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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Grassroots freedom of speech threatened - Action Needed!

Several grassroots orgs are sending out similar warnings to the following. We posted comments last Friday (Jan 5th) . Below is another input on this risk to our free speech:

NewsMax: Chairman Richard A. Viguerie, direct-mail guru and author of "Conservatives Betrayed: How the Republican Party Hijacked the Conservative Cause", warns, "the Senate is debating legislation that will silence many grass-roots organizations. The lobbying initiative titled the "Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007, has a major Trojan horse. Section 220 of this bill requires grass-roots communications to be subject to onerous registration and reporting requirements that actually exceed what is required of the big Washington, D.C., lobbyists," . . .
[Click for more]
Contact your senators!     Contact your representatives!

Tags: free speech, grassroots To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:51 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Lobbying Bill Will Violate Free Speech And The Right To Freely Petition Government

The Traditional Values Coalition is deeply concerned about the grassroots lobbying requirements in Section 220 of S.1, Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act. Section 220 is a direct assault on the First Amendment and the right of citizens to freely petition their government for a redress of grievances!

This legislation will place onerous reporting requirements on individuals and organizations that lobby our national leaders on issues of importance to them. And, it will impose draconian fines – including potential criminal penalties – for failure to obey these new lobby restrictions.

The reporting requirements and penalties in Section 220 will place incredible financial and time burdens on grassroots groups as well as potential fines – thus making it less likely that these groups risk communicating with their members on important issues. This cleverly-written section doesn’t directly assault free speech, but it creates a climate of fear that chills free speech. Will a small grassroots group speak out if it fears being fined for failing to file the correct reports to Congress? This legislation is a subversion of our First Amendment rights.

This bill will have a serious impact on pastors! A pastor, for example, who uses the church bulletin to oppose an anti-Christian bill, will be considered a lobbyist and must register his church as a lobbying firm! This is unacceptable!

The curious thing about this legislation is that it exempts labor unions, corporations and even foreign companies from these reporting requirements. Yet, these are the entities that are most likely to engage in unethical lobbying activities – not small grassroots groups,” said Rev. Sheldon.

TVC is calling on the U.S. Senate to support the Bennett amendment to remove the grassroots provisions from S. 1. This section clearly tramples on our First Amendment rights to free speech and the right of every citizen to petition his government!

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Protect Your Right to Freedom of Speech

Thank you for standing in defense of our most foundational
freedoms - the rights to free speech and to be involved in
the democratic process - by signing our Freedom of Speech

We feel so strongly about this attempt to restrict our
ability - and yours - to hold members of Congress accountable
that we'd like to invite you to forward this petition:

In fact, this issue is so important that we encourage you to call your two U.S. senators and urge them to oppose the grassroots
lobbying provisions of S.1. You can reach them by calling the
Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

The future of petitions like this one may depend on these unfair
restrictions being removed from S. 1. We'll keep you updated on
how you can continue to make an impact on behalf of our freedoms.


Tom Minnery
Sr. Vice President, Government & Public Policy
Focus on the Family Action

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Senate Takes Up Legislation To Stymie Grassroots Lobbying

GOA is concerned about legislation currently pending on the Senate floor which would attempt to intimidate organizations like GOA that work with members and friends to pressure Congress to support the 2md Amendment.

The legislation (S. 1) would regulate "grassroots lobbying" by
requiring groups like us to monitor and report the amount of money we spend to exercise our First Amendment rights on behalf of gun ownership.

Suffice it to say that a government which can force us to monitor and report on our "grassroots" activity could just as easily force us to provide even more sensitive details of these efforts.

This could include demands for our membership list -- that is, attempts to get REGISTRATION lists of gun owners' names -- and the
specifics of communications with our friends!!!

Thankfully, there is an effort underway to knock out the most
egregious parts of this bill, found in Sec. 220. Senators Mitch
McConnell (R-KY) and Robert Bennett (R-UT) are offering an amendment (Senate Amendment #20) -- to be voted on later this week -- that will knock out the S. 1 restrictions on grassroots lobbying.

We need your help right now. The best way to keep from sliding down this slippery slope of
unconstitutionality is to tell the government -- now -- to keep its
nose out of our constitutional rights.

Just as the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear arms, the First Amendment protects our rights to petition the
government for redress of grievances. And the power to regulate and monitor our grassroots activities on behalf of gun ownership is, ultimately, the power to destroy those rights.

ACTION: Contact your two Senators and ask them to support Senate
Amendment #20 to S. 1. You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative
Action Center at ttp:// to send your Senators a pre-written e-mail message. And, you can call your Senators toll-free at 1-877-762-8762.

Blogger Bill Smith said...

Senate Ethics Bill Amendment Removes Restriction on Grassroots Groups


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