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Thread: Grassroots organizations saved

  1. #1
    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Richmond, Virginia, USA

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    To add to some of the good news we have heard out of the Virginia Legislature, a little good news from Washington. Grassroots organizations will not be forced to register their actions and members - i.e. free speech registration and suppression.

    From a CNN article on the Senate ethics and lobbying reform bill.

    The Senate, on a 55-43 vote, approved an amendment pushed by Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, to strip a provision requiring reporting of "grass-roots" lobbying.

    Backers said it would shine light on special interest groups that use "hired guns" to organize mass mailings, phone-ins or e-mail campaigns.

    Opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union and conservative groups such as the Traditional Values Coalition, argued that it was a free speech issue, discouraging people or groups from organizing petition drives.

  2. #2
    Regular Member reefteach's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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    Great News!!! This one had me worried. Having the government regulate organizations which encourage people to become active in politics is a very bad idea. I don't care which side of which issue you are on, you should be able to contact your legislators and encourage others to do the same without interferance from those elected officials. Bravo!!!

    Here are the people who don't want you interfering with the business of politics:

    NAYs ---43

    Akaka (D-HI)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Brown (D-OH)
    Byrd (D-WV)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Cardin (D-MD)
    Carper (D-DE)
    Casey (D-PA)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Feinstein (D-CA)

    Harkin (D-IA)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Lieberman (ID-CT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Menendez (D-NJ)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murray (D-WA)

    Nelson (D-FL)
    Obama (D-IL)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Tester (D-MT)
    Webb (D-VA)
    Whitehouse (D-RI)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Not Voting - 2

    Brownback (R-KS)

    Johnson (D-SD)

    I highlighted a few of supreme rulers we are familiar with.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2006
    Arlington, VA

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    Take note, Senator Webb voted against the Bennett Amendment. If he doesn't believe in the First Amendment, well, it will be interesting to see his votes when Second Amendment issues come up.

    He voted against the ACLU and the NRA? He voted with Feinstein, Boxer, Kennedy, Reid and Clinton among others...


    From what I've heard, Sec. 220 would have been a nightmare for grassroots groups with paid members (like VCDL or the NRA or ACLU) but it would have exempted labor unions, corporation (including foreign corporations), 527 groups or others of the big money groups.

    Here is what the NRA said about Sec. 220 of S.1.

    Sec. 220 would also do a great disservice by increasing the power of the anti-gun media to the detriment of the people. For example, a privately-owned newspaper could run editorials every day advocating drastic restrictions on Second Amendment liberties--without being subject to any reporting requirements. However, if a staff member of a pro-gun organization, such as NRA, writes a letter to the editor of that newspaper that expresses an opposing view and urges readers to call their senators, that letter would be a “paid effort to stimulate grassroots lobbying.” The organization would have to report the cost of the staffer’s salary for writing and submitting the letter. This requirement would apply even if the newspaper never publishes the letter, since it is still a “paid attempt … to influence the general public.” (Emphasis added)
    Similarly, if the grassroots organization pays an advertising agency to create and place a newspaper ad in the same newspaper, the advertising agency would have to register as a “grassroots lobbying firm” within 45 days of being retained and report costs of the communication--even if the ad never runs! The registration requirement would signal the group’s plans to opponents, and constitute a prior restraint on free speech, contrary to principles of the First Amendment.
    Violations of any of these complex, technical provisions could be punishable by massive civil penalties and felony prison terms under the substitute bill that the Senate will consider. Ultimately, Sec. 220 would force so many organizations to report so many activities that the information would become useless. It would simply be impossible for interested observers to sort the wheat from the chaff.
    The First Amendment protects the “right of the people”--not the “right of people who can afford teams of lawyers, accountants, and disclosure specialists.”


    Gun owners, don't vote for JimWebb ever. as far as I am concerned, Jim Webb just tried to trample on the Constitution of the United States by attempting tomuzzle grassroots organizations.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
    Virginia, USA

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    i couldnt find an email for Webb but he can still hear from us.

    You can direct postal correspondence to Senate office at the following address:

    Office of Senator (Name)
    United States Senate
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    Alternatively, you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Bubba Ron's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Virginia Beach, , USA

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    Where's The Donkey and all of his ramblings about what a great guy Webb will be? Webb has shown his stripes, and I fear he will continue to do the same. I hope I am wrong. I also tried to find an email address for Senator Webb, I guess it's his way of muzzling his constituents.

    I whole heartedly agree with XD Owner "Gun owners, don't vote for Jim Webb ever"!!

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member
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    Jun 2006
    , Virginia, USA

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    I have said it before on here... Democrats are not worth the flesh they are printed on

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