House Expected to Vote Friday On Bill Limiting Pro-Life Groups' Free Speech

House Expected to Vote Friday On Bill Limiting Pro-Life Groups' Free Speech

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 17, 2010

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Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The House of Representatives is expected to vote on Friday on a bill that would place more limits on pro-life and other political groups when it comes to communicating with supporters about legislative and political activities. The bill, called the DISCLOSE Act, has drawn opposition from several pro-life groups.

The bill would place campaign finance and legislative communications restrictions on groups and potentially force them to make donor records public when they discuss something as typical as how members of Congress vote on pro-life issues.

To build more support for the bill, Democratic leaders included exceptions in it targeted towards removing the objections the NRA had to the legislation.

In the latest developments on the legislation, House Democratic leaders have decided to expand the carve-out from disclosure requirements they gave to the NRA. The new standard lowers the membership requirement for organizations to be exempt from the restrictions and limits.

Originally, groups with more than 1 million members were exempted and that has been reduced to 500,000.

"The number was reduced recognizing that there are groups out there that have a long-standing history of doing grass-roots work. We originally thought some of these
groups would be covered, but they weren't," one Democratic aide told Roll Call.

But that won't allow pro-life groups to drop their objections to the bill, which will head to the Rules Committee today and to the House floor Friday.

lifenews.com/nat6432.html

"In a new letter to Congress, NRLC says "there is very little in this bill, despite the pretenses, that is actually intended to provide useful or necessary information to the public. The overriding purpose is precisely the opposite: To discourage, as much as possible, disfavored groups (such as NRLC) from communicating about officeholders.""

I see no comparison between this and whatever Nazis and Communists did.

God bless,
Ed

This just popped up in my emails:

House Expected to Vote Friday On Bill Limiting Pro-Life Groups' Free Speech
by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 17, 2010

Email RSS Print

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- The House of Representatives is expected to vote on Friday on a bill that would place more limits on pro-life and other political groups when it comes to communicating with supporters about legislative and political activities. The bill, called the DISCLOSE Act, has drawn opposition from several pro-life groups.

The bill would place campaign finance and legislative communications restrictions on groups and potentially force them to make donor records public when they discuss something as typical as how members of Congress vote on pro-life issues.

To build more support for the bill, Democratic leaders included exceptions in it targeted towards removing the objections the NRA had to the legislation.

...

Related web sites:
NRLC letter - nrlcomm.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/discloseletter
National Right to Life - nrlc.o

google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Flifenews.com%2Fnat6432.html&rct=j&q=House+Expected+to+Vote+Friday+On+Bill+Limiting+Pro-Life+Groups%27+Free+Speech&ei=p-gcTJLjJsH9nAfM9-mCDg&usg=AFQjCNHK66s7BOrhl0OsJJ1LiIoSxkvm5Q

Limiting free speech?that's the FIRST thing they did.

Mr.Obama said straight out he would get the Supreme Courts Ruling overturned:(

[quote="edwest2, post:3, topic:202307"]
I see no comparison between this and whatever Nazis and Communists did.
God bless,
Ed

[/quote]

I agree, the proposed legislation is just a step to require some public disclosure by groups seeking to influence legislation. Seems harmless to me. When I see these political ads, I like to know who is financing them. This is not an invasion of privacy; these folks a placing themselves in the public forum.

Perhaps this is yet another proof to us that Heaven knows what it is talking (warning) us about-when the Blessed Virgin Mary was sent to Fatima and stated to the children, of the importance of the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart-or Russia would spread its errors.

She also said it would happen-but be late.

God Bless.
+Jesus, I Trust In You.
Love, Dawn

[quote="edwest2, post:3, topic:202307"]
I see no comparison between this and whatever Nazis and Communists did.

God bless,
Ed

[/quote]

The FIRST thing they do, when overthrowing an existing Government---is to seize control of the Communications-like Radio and TV.

God Bless.
+Jesus, I Trust In You!
Love, Dawn

[quote="OriginalJS, post:7, topic:202307"]
I agree, the proposed legislation is just a step to require some public disclosure by groups seeking to influence legislation. Seems harmless to me. When I see these political ads, I like to know who is financing them. This is not an invasion of privacy; these folks a placing themselves in the public forum.

[/quote]

How far is it from this innocent (your insinuation, not mine) restriction of free speech to restricting all manner of speech that opposes the radical left point of view and how long do you think it will take to restrict even sermon content? Don't be so naive as to think there is nothing sinister behind this movement.

[quote="DawnInTexas, post:9, topic:202307"]
The FIRST thing they do, when overthrowing an existing Government---is to seize control of the Communications-like Radio and TV.

God Bless.
+Jesus, I Trust In You!
Love, Dawn

[/quote]

And take you guns!

[quote="DawnInTexas, post:9, topic:202307"]
The FIRST thing they do, when overthrowing an existing Government---is to seize control of the Communications-like Radio and TV.

God Bless.
+Jesus, I Trust In You!
Love, Dawn

[/quote]

Has the government been overthrown? I know how propaganda and psychological warfare works. It is an overreaction to state something drastic has happened.

God bless,
Ed

It seems that some in Congress do not like it when organizations such as National Right to Life Committee or other pro-life groups advertise the voting records of congressmen on such issues.

It sounds to me like the bill is intended to discourage such groups from making those voting records public, by requiring the organizations doing it to publicly list their donors. So, if you don't mind contributing to NRLC, but don't want your name posted on the Internet, this might deter you from contributing.

This just in:

NRA and The Campaign Finance Bill
(DISCLOSE Act)

June 18, 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We asked John Sigler, past President of the NRA, to explain the relationship between the NRA and the DISCLOSE bill. Mr. Sigler has provided us a detailed response and he has also agreed to attend our meetings to update us on NRA issues that are of a concern to us.

Mr. Sigler reponds:

Through the courts and in Congress, the NRA has consistently and strongly
opposed any effort to restrict the rights of our four million members to
speak and have their voices heard on behalf of gun owners nationwide.

The NRA clearly stated our strong opposition to the DISCLOSE Act in a letter
sent to Members of Congress on May 26. This bill would put a gag order on
the NRA. We believe it is unconstitutional and we oppose it.

The NRA provides critical firearms training for our Armed Forces and law
enforcement throughout the country. The DISCLOSE Act would force us to
choose between training our men and women in uniform and exercising our
right to free political speech. We refuse to let this Congress force us to
make that choice.

In addition, the DISCLOSE Act would force us to turn our donor lists over to
the federal government and list our top donors on all TV ads; Radio ads;
Internet ads; and election mailings. We refuse to let this Congress impose
those unconstitutional restrictions on our Association.

Is it worth us having to live under all this just to protect the First
Amendment rights of other groups? We don't think so. The NRA did not "sell
out" to Nancy Pelosi or anyone else. We told Congress that we oppose this
bill. As a result, congressional leadership said they would amend the bill
to exempt us from its draconian restrictions on free speech. If we are
exempted from this bill, we will not be involved in its final consideration
in the House. If we are not, we will strongly oppose it.

Unfortunately, some friends -- even within our own family -- have suggested
that this was an unprincipled approach. Sadly, they are guided by a
different principle -- their own and not the NRA's.

There are those who say the NRA has a greater duty to principle than to gun
rights. It's easy to say we should put the Second Amendment at risk over
some so-called First Amendment principle -- unless you work for the National
Rifle Association and are sworn to defend the Second Amendment above all
else.

We will not risk our Association or our members being silenced. And make no
mistake about it -- if this Congress eliminates the NRA's ability to speak,
it will go after the entire Second Amendment.

During consideration of the previous campaign finance speech restriction
bill several years ago, congressional leadership repeatedly refused to
exempt the NRA from its provisions, promising that our concerns would be
fixed somewhere down the line. That didn't happen; instead, the NRA had to
live under those restrictions for seven years. We will not go down that
road again when we have an opportunity to be exempted from an
unconstitutional bill that prohibits our ability to speak.

The NRA is a bipartisan, single-issue organization made up of millions of
individual members dedicated to the protection of the Second Amendment. We
do not represent the interests of other organizations. That's their
responsibility. Our responsibility is to protect and defend the interests
of our members. And that we do without apology.

Draconian Speech Restrictions in the House DISCLOSE Act --

Would prohibit any organization that has one $50,000 or higher contract with
the federal government from engaging in political speech (bill language as
introduced)

Would require NRA to list top donor and top 5 donors on all election mass
mailings, no exception for member mail

Would require NRA to put CEO and top donor on all robocalls, no exception
for member calls

Would require NRA to put CEO and top 5 donors on all election TV ads

Would require NRA to put CEO and top 2 donors on all election radio ads

Would require NRA to put CEO and top donors on all internet election ads
that we pay to put on other websites

Would require NRA to disclose all donors $600 and higher to FEC for all
independent expenditures

Would require NRA to disclose all donors $1,000 and higher to FEC for all
electioneering communications

Would require NRA to put a hyperlink on its website within 24 hours after
FEC posts electioneering reports to the exact FEC page where NRA's report
appears and keep link live for one year after election day

For donors who don't want their contributions spent on campaign activity,
would require the NRA CFO to certify to them in writing within 30 days of
their donation that their money wasn't spent on campaign activity

I hope you will find this to be helpful,

jcs

Mr. Sigler also sent a copy of the actual letter sent to members of Congress by Chris Cox on May 26th expressing NRA's position on the original bill.

nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=5888

jcs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nancy Pelosi Yanks Campaign Finance Bill (aka DISCLOSE Act)

politico.com/news/stories/0610/38698.html

A Very Temporary Victory - Keep up the pressure. Make those phone calls, submit those Letters to the Editor, get the word out, we have to stop this.

My understanding is the bill was pulled :)

politico.com/news/stories/0610/38698.html

One common thread in this whole story is that its the Democrats who introduced and are pushing for this bill to pass, and its Republicans who are trying to thwart it. I hope this will help dispell the myth held by some on this forum that the Republicans and the Democrats are essentially the same and it doensn't matter which party you vote for.

Ishii

[quote="JimG, post:13, topic:202307"]
It seems that some in Congress do not like it when organizations such as National Right to Life Committee or other pro-life groups advertise the voting records of congressmen on such issues.

It sounds to me like the bill is intended to discourage such groups from making those voting records public, by requiring the organizations doing it to publicly list their donors. So, if you don't mind contributing to NRLC, but don't want your name posted on the Internet, this might deter you from contributing.

[/quote]

Which infringes on one's right to free speech like the anonymity of the ballot box.We saw what happened in California when the names of contributors to the NO side of the so-called same sex marriage issued weere published.What happened was the moral equivalent of nightriders in white sheets intimidating and even terrorizing those who disagreed with them.The Left like all totalitarian leaning movementsd is very intolerant of speech for anyone but themselves as they only give lip service to democracy when it suits them.Doesn't ANYONE read history books around here?

[quote="OriginalJS, post:7, topic:202307"]
I agree, the proposed legislation is just a step to require some public disclosure by groups seeking to influence legislation. Seems harmless to me. When I see these political ads, I like to know who is financing them. This is not an invasion of privacy; these folks a placing themselves in the public forum.

[/quote]

I have to agree, this can go both ways you know.

I hope somebody is going to run against Pelosi in the November elections in her district.

[quote="OriginalJS, post:7, topic:202307"]
I agree, the proposed legislation is just a step to require some public disclosure by groups seeking to influence legislation. Seems harmless to me. When I see these political ads, I like to know who is financing them. This is not an invasion of privacy; these folks a placing themselves in the public forum.

[/quote]

It is not harmless and may be un-Constitutional.
SCOTUS has held in the past that anonymous speech is protected and in a case from the 50s involving the NAACP specifically held that membership lists are protected.

I suspect the sponsors saw the gay community's campaign against donors to pro-Prop 8 PACs and said "Cool! We can do those pesky RTLers the same way."

Btw, the Washington Post doesn't think it's harmless:

How the Disclose Act would affect free speech and the NRA

NRA exemption shows campaign disclosure bill's cynical, fatal flaws

The cynical decision this week by House Democrats to exempt the National Rifle Association from the latest campaign finance regulatory scheme is itself a public disclosure. It reveals the true purpose of the perversely named Disclose Act (H.R. 5175): namely, to silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections.

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