Passionate Smut Bill Foe Accidentally Votes 'Yes'

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Turns out one of the most impassioned oppositions to the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act that boosted FCC fines tenfold was delivered by someone who voted for it.

"It is not for this Congress to put limits on free speech. The public decides what they want to listen to and what they want to hear," said New York Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman of the bill in comments submitted for the record. "They can change the channel, they can change the station, they can turn it off. It is not just speech that we agree with and we think is right that we have to tolerate. The true test of freedom of speech is if we tolerate ugly speech, obnoxious speech, and speech that we disagree with." (the entire speech is online at bcbeat.com).

Ackerman went on taking the Congress to task for censorship, finishing with: "Mr. Speaker, I for one will be voting against this bill."

When the vote came out, Ackerman's led the alphabetical listing of names of recorded votes for the bill (an anomaly first noted by Variety D.C. Bureau Chief Bill Triplett).

Oops.

For the first time in 25 years at the New York State Senate and House of Representatives, Ackerman "hit the wrong button," said a staffer. It was distressing, he added, but a note was added to the Congressional Record that the congressman had meant to vote no--you can't take a vote back once it has been cast.

"Mr. Ackerman's views on the bill are as recorded during the debate and he truly intended to vote no and still believes the bill should not have been passed," said the staffer.

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