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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vote No on H.R. 5175 "Government Wants You to Shut Up Act"

In yet another frontal assault on free speech, the congress is threatening to pass H.R. 5175 ("DISCLOSE Act") to place restrictions on political speech. This bill seeks to reverse the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United and represents a brazen violation of the First Amendment. As this article states:
Under the DISCLOSE Act, certain incorporated entities would be restricted in how they can exercise their free speech rights. There is an exemption for some in the media sphere like newspapers, TV news, and the like. However, there is one driving force in today’s public debate that is NOT exempt. Bloggers will not have the same exemption provided to other media sources. Never mind that the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Citizens United case stated, “Differential treatment of media corporations and other corporations cannot be squared with the First Amendment.”
Don Watkins at The ARC states:
When the Supreme Court ruled that the government has to respect the right of corporations to engage in political speech, opponents of corporate speech (Obama included) put their weight behind the DISCLOSE Act. The Act reads like a grab-bag of policies united only by their intention: to place as many burdens as possible on groups that want to exercise their First Amendment rights.
But don't worry too much. Certain groups like the NRA and the AARP were granted special exemptions in exchange for not opposing it - so they will be able to speak freely! Here is a copy of the letter I sent to my representatives (using www.congress.org). Feel free to use any part of it.
I urge you to vote no on HR-5175. This bill represents another attempt to abridge the First Amendment right to free speech and to reverse the Supreme Court's recent decision in Citizens United. No doubt this is a part of a continuing and dangerous effort on the part of incumbent politicians to silence political speech. The recent exemptions offered to various politically significant groups only underscores the arbitrary basis of this bill and serves to highlight the real political motives of its supporters.

I am frightened that the very institutions that are to serve as the protector of our cherished rights are brazenly attempting to violate them, and I urge you to stop this unconstitutional assault on our liberty.
Speak now or the government will see to it that you forever hold your peace!

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