June 15, 2010
Permanent Majority by Silencing Minority
If you can’t guarantee re-election, legislate it! Unfortunately, that’s the net effect of a bill called the DISCLOSE (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections) Act. Essentially, H.R. 5175 would try to blunt the effectiveness of groups like FRC by limiting what we can say before the November elections. If, for instance, FRC Action decided to run a TV ad about a particular candidate, this bill would force us to reveal the names of our top donors on the spot-even if those donors didn’t fund that specific project! Congress is hoping that these rules would deter organizations like us from educating voters about candidates’ record on certain issues. And what a coincidence! These reporting requirements would take effect just in time to protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents from conservative ads. As more primaries hint at some major upheaval this fall, House leaders are racing pass the Act. According to Politico, the vote could come as early as this week.
Although these regulations would also affect the special interest groups on the Left, you wouldn’t know it by their response — or lack thereof. Why the hush? Because the people behind this bill (most of them liberal) know it won’t last. It’s unconstitutional! The Supreme Court said as much earlier this year in a ruling that struck down other campaign finance restrictions. Obviously, the main thing that congressional Democrats care about is this election. They know that the courts may eventually overturn the law, but not before November 2. By then, the damage to free speech will have already been done. That’s why a coalition of more than 50 nonprofits is formally opposing the bill, including FRC Action. Another major player, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has carved out special exceptions to the Act that would supposedly help them protect its supporters. Despite the deal, there’s a strong possibility that the NRA would still have to open up its donor lists to public scrutiny just to meet the strict criteria of H.R. 5175. Regardless, this is just another campaign of intimidation from a very desperate party. Help us help you! Contact your representatives today and ask them to respect — not repress — America ‘s First Freedoms by voting against the DISCLOSE Act.