Those rare wins are sweet these days. Hopefully, we can improve after November.
From State Groups9/12 ProjectMembers
Go directly here, if you're a member (free sign-up)
Glenn Beck: Common SenseArguing With Idiots
TIME-SENSITIVE: Oppose DISCLOSE! (UPDATE-- We Won THIS Battle !!)
Posted by Jared Law on July 27, 2010 at 9:28am in Activism/Events
UPDATE: Congratulations, 9.12'ers! The DISCLOSE Act failed on a 57-41 vote that went along party lines. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) voted against the motion, a procedural move to allow another vote to occur in the future.
Today the U.S. Senate voted on the DISCLOSE act, which is opposed, in bipartisan fashion, by over 400 organizations, from "National Right to Life to the Sierra Club and the ACLU," and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the bill “a transparent attempt to rig the fall election” earlier today. The good news is that WE WON THIS BATTLE!!
However, we must be vigilant. The Democrats are going to try to pass this bill again next month, undoubtedly after attempting to bribe those most likely to sell out, or perhaps convincing those most likely to support it in the first place (RINOs); I'm talking about Senators Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, and Collins. Please contact the 41 NO votes & thank them for voting NO! Especially the three aforementioned Senators; thank them for standing up in favor of Free Speech. Remember, an ounce of prevention...
Here is the last segment of what Senator Mitch McConnell said about the DISCLOSE act prior to the vote, in which Harry Reid & the Democrats failed to shut down the Republican filibuster (the video clip below contains the text quoted below):
“The Disclose Act is not about reform. It is nothing more than Democrats sitting behind closed doors with special interest lobbyists choosing which favored groups they want to speak in the 2010 elections — all in an attempt to protect themselves from criticism of their government takeovers, record deficits and massive, unpaid-for expansions of the federal government into the lives of the American people.
“In other words, a bill to shield themselves from average Americans exercising their First Amendment rights of freedom of speech.
“Americans want us to focus on jobs, but by taking us off the small business bill and moving to this one, Democrats are proving the jobs they care about most are their own.
“Think about it. Here we are in the middle of the worst recession in memory, and Democrat leaders decided to pull us off a bill that’s meant to create jobs in an effort to pass this election-year ploy to hold onto their own.
“What could be more cynical than that?
“A yes vote on this bill will send a clear message to the American people that their jobs aren’t as important as the jobs of embattled Democrat politicians.
“In closing, let me just note that hundreds of ideologically diverse organizations oppose this bill and have provided us with valuable information on its various absurdities. But I think the ultimate test of this bill’s legitimacy is pretty simple. If the Founding Fathers were here, they’d remind us. They’d hold up the Constitution and remind us of the oath we took to support and defend it.
“As members cast this vote today, they’ll come to the well and look at the desk to see what the well description says — the sheet of paper that sums up what this vote is about. On the Democrat side I’m sure it will include words like transparency and disclosure and talk about the threats to Democracy if this bill isn’t passed.
“On our side Mr. President, it will be simpler. This copy of the Constitution will serve as our well description, and, more importantly, it will remind us of why we’re all here. We’re here to protect the Constitution, not our own hides.
“I yield the floor.”
Here's the Heritage Foundation's take on the DISCLOSE ACT:
DISCLOSE Act Assault on First Amendment Continues
For those of you who believe in bygone notions like free speech rights and the ability to criticize politicians when they do things like nationalize 1/5 of the U.S. economy, you better taken advantage of that while you can. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed for cloture on the DISCLOSE Act, S. 3628, which is intended to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and impose burdensome new disclosure requirements. The cloture vote will probably occur next Tuesday in a move that avoids committee hearings. If Reid can get 60 votes, then the Schumer/Van Hollen Sedition Act of 2010 will proceed to a vote. At that point, he will only need 51 senators who believe Congress has the ability to circumvent and restrict the First Amendment.
Senator Schumer also introduced a new version of S. 3628 yesterday which differs slightly from the version passed in the House, H.R. 5175. For example, it drops the ban on political speech introduced by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) by holders of oil drilling leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, which is a slight improvement over the House version. But the differential treatment between corporations and unions is still present in the new, refined, and “improved” bill, as are all of the other worst provisions of the original version.
The Center for Competitive Politics estimates that the ban on government contractors engaging in political speech will apply to over half of the fifty largest companies in the United States. The “NRA exemption” from the burdensome disclosure requirements remains in the bill as does the prohibition on speech of American companies with direct or indirect connections with foreign corporations (although unions and NGOs with foreign members are not affected). So companies owned 80% by Americans that are headquartered in the United States and whose employees are overwhelmingly American will not be able to engage in any political speech.
If this bill passes, it will become effective within thirty days, which will cause such confusion and chaos only two months before the fall congressional elections that many corporations, both profit and nonprofit, and incorporated associations, will no doubt stay out of the election and stay out of grassroots activity on other bills and issues being considered by Congress before November. But then, there is little doubt that deterring such activity that could lead to criticism of the positions and votes taken by incumbent senators and representatives is an intentional objective.
The Framers of our Bill of Rights are probably rolling over in their graves as they contemplate what may be about to happen in the United States Senate. If Daniel Webster asked “How stands the Union?’ as he did in the famous story by Stephen Vincent Benet in The Devil and Daniel Webster, it would be hard to give him the answer he would want. When members of the United States Congress believe they have the power to violate the First Amendment with impunity and censor the political speech of those who they believe should not be able to speak, then the Union no longer stands “rock-bottomed and copper sheathed, one and indivisible.”
Here are a couple of excerpts from emails I received within the past 24 hours:
I'm angry that the House passed the DISCLOSE Act. I want my Senators to reject this bill, and my House Rep to vote against it if it returns to that chamber for final consideration.
Basically, I want my congressional representatives to honor their oaths of office. The DISCLOSE Act violates my freedoms of speech, press, and association. Remember . . .
* The First Amendment says that Congress shall make NO law restricting any of these rights -- NO LAW!
* And the 9th Amendment creates an overall presumption in favor of individual liberty, and against State coercion, a.k.a., enumerated powers
I understand that many people view campaign contributions as bribes. But limiting contributions hasn't improved anything. Instead, the legislative process seems more corrupt than ever. There are many reasons for this, all of which argue against campaign finance laws in general, and the DISCLOSE Act in particular . . .
* Campaign finance laws have made it nearly impossible for challengers to raise sufficient funds to compete with incumbents
* This immunity from competition has empowered incumbent office holders to pursue their own narrow self-interest, building cozy relationships with special interests
* Many incumbent office holders then convert their years of "saying yes to special interests" into lucrative positions on corporate boards, and as lobbyists
These factors combine to create a perverse outcome. Campaign finance laws corrupt our system. In fact, campaign contributions are one of the few ways that citizens can actually control who represents them in this democracy.
But really, this should have been obvious beforehand . . .
If incumbent office holders are behaving improperly, then THEIR freedom should be curtailed, NOT the freedom of the people. Politicians should regulate yourselves, NOT US! The DISCLOSE Act regulates US, and not YOU! This means that the DISCLOSE Act is a fraud!
Please be aware that I am not fooled. The DISCLOSE Act is the exact opposite of what it pretends to be. Show me that you really are a public servant by voting NO on the DISCLOSE Act.
The Democrats are running scared, fearful of the impact grassroots activists will have in November. With the DISCLOSE Act, which will go into effect almost immediately, in time for the November elections, they will be able to effectively and legally shut us down. The effort to silence us before the elections is tantamount to a witch hunt. Read this email carefully for more information about this bill and then please make some phone calls NOW and tell them to VOTE NO!!
INFORMATION (from Freedom Action)
Even if somehow the speech restrictions in this bill were constitutional, their uneven application would be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection under the law. Even the left-leaning Sierra Club has labeled the DISCLOSE Act a two-tiered system that is "unfair and undemocratic" and that smaller grass-roots organizations would be disadvantaged because they lack the resources to cope with "the additional disclosure burdens." The unions and the big non-profit groups get to keep their free speech given to them in the January Supreme Court decision, but the corporations and small non-profits lose theirs under DISCLOSE.
Also, President Obama and some Democrats are dishonestly stating that the Court's decision would "open the floodgates for special interest, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections." However, current federal law and Federal Election Commission regulations already ban foreign corporations from participating directly or indirectly in American elections. (see 2 U.S.C. § 441e and 2 U.S.C. 437g).
HOW THIS AFFECTS YOU
Exampleville, Ohio has two people running for U.S. Congress-Mr. A and Mr. B-in what promises to be a close race. Exampleville's local Tea Party believes in Mr. B. The Tea Party wants to run ads highlighting Mr. B's stance on cap and trade, federal spending, increased taxation, etc, but they don't have enough money to fulfill the new highly complex reporting requirements from DISCLOSE. And DISCLOSE would force them to list their top donors, even if they are not necessarily the specific donors to the ads, in their ads. Besides, the disclaimers required could take up to 14 of a 30 second ad. The Tea Party gives up trying to run ads to support Mr. Republican.
In contrast, Mr. A has some well-funded unions who want to see Exampleville's factories unionized, so the unions run ads against Mr. B and ads for Mr. A. Also, the Sierra Club and the ACLU (groups actually opposed to DISCLOSE) want Mr. A to support their issues, so they also run ads for Mr. A. None of these ads are subject to DISCLOSE's requirements.
Guess who wins?
(For those interested, here's a good link with information on the actual language and problems with the DISCLOSE bill, click here.)
The DISCLOSE Act exempts unions and very large special interest groups!! And the little guy is left without a voice.
Senators to call:
Scott Brown (R-MA) He is voting NO so call him to say thank you for defending equal free speech rights for all!
Washington DC: (T) (202) 224-4543, (F) (202) 228-2646
Olympia Snowe (R-ME) She is undecided so we've got to reach out to her! Remind her that this bill creates unequal freedom of speech for different people!
Washington DC: (T) (202) 224-5344, Toll free (800) 432-1599, (F) (202) 224-1946
Susan Collins (R-ME) She is undecided so we've got to reach out to her! Remind her that this bill creates unequal freedom of speech for different people!
Washington DC: (T) (202) 224-2523, (F) (202) 224-2693
Ben Nelson (D-NE) No info yet
Washington DC: (T) (202) 224-6551, (F) (202) 228-0012
Kent Conrad (D-ND) No info yet
Washinton DC: (T) (202) 224-2043, (F) (202) 224-7776
Take a look at this video clip: