House Dems Preparing Thursday DISCLOSE Act Vote to Muzzle Pro-life, Pro-family Groups

House Dems Preparing Thursday DISCLOSE Act Vote to Muzzle Pro-life, Pro-family Group

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2010 ( – Delayed, but not undaunted, the leadership of the Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress may force a Thursday vote on a new campaign finance bill, the Orwellian-named “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act” that has pro-life, pro-family groups, and even the ACLU crying foul. Critics say the measure will have a chilling effect on political free speech, especially with mid-term elections just around the corner.

Late Wednesday afternoon, National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson told that the House Rules Committee was meeting at that moment to make the DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175) ready for a full vote.

The bill forces many organizations to comply with what pro-life groups call “onerous” reporting requirements. These would disclose the donors and members of their organizations, and frustrate the ability of grassroots entities to communicate effectively about public policy.

Johnson told LSN that the vote “could be anytime during the day," but that Democratic leadership “could cancel if they feel that anything is going in the wrong direction.”

A few weeks ago, the bill seemed dead, but Democrats brought it back after striking a deal Monday that would exempt the powerful National Rifle Association from the requirements of the bill in exchange for their neutrality. A vote was anticipated for last week as well, but Congress went home early for the weekend after a scheduling change.

The NRA deal – since modified to cover organizations such as the Sierra Club – exempts 501(c)4 groups from having to report their donors if they have at least 500,000 members, over 10 years of existence, chapters in all 50 states, and receive no more than 15 percent of total contributions from corporations. The NRA has over 4 million members; the environmentalist Sierra Club has 750,000 members.

The deal leaves smaller and more numerous grassroots organizations, in particular the pro-life, pro-family movement and the decentralized conservative “Tea Party” movement, out in the cold.

This bill could be very bad as stated for some pro-life groups but it would also be bad for a lot of liberal groups as well because then people would know where the dollars are really coming from. I'm not sure why it's so bad to know who is really funding political events, if you don't want to be known for your support... then don't support it.

In regards to pro-life groups though I believe most wouldn't mind being known, everyone knows where I stand because of my license plate, I'm not a big bumper sticker fan so I opted for the Choose Life plate and it seems like at least 50% of my Parish has them as well.

Me personally I think this might be good, I would have loved for the Swiftboat morons to have been seen for what they were when they derailed McCain's campaign in 2000 questioning his patriotism and the same for John Kerry in 2004, both decorated war hero's who's record was questioned again someone who didn't have to fight but was more than willing to start wars himself.

If people want to know how much I give to Catholic Answers, Life Site or anyone else, more power to them so long as I know who is giving what to keep pushing the Democratic party far to the left and the Republicans far to the right. Those are our enemies, those who want to keep people from coming together.


Carving out an exemption for the National Rifle Association was the politics of strange bedfellows. If one group can be exempted, how about others?

Red tape has proven very effective at killing free enterprise. I am sure it will be equally effective at killing off the democratic process too.

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