Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson threw his weight behind a bill that critics charge may lead to conservatives being targeted as domestic extremists.
Seattle radio host Jason Rantz deemed it as the “most dangerous bill in legislative history.” The measure, he proclaimed, targets anything the state government labels as “misinformation” to be punished.
COMMUNISM: "Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office could arrest or civilly commit conservatives for uttering mainstream positions under a terrifying and illegal plan to redefine domestic terrorism that punishes speech." @jasonrantz https://t.co/rBgTcmyAyv
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 5, 2023
The initiative is modeled after President Joe Biden’s short-lived Disinformation Governance Board. That national effort under the Department of Homeland Security was dismantled last year after an immediate firestorm of criticism.
But the so-called “Ministry of Truth” is back in Washington state under the guise of HB 1333. This legislation proposed the creation of a 13-member commission and is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Bill Ramos.
In its own wording, the commission would “combat disinformation and misinformation” and gather information on “domestic violent extremism (DVE).”
The precise meaning of DVE is not spelled out in the bill, but AG Ferguson reportedly defined it as including noncriminal activities or speech.
Center Square confirmed that the bill is based on Ferguson’s “Domestic Terrorism” study from 2022. That work ominously warned that “effective state intervention” may intersect with speech or association protected by the First Amendment or provisions of the Second Amendment.
The commission would be mandated through the Washington state Department of Health to treat DVE as a public health issue. Only one board member, however, is required to actually be an expert on public health.
The focus, according to supporters, is on developing “community intervention.” Critics charge that people whom the state identifies as “extremists” could be compelled to undergo counseling.
Ranz, interviewed by Fox News’ Todd Pirro, declared that backers of the legislation “say this is about violence, but it’s not about violence. It’s actually about speech.”
He noted that laws clearly exist that address violence. What Ferguson is attempting to do, Ranz believes, is “create what they’re calling a ‘public health approach’ to some of these ideologies.” Ideologies which, for the record, are conservative.
As Rantz detailed, the commission would be “singularly focused on the Right.” Opposing CRT or radical gender ideology would be enough to put a person in the crosshairs of this state effort to stifle individual thought and beliefs.