens United is not
simply an issue of free speech. It centers on the precise question of
what role corporate expenditures can play in elections. It does not
address the question of whether corporations can engage in political

>> Wikimedia Foundation, as a corporation, is profoundly regulated in
>> what it can and cannot do politically
> What regulations are you referring to?  Corporations can't *deduct*
> certain political expenditures.  But what are the profound regulations
> on what it can do politically?

See, e.g., http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/limits-political-campaigning-501c3-nonprofits-29982.html
and http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicl03.pdf.

> WMF is engaging in lobbying, a form of political speech.  In the
> Citizens United decision, "the Court held that the First Amendment
> prohibited the government from restricting independent political
> expenditures by corporations and unions".
> The connection is quite obvious.

Not merely obvious but "quite obvious," eh? Well, in the United States
cases like Citizens United and its predecessors center precisely on
election campaigns (including the ways money can be spent on "issue
campaigning" aimed at influencing the outcome of elections of
candidates for public office).

I'm unaware of the Wikimedia Foundation's attempting to influence an
election. I'm also unaware of any how Citizens United applies even
remotely the subject matter of this thread, which I had understood to
center on Russian legislation, not (for example) on a Russian

But perhaps you're making a one of those "obvious" (excuse me, I mean
"quite obvious") connections that is too subtle for me to follow.
Speaking only for myself, I remain cheered by the Russian-language
Wikimedians' activism.


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