Conservative Hideout 2.0 Rotating Header Image

NRA deal opens the way for DISCLOSE Act

Share

Well it finally looks like the way is clear for the controversial DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 5175) to be brought to the House floor.

On Monday, Democratic leaders cleared the bill’s way by cutting a deal with the NRA, exempting the massive gun-rights organization from the Act’s requirements. Democrats in moderate districts were wary of crossing the NRA by trying to limit its campaign ads.

You can read more about the NRA deal here.

Democratic leaders now believe they can ram the bill, H.R. 5175, through the House without any opposition to stop it.

This bill is so loosely crafted that it’s an absolute train wreck that not only threatens free speech in America, but could indirectly impact the current free exercise of speech bloggers enjoy.  See my May 20 post on this subject.  The bill was originally written to counter the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United V FEC.  The court ruled that provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law restricted corporations and nonprofit groups from running political advertising were unconstitutional.  This was in my opinion a huge win for free speech.  Not so much for the Democrats who face a tough political landscape this November.  So what do they do instead of addressing our serious economic concerns, our skyrocketing debt, our out-of-control spending, our falling dollar; they take the time to craft a bill that will place serious limitations on free speech rights guaranteed by our Constitution’s 1st amendment before an election cycle…sweet!

Americans for Tax Reform and over 50 other groups, including The American Conservative Union, CatholicVote.org, the Center for Competitive Politics, and Citizens Against Government Waste, have sent a letter to Congress calling the bill “an unequivocal ban on free speech, masquerading as an exercise in accountability.”

Below is a list of the new rules if the DISCLOSE Act becomes law.

It would expand the window for “electioneering communications,” which was 30 to 60 days under   McCain-Feingold, to 90 days before a primary or caucus. During that period, corporations and nonprofits would face stringent procedures for any corporate advertising. The electioneering window, once opened, would continue through to the general election. So because presidential primaries fall well before the election, the restrictions could conceivably be in place for over a year.

The bill requires a mountain of paperwork, because companies must submit a list to the FEC of all donors who contributed more than $600. “In the 1950s, the NAACP went to court to say it should not have to disclose its membership list,” Heritage Foundation legal scholar Hans Von Spakovsky says. He contends the provision to disclose members’ names poses constitutional problems “because it interferes with their right to associate.” It prohibits any company that received government contracts, or that received TARP bailouts, from spending any money on election advertising.

In a precedent-setting exemption, the Disclose Act for the first time would restrict the activities of nonprofits and companies, but not unions in some cases. Opponents point out that unions recently spent over $10 million in an unsuccessful bid to defeat Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary. “This is the empower-labor-unions-over-everybody-else act,” says Norquist. “It’s making it illegal for Americans to participate in politics.”

It bans any advertising from foreign companies, including domestic companies that have 20 percent or more foreign control.

The names of all donors who give $1,000 or more to an organization must be disclosed to the FEC, if the organization spends more than $10,000 on political advertising. Labor unions are included in this provision.

It requires CEOs to appear on camera stating they “approve this message.” Those familiar with how political fund-raising work say this alone would scare away political speech by the vast majority of companies and associations. Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, one of the groups that signed the anti-Disclose Act letter, tells Newsmax: “I see this as a threat especially to conservative nonprofits, but really to nonprofits in general, because that’s ultimately where the corporate spending that is being attacked here is coming from. Donors very often ask about anonymity. That’s important to them. I could see the groups losing a lot of donations. It’s meant to have a chilling effect, and it will have a chilling effect. I think it’s going to have a horrible effect on nonprofits groups….”

The top donor to the organization, who might not have donated any money for that particular ad, would be required to appear in the commercial to provide the public with information on those funding the commercial. Also, a TV ad would have to list the top five funders to the organization, and radio ads would have to disclose the top two funders. Disclose Act opponents point out the additional time required for the burdensome disclosures would make the ads prohibitively expensive.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What part of this does Congress not understand?

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post & Image H/T: The Current

Share
  • http://mksviews.wordpress.com/ MK

    Didn’t you guys get the memo, congress doesn’t read anything anymore, that’s just for the peasants, they’re above all that wiffle-waffle now.

    Someone ought to put a bill in front of those a-holes stating they’ll submit themselves to a horsewhipping, after a few lashes i believe they’ll learn to read what’s put in front of them then.

    Alternatively you can take the more boring route of kicking them out of office at the next election. :)

  • http://thecurrent9171787.blogspot.com/ John Carey

    I plan on do my part this November. If we don’t we might might have a Republic left after this election cycle.

    • http://conservativehideout.com Matt

      That is very true John. We’ll lose more than election if we go down in November. So far, so good.

      • http://thecurrent9171787.blogspot.com/ John Carey

        Matt I can’t stress enough how important this November is. We have to start the process of taking back our government. It will take time, but of we lose this November, we will lose a great deal more than just the election.

  • Ross Wolf

    Disclose Act Will Choke First Amendment.

    The Neomarxist behind the Obama/FTC intend to drown out the voice of America with Obama/Marxist propaganda, enforcing new regulations that will cripple bloggers and other alternative media from disseminating information, free speech that grass-roots among other organizations depend on to make informed decisions. Obama’s support of the DISCLOSE Act confirmed what many Americans already believed; that Obama and certain Democrats in Congress intend to strangle the flow of information. If Obama and his leftists associations get their way, our Children will be brainwashed by Obama’s one-sided propaganda at school, through Obama controlled Radio, TV and Obama media policies that restrict the free flow of information. Historically when communists attempted or took over a country, one of their first steps was to control the media and all forms of public communications to control Civilian populations. When Russia took over Hungary, it immediately took control of the Radio stations to thwart Citizen resistance and to psychologically control the People. Considering the Obama administration’s obsession with controlling all media, one might ask, are some of the same persons inside and outside U.S. Government working with the Obama administration to push the Disclose Act and other censorship regulations, involved in causes that promulgate overthrow of the United States? While some in the Obama Government say they support dismantling capitalism, brick by brick, does their endgame call for destruction of the United States? If it does, what should Americans do to stop it? Does the Obama administration’s proposed censorship of free speech e.g., the Disclose Act threaten National Security? In other countries where members of political parties and ideological extremists attempted or succeeded in this kind of forced censorship, forbidding Citizens to receive information, they have been arrested for treason among other crimes. The Obama administration appears intended to curtail Americans’ right to know, restrict American’s right to communicate via the Internet and the Obama administration admits they want to pay writers in newspapers and other media to covertly propagandize their point of view. Is this not treason? Top CZAR Cass Sunstein prepared a 2008 paper that proposed spying on Americans, infiltrating groups and organizations to obstruct Free Speech, disrupt the exchange of ideas and disseminate false information to neutralize Americans that might question government.
    See: http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=121884

    The majority of Americans oppose military governments. But increasingly during the last six months, more Americans quietly state they would trust the U.S. Military running U.S. Government temporarily over extremists in Obam’s government; that they would support a quasi Civilian/military form of government temporarily provided their civil and constitutional rights were protected and importantly, all leftists extremists in U.S. Government were deposed. This recent change of attitude by Americans might be explained by the fact they can relate to their U.S. Military and find nothing in common with Obama and his extreme leftist associations and supporters. Increasingly Americans appear to fear the Obama government more than the idea of having the U.S. Military temporarily run U.S. Government. Additionally Obama’s refusal to secure America’s Mexican border might have contributed to Americans identifying with a quasi/U.S. military government over an Obama government that won’t protect Border States from foreign invaders. The number of Marxists in the U.S. is small, but having them control any part of our government is repugnant to most Americans that believe it not in the best interest of our economy, national defense and National Security. Considering the direction America is going economically, more Americans are afraid that if things collapse, Obama might use the U.S. Military against U.S. Citizens; that should things collapse a quasi Civilian/U.S. Military government not the Obama administration should run America. This is mentioned only to note there is a strong wind blowing across America, that is howling enough Obama.

Switch to our mobile site