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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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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)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 27, 2010 - Democrats Move to Silence Free Speech

Update (3:24 pm) The Democrats failed to get enough voted for cloture today for the DICLOSE Act. The vote was 57-41. Democrats vow to keep bringing it up for a vote - so expect more shenanigans. Adding to the confusion is the Democrats attempt to pass this bill off as more transparency when in fact they are playing politics. Unfortunately, transparency organizations like the Sunlight Foundation want this bill passed because they will take transparency in any form even though the Democrats are trampling on free speech rights and are exempting liberal special interests groups in the bill.
Warning: At 2:15, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 3628, the Schumer-Van Hollen “Disclose Act,” a partisan campaign finance bill crafted solely to help Democrats and designed to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  This partisan bill limits free speech and is cloaking behind a euphemism - saying the bill is about transparency. Most Americans are for greater transparency but we are against the progressive elitists agenda and this fake transparency bill which intends to limit free speech. It is not limiting their free speech but the free speech of liberty loving Americans. Tired of the lies? November is Coming! More comments below. Following 30 minutes of debate, at 2:45 PM the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the Disclose Act. If this bill passes, it will be another tragic day in America.

If the cloture motion fails, the Senate will return to the small business bill, H.R. 5297, and the pending Landrieu amendment. Majority Leader Harry Reid has filled the amendment tree to prevent Republicans from offering any amendments.

Two weeks ago, President Obama used his weekly address to attack Republicans, blaming them for holding up a bill he says will help small businesses in the struggling economy. Obama said, “[T]hree times, a minority of Senators – basically the same crowd who said ‘no’ to small businesses – said ‘no’ to folks looking for work, and blocked a straight up-or-down vote.” And last week, the President again urged the Senate to move on small business legislation, saying, “[O]ur goal is to make sure the people who are looking for a job can find a job.  And that's why it’s so important for the Senate to pass the additional steps that I’ve asked for to cut taxes and expand lending for America’s small businesses, our most important engine for hiring and for growth.” But today, President Obama and Senate Democrats are asking the Senate to set aside that small business bill and instead take up the partisan DISCLOSE Act, a campaign finance reform bill that will not create jobs. In fact, as Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander pointed out on the floor this morning, “This is a piece of legislation that is primarily about saving the jobs of Democratic Members of Congress.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has long been an opponent of the kind of restrictions on core political speech by so-called campaign finance “reform” laws, and blasted the Disclose Act yesterday, saying, “The mere suggestion that a bill designed to save politicians' jobs should take precedent over helping millions of Americans find work is an embarrassing indictment of Democrats' priorities. The DISCLOSE Act seeks to protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all out attack on the First Amendment. In the process, the authors of the bill have decided to trade our Constitutional rights away in a backroom deal that makes the Cornhusker Kickback look like a model of legislative transparency.”

The Wall Street Journal takes a similarly dim view of this awful bill in an excellent editorial today: “[W]hat [Democrats have] proposed is a blatantly partisan bill sponsored by two Members whose main duty is electing Democrats. The House version, which passed last month on partisan lines, is sponsored by Representative Chris Van Hollen, who runs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Charles Schumer, the two-time head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee . . . .”  The WSJ also lays out some of the worst partisan provisions in the bill. “In the name of ‘transparency,’ the Schumer-Van Hollen legislation tilts the playing field in favor of Democratic candidates by taking direct aim at corporate speech. . . . Even provisions that ostensibly apply to both corporations and unions would in practice mostly restrict the ability of corporations to participate in elections. For example, the government contractor restriction applies to those with contracts of $10 million or more, a threshold met by many corporations but few unions. Another provision allows political donations under $600 to be made anonymously. As it happens, the average union member pays annual dues below that amount, while the typical corporate donation exceeds it. Thus the donor-disclosure requirement would effectively apply to corporate speech while allowing Big Labor to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on political advertising without revealing donor identities.”

If there was any doubt about the partisan nature of the Schumer-Van Hollen bill, it would go into affect almost immediately, designed to protect politicians in this November’s elections, barely 100 days away. Even the deeply flawed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 delayed its effects until the following election cycle.

And that’s all without getting into the backroom deals with special interest groups designed to secure votes for this bill. As the WSJ writes, “Democratic attempts to win support for these faux reforms have been equally cynical. Lawmakers have cut deals with the National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club and a few other powerful special interests to exempt them from the new restrictions and, most importantly, remove them as potential obstacles to the bill's passage.”

As Sen. McConnell said, “It should be beyond suspicious when the man in charge of electing Democrats in the House teams up with the man who held the same job in the Senate to tell Americans how they can express themselves in an election.  Make no mistake about it, [this bill] is not about reform, transparency, accountability or good government. It is about election advantage plain and simple.  An effort to disregard the First Amendment and defy the Supreme Court in order to limit the speech of those wh o may disagree with you is an effort that has no place in this country.”

Tags: INSERT TAGS 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 11:40 AM - Post Link


Blogger Chicago Ray said...

They'll seemingly stop at Nothing. So we should all prepare ourselves for a similar response if we see things go awry in November.

Peaceful protesting with this cabal may have it's limited usefulness seeing their total disregard for our constitution...


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