Heartland Institute Responds to Attacks on Constitutional Speech by Senate Democrats’ #WebOfDenial Campaign

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Heartland Institute Responds to Attacks on Free Speech by Senate Democrats’ #WebOfDenial Campaign

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Jim Lakely, Director of Communications, The Heartland Institute

The words uttered by Sen. Whitehouse and others participating in this stunt are as un-American as they are unscientific.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is leading a group of 19 Senate Democrats who are calling out by name on the chamber floor conservative and libertarian nonprofit groups who differ with them on the causes and consequences of climate change. The first round of speeches, which Whitehouse and others have promoted on social media as #WebOfDenial, took place Monday evening. A second round of speeches is on the schedule for Tuesday evening, starting at 5 p.m. EST. In a Facebook Live video with the League of Conservation Voters Tuesday afternoon, Whitehouse said "The Heartland Institute is about as reprehensible as you can get."

The following statements from experts at The Heartland Institute – in response to what we believe are attacks by Sen. Whitehouse and other senators – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact New Media Specialist Donald Kendal at media(at)heartland(dot)org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/877-9100.

“Sen. Whitehouse is, once again, abusing the power of his office to lead a coordinated attack on free speech. By singling out Heartland and other groups, Whitehouse and his allies are trying to intimidate us and our supporters into silence, but he will fail.

“Every American has the right to support the causes they believe in, even if a cabal of senators disagree. The words uttered by Sen. Whitehouse and others participating in this stunt are as un-American as they are unscientific.”

Jim Lakely
Director of Communications
The Heartland Institute

“There is no greater freedom than speech, which should always be protected so long as it doesn’t cause immediate harm. Our Founding Founders knew this, and all those who have defended it for over two centuries are having their memories desecrated by those elite rulers who now wish to end it.”

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute

“The First Amendment protects everyone’s right to free speech, not just those allowed to pontificate from the floors of Congress. Climate change is a complex issue. The science is ever-changing with new discoveries nearly every week, and the impacts, while uncertain, are unlikely to be disastrous. Most importantly, economic analyses show any policies enacted to control the direction of future climate change are likely to be expensive and ineffective, so it is entirely legitimate to debate and dispute proposed climate policies.

“As these floor speeches show, many in Congress hold disdain for the constitutional protection of speech congressmen are sworn to uphold. These so-called ‘public servants’ display a great disrespect for the American people.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment and Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.

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Jim Lakely
Heartland Institute
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