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Citizens Gagged

Friday, January 19, 2007

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
~U.S. Constitution: First Amendment
Our illiterate bunch of senators (and representatives) are at it once again. Senate Bill 1, which is titled the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007(.pdf), has a new section 220 (compliments of Sen. Harry Reid). This section directly attacks grassroots campaigns by saddling them with a burden to file mountains of paperwork documenting there every move. Larry Pratt, executive director of Gunowners of America, said in a statement, "The U.S. Senate is about to thwart First Amendment Rights more than any other single measure in history. The Bill pending on the Senate floor is an outright attempt to intimidate organizations like gun owner groups, Pro-life coalitions, Anti-tax organizations [and others] into submission."
To give you a better idea of what we're looking at, lets look at this soon-to-be-regulated action-alert from the website:
Section 220 of the Senate Bill 1 would require communications from organizations they deem to be "grassroots organizations" to be subject to registration and reporting requirements including reporting directly to the Secretary of the Senate and clerk of the House of Representatives any time these groups spend money to communicate to their constituents on issues that are before Congress.
It will require the same from Internet conservative news and commentary websites who have 500 or more readers. And the language in the Senate Bill 1 would require registration of anyone sending out e-mail newsletters to 500 or more readers.
Groups such as Focus on the Family, The America Family Association, the Family Research Council, Vision America, the National Rifle Association and many more, would be trapped in bureaucratic red tape that would increase their communications costs and result in a weakened effort to let you know what our elected leaders are doing in the executive and legislative branches of government.
It would seem the inhabitants of Mordor-on-the-Potomac are walling themselves in an attempt to insulate themselves from the crying and wailing of their subjects. Why don't they just unplug their phones, cancel their mail service, and shut down their internet access too? I don't know about you, but I've about had it with this government. They've demonstrated time and again they don't give a damn about the U.S. Constitution, so why should we? It's time we called for a dissolution of their institution.


Blogger Mark said...

If this bill passes and is signed by Bush, I would refuse to obey it. You never know about the NOI, but it's clearly unconstitutional (except for the Zeroth Amendment).

5:19 PM  
Anonymous lewlew said...

I don't know about you, but I've about had it with this government: reached this point a while ago.

They've demonstrated time and again they don't give a damn about the U.S. Constitution... common ailment for gubbermint types, wouldn't you say?

Another grab at facilitating total newspeak. If no other views are allowed, they have free reign to redesign history to fit their whims.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Don Bangert said...

I just got an email from Jim Babka's Quoting from it:
We won!

Late last night the Senate voted 55 to 43 to strip the grassroots regulations out of S.1.

This is a major victory for the 1st Amendment, for Downsize DC, for our coalition partners, and for small grassroots groups all across the political spectrum. It is a major victory for YOU!

This is good news.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

We may have won, but 43 senators voted for it. That's close to half of the Senate who don't understand or give a damn about the Constitution on just this one issue.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

And, by the way, the vote was almost entirely along party lines. 41 Dems and 1 Independent in favor of limiting free speech, 48 Repubs against. If 7 more Dems had voted in favor of limitations on speech, we would have lost.

All the potential Dem presidential candidates and, of course, our own 2 dingbats voted to regulate speech.

10:47 AM  

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