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  • Debating (or Not) the DISCLOSE Act

    The House Rules Committee met yesterday to set the rules for debate on the DISCLOSE Act. True to form, the committee kept the public out of a hearing about a bill intended to promote “transparency” in elections.

    According to the Center for Competitive Politics, they sent one of their staffers to attend the hearing, but she was barred from entry. Apparently, as CCP pointedly said, “their version of democracy wasn’t strong enough to allow regular folks to attend their rubber-stamp hearing for the bill.”

    The Rules Committee decided to allow only one hour of debate before a vote, which will probably occur either Thursday or Friday. All GOP motions, including one to extend the debate to four hours, were rejected. The Democrats believe that only one hour of free speech is needed before voting on a bill that will severely restrict free speech.

    An effort to allow a vote on eliminating the NRA exemption was defeated, thus guaranteeing a two-tiered system of First Amendment rules for political speech. The Democratic leadership will only allow floor votes on five amendments. The first would require covered organizations to report required disclosures to shareholders, members, and donors in a “clear and conspicuous manner.” The second would prohibit any company with leases on the Outer Continental Shelf from making campaign-related expenditures. In other words, Congress would silence companies that are in favor of oil and gas drilling, but not the critics of offshore drilling. One could not find a starker example of how this bill is intended to silence those whose political views the liberals don’t like.

    A third amendment covers corporations with significant ownership by foreign governments or foreign nationals; a fourth amendment would force disclaimers on advertisements to include the city and state of the funder’s residence or principle office. This will lengthen the required disclaimers even more — even the ACLU says that these new disclaimer requirements are so burdensome that “they would either drown out the intended message or discourage groups from speaking out at all.”

    The Rules Committee majority also agreed to allow a vote on an amendment by Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) that would lift all limits on federal campaign contributions. There is no doubt the House majority will defeat this amendment and then claim that they were trying to “clean up” elections while the “anti-reform” Republicans wanted to blow out the limits on campaign contributions.

    Do these members of the majority not understand their oath to support the Constitution, including the First Amendment, or do they just not care?

    Cross-posted from National Review’s “the corner.”

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Debating (or Not) the DISCLOSE Act

    1. amanda, atlanta says:

      I am scared.

    2. Bill, Maryland says:

      This is part of an onslaught of damaging legislation by the Left while they are still the majority. Since their initiatives are so unpopular, they don't want anyone to remind the rank and file how these politicians voted. They seek to run from their record. I suggest each member call their Representative and tell them to support the 1st Amendment and free speech by voting NO to H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act.

    3. Billie says:

      This GOVERNMENT is not acceptable! Wasting time and money on picking and choosing what they can take advantage of and destroy something as free as SPEECH? All to PROTECT GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION and their favorites who can't stand their actions be critiqued but continue their uncivil behaviors! DICTATORSHIP!!!!! NOT THE AMERICA OF MY UPBRINGING!!!!! THIN SKINNED, ARROGANT PIGS!

    4. Bluejazz says:

      You should be.

    5. Bluejazz, St Louis says:

      You should be scared.

    6. randy sa,tx says:

      the only reason that this has to be done is becuse the supreme court gave big biz a pass on spending unlimited amount of money.on big biz choice candidate that they want.now that is scary. if no one has anything to hide then the bill should not be a big deal only for companies.

    7. Norma Jean Hart says:

      Please vote against the Disclose Act. It’s supposed to promote transparancy in elections but it won’t.

    8. Bill, Iowa says:

      There is no “free speech” in the United Socialistic States of America. We lost that with democRATS and “president?”. Contact representatives and tell them unconditionally to vot NO on H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSURE ACT. Otherwise, we won’t elect a president, big business, foreign or domestic, will.

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