IS THIS WHY SUNSTEIN IS STEPPING DOWN? Controversial views could become election issue
Posted on August 4, 2012 at 11:47 PM EST
By Aaron Klein
NEW YORK — Did regulatory czar Cass Sunstein resign in response to White House concern that some of Sunstein’s controversial views could become election issues?
Many of those views were first exposed in a series of WND articles.
President Obama released a brief statement on the departure of Sunstein, thanking him for “his friendship and for his years of exceptional service.”
The White House statement did not provide any reason for Sunstein’s departure.
Politico, which first reported on Sunstein leaving the White House, did not cite any reason for Sunstein’s departure either. The news outlet reported Sunstein will return later this month to his previous post at Harvard Law School.
During his academic career, Sunstein has espoused controversial views on regulating the media and Internet.
WND first reported in 2008 how Sunstein proposed the government should ban ‚Äúconspiracy theorizing,‚ÄĚ including by sending agents to infiltrate websites and chat rooms. Among the beliefs Sunstein would ban, according to the paper, is that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.
WND reported¬†that in his 2009 book, ‚ÄúOn Rumors,‚ÄĚ he argued websites should be obliged to remove ‚Äúfalse rumors‚ÄĚ while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such ‚Äúrumors.‚ÄĚ
In the book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of ‚Äúabsurd‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúhateful‚ÄĚ remarks, reports by ‚Äúright-wing websites‚ÄĚ alleging an association between President Obama and Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.
He also singled out radio talker Sean Hannity for ‚Äúattacking‚ÄĚ Obama regarding the president‚Äôs ‚Äúalleged associations.‚ÄĚ
Ayers became a name in the 2008 presidential campaign when it was disclosed he worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers‚Äô apartment.
WND also previously reported¬†Sunstein drew up a ‚ÄúFirst Amendment New Deal‚ÄĚ ‚Äď a new ‚ÄúFairness Doctrine‚ÄĚ that would include the establishment of a panel of ‚Äúnonpartisan experts‚ÄĚ to ensure ‚Äúdiversity of view‚ÄĚ on the airwaves.
Sunstein compared the need for the government to regulate broadcasting to the moral obligation the U.S. had to impose new rules that outlawed segregation.
WND also reported on Sunstein’s central role in a push for a new, ‚Äúprogressive‚ÄĚ U.S. Constitution.
In April 2005, Sunstein opened up a conference at Yale Law School entitled, ‚ÄúThe Constitution in 2020,‚ÄĚ which sought to change the nature and interpretation of the Constitution by that year. Sunstein was a founder of the movement.
That 2005 event was sponsored by George¬†Soros‚Äô Open Society Institute as well as by the Center for American Progress, which is led by John Podesta, who served as co-chair of Obama‚Äôs presidential transition team. Podesta‚Äôs Center is said to be highly influential in helping to craft White House policy.