This bill could seriously affect grass roots lobbying efforts for raw milk. Please help us nip this in the bud!
ASSAULT TO BEGIN ON GRASS ROOTS ACTIVISM
Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
Monday 5 March 2007, by The Senior Editor
Liberal Democrat House Leadership expected to include language that will violate the First Amendment and the right of Americans to freely petition their government leaders!
The House of Representatives began consideration of grassroots lobby reform legislation with a hearing last week on the Senate-passed bill (S. 1).
Traditional Values Coalition is concerned about any “grassroots lobby reform” proposals, which under the guise of reform, are really unconstitutional and violate the First Amendment rights of citizens to freely petition their government.
Because the House focuses on the Senate’s approach to lobby reform, it is imperative that they focus on the infamous Section 220. While Section 220 was stripped on the Senate floor, it appears that the Democrat House leadership will include similar language in the House lobby reform package.
Section 220 would have imposed strict and complicated reporting requirements on non-profits and provide both civil and criminal penalties for failures to report on time or making mistakes in reporting!
The effect of Section 220 would have created a fearful situation that would have discouraged many smaller grassroots lobbying groups from communicating with Members of Congress and other leaders in the federal government. Free speech would be stifled because of the chilling effect on grassroots activism!
There is strong opposition from both liberals and conservatives to legislation that regulates grassroots lobbying, and specifically to Section 220-type language. We are opposed to any efforts to regulate paid attempts to stimulate grassroots lobbying.
This grassroots lobbying provision is an assault on the First Amendment’s right of free speech and of the right of Americans to petition their government for a redress of grievances. It will stifle the ability of grassroots groups to communicate with their members and create a climate of fear over the draconian and unneeded reporting requirements.
TVC’s leadership sent a letter of concern to U.S. Representatives last week on this legislation. Please read this letter and use parts of this as “talking points” for your own letter to your U.S. Representative: “Oppose Efforts To Regulate Grassroots Lobbying”
TAKE ACTION TODAY: Contact your U.S. Representative at 202-224-3121 or through CapWiz (http://capwiz.com/traditional/dbq/officials/) and tell them that the First Amendment specifically protects a citizens’ right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Urge them to oppose any attempts to regulate grassroots lobbying through unconstitutional provisions which subvert free speech and the right of all Americans to freely petition their government.