Well, he made that movie attacking Obama, but when I read what his lawyer is saying....
"Mr. D’Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever.... He and the candidate have been friends since their college days, and at most, this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza."... I think it looks pretty much like a confession that D'Souza committed the criminal acts. What's the defense? That he's a good person who meant well and enjoyed camaraderie with the beneficiary of his illegal acts? I don't think campaign finance laws work that way, but maybe I'm wrong. Personally, I avoid campaign finance because I think the law is set up to snag people on all sorts of weird details. I'm troubled by that, because it means that you can't run for office unless you have plenty of legal advice, so how do you begin to run for office? It's really oppressive. But if there's going to be oppression like that, it can't be an out that you didn't mean to violate any law, can it?
Since the legal minefield intimidates most of us out of engaging in fund-raising at all, those who do venture forth should be blown away by every infraction, don't you think? Being a famous movie-maker who looks like he's on an enemies list shouldn't save you.
(We saw D'Souza's movie, and I blogged about it here and here.)
ADDED: Thanks to Instapundit for linking to this post and for expanding on the reasons for suspecting that the answer to the question in my post title is yes. I can see in his comments section (and perhaps also in mine) that some readers are having trouble understanding my point, which is similar to what I say about legalizing marijuana. Laws need to be enforced neutrally, across the board, or we need to be free of them. When the executive authority spares its friends or, worse, targets its enemies, what is revealed is the insufficient or fake commitment to rules that bind everyone and that deter rule-followers (like me) from engaging in activities we might want to engage in. I want to smoke out this insufficient or fake commitment to campaign finance law by challenging government to prosecute all violators. If that challenge is unmet, we deserve different laws.
AND: It's really quite unfair, when some candidates spent lots of money carefully avoiding violations of the law and forgo contributions that would violate the law, for another candidate to get away with violations. But it doesn't undo the unfairness to prosecute some and not others. It only breeds more disrespect for the law. When government is churning out a lot of rules — especially in an area that burdens political and free-speech rights — it has a special obligation to commit to equal and predictable enforcement of the law. Otherwise it looks like these laws exist for the purpose of deterring political participation and to punish political enemies.