Federal Court Upholds Free Speech Zone Roundup

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There was once a group of men who established a fundamental law of the land that allowed the people of their new found country to peaceably assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievances.

These founding fathers of that Great nation even went so far as to declare that the government itself could never make a law that would threaten to supplant these protections, which were reserved exclusively for the people. This concept of freedom of assembly and protest was so critical to protecting and preserving the liberty of the people that it was the very first law — the very first Amendment — proposed by the newly elected representatives of These United States of America and came into effect on December 15, 1791.

DOJ Suggests Criticism of Any Religion Could Be Criminalized

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The first time critizing Islam is criminalized there will be a lawsuit….we have freedom of speech here in the US and the Muslims aren’t taking it away from us or our politicians. If they try they’ll be voted out of office next time and their law struck down in court as unconstitutional. What are they thinking of? Using the excuse of ‘hate speech’ to restrict the 1st amendment. Most Americans are on to that game.

In refusing to rule out a future law that would criminalize criticism of religion as racist hate speech, the Department of Justice has left the door open to the prospect of Shariah-style law in the United States that would forbid criticism of Islam.

During a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz) questioned Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez on whether the Justice Department would ever consider banning free speech critical of religion.

“Will you tell us here today simply that this Administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” asked Franks.

Perez replied by asking for context before Franks repeated the question, adding, “That’s not a hard question.”

Perez then tried to add the context of “when you make threats against someone,” but Franks stuck to his original question and repeated it for a third time.

“Again sir, if you have a proposal that you are considering, we will actively review that proposal,” responded Perez.

“OK, here’s my proposal. I’m asking you to answer a question, that’s my proposal. I’m proposing you answer this question,” said Franks, before repeating the question for a fourth time.

Perez again refused to answer the question, asking for more context.

Perez’ evasive response clearly indicates that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration would consider a law that would override the First Amendment and classify criticism of religion as racist hate speech.

The mere fact that Perez refused to rule it out is shocking.

As the New American reports, in October 2011, “Perez and other officials from the Justice Department attended a meeting at George Washington University where a an Egyptian-American lawyer suggested criminalizing speech against Islam.”

Muslim scholars argue that under the terms of the Koran, insulting the Prophet Muhammad is a sin punishable by execution.

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‘Obama Truth Team’ Orders GoDaddy To Shut Down Website

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Doing what a dictator does best…..shut down dissent or opposition: What about the 1st amendment and free speech? Hagmann wasn’t threatening anyone, just tellng what he saw as the truth.

A political website that contained stinging criticism of the Obama administration and its handling of the Fast and Furious scandal was ordered to be shut down by the Obama campaign’s ‘Truth Team’, according to private investigator Douglas Hagmann, who was told by ISP GoDaddy his site contained information that was “maliciously harmful to individuals in the government.”

Hagmann, CEO of Hagmann Investigative Services, Inc., a private investigative agency serving a roster of Fortune 500 clients, was given 48 hours by GoDaddy to find a new home for his website before it was deleted.

Hagmann was told the reason for the shut down was because the website featured “morally objectionable” material. After GoDaddy refused to identify the complainant, only saying that it was not “any official government agency,” further investigation by Hagmann revealed that the order came from a group tied to Obama campaign headquarters.

Speaking with the chief investigator in the GoDaddy Abuse division, Hagmann discovered, “Ultimately it was found that the complaint originated ostensibly with a group associated with the campaign to re-elect Barack Hussein Obama.”

Turning to his contacts within government, Hagmann then contacted spoke with another source who confirmed that the ‘Obama Truth Team’ was responsible for the shut down order.

“I’m laying this right on the doorstep of the Obama Truth Team,” said Hagmann.

The ‘Obama Truth Team’ is an outreach of the Obama 2012 re-election campaign that urges supporters to “help fight back against the attacks on President Obama and his record” by reporting supposed misrepresentations and lies. However, as ABC News reported, the ‘Truth Team’ has mischaracterized legitimate criticism as smears in an effort to chill dissent against Obama. It has also been caught fibbing on a number of other occasions.

The same methods of intimidation were also very much in force during the 2008 campaign season. Under the guise of the ‘Obama Truth Squad’, influential public figures in Missouri including St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, and Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, promised to “respond quickly, forcefully, and aggressively” to “lies” about Obama.

Hagmann is now warning that any independent website which forcefully dissents against the Obama administration could be targeted next.

“I respectfully ask that you spread the word – that the Obama “Truth Team” is out in full force, scouring any U.S. based web sites of any size or influence (yet small enough to be pushed around) that contains any information deemed “objectionable” to the Obama re-election campaign. Perhaps it’s already too late. Regardless, people need to wake up now and listen to what we’ve been saying. There might not be a tomorrow,” Hagmann told us in an email.

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Free Speech Zones: A Danger to the 1st Amendment

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I predict the first time this Trespass Bill is challenged, it will fall. You can’t do away with the 1st amendment by passing a law, you MUST amend the Constitution and the majority of States MUST agree to it. The vote was 388-to-3 . I know Ron Paul voted against it, but don’t know who the other two were.

NDAA Protests End In Ironic Swarm Of Arrests

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The absurdity of America today never ceases to amaze. In fact, it has become so elaborate that one might even suggest it has reached a kind of poetic symmetry. When a protest group is willing to stick their necks out to expose the horror of the National Defense Authorization Act and its open door strategy for unconstitutional arrest and indefinite detainment of American citizens, I have to stand up and applaud.

This is the kind of protest we need to see all over the country. Of course, any establishment system which is willing to dissolve the inherent liberties of its citizens certainly isn’t going to stand by quietly while they blatantly point out the injustice. The Grand Central Terminal action featured in the video below is a perfect example of the swift and immediate stifling of peaceful dissent by an increasingly totalitarian government:

For those who would applaud these arrests, and suggest that they are well deserved, I would have to ask very pointedly; why?

Is it right to crush free speech as long as the message is offensive to you personally? Do peaceful protestors really present a legitimate threat to our national stability? Are they truly more dangerous than a corrupt government hellbent on assassinating the legal protections of our natural rights which have existed for centuries? Would any supporter of the jackboot methodology like to explain to me in a coherent manner why they believe their skewed world view should be shielded from sincere questions? Please, I can’t wait to witness the kind of ridiculous mental gymnastics required to make such arguments palatable. If this kind of ignorance wasn’t so destructive, it might actually be entertaining.

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if these activists were in Grand Central Terminal, on the streets, or busting through the doors of the Oval Office. While New York authorities will attempt to argue property loopholes in free speech protections for Grand Central, or national security because of the vulnerability of the terminal, really, this has nothing to do with either. This is about the removal of American voices from a room, and nothing more. If the message is going to be suppressed by the mainstream media, and shrugged off by representatives, then protesters must go to where the people are, and make the truth heard by whatever means necessary.

Ultimately, activism is about disturbing people’s normal mundane routines and shocking them out of their pop-culture stupor, even if for a moment. If we aren’t allowed to do that without constant police intervention, then the First Amendment is not being served, and then, my friends, we have a problem, a problem which should be forced down the throat of government with even more public action.

Alt-Market

SOPA Would DESTROY Jobs and the Economy … So Why are Unions Supporting It?

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Given that Sopa would destroy jobs and the economy – and is contrary to their members’ and the nation’s interest – everyone should immediately educate the unions and pressure them to withdraw their support.

No, Sopa Would Not Save Jobs or Help the Economy … It Would DESTROY Jobs and the Most Vibrant Sector of Our Economy

The promoters of the Stop Online Privacy Act (Sopa) are pretending that it would save jobs and help the economy.

But it would actually destroy jobs and hurt the economy.

No one is going to invest in the next Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Reddit, or YouTube if they know that websites can be shut down after a single unsubstantiated copyright complaint.

The only sector of our economy that’s in good shape is web technology (for example, Google is hiring like crazy right now). Sopa would put a huge dent in the web sector and destroy jobs.

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson notes:

Big companies . . . can afford to defend themselves from litigious content companies. But three person startups cannot. And Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were three person startups not so long ago. If they had not had the protection of the safe harbors of the DMCA, they could have been litigated out of business before they even had a chance to grow and develop into the powerhouses they have become. And venture capitalists will think more than twice about putting $3mm of early stage capital into startups if they know that the vast majority of the funds will go to pay lawyers to defend the companies instead of to hire engineers to create and build product.

A group of well-known law professors say:

SOPA is a dangerous bill. It threatens the most vibrant sector of our economy – Internet commerce. It is directly at odds with the United States’ foreign policy of Internet openness, a fact that repressive regimes will seize upon to justify their censorship of the Internet. And it violates the First Amendment.

Vice President Joe Biden admits:

The digital marketplace of ideas that welcomes every blog and tweet is the same one that inspires the next generation of innovators to fuel our economies. And when businesses consider investing in a country with a poor record on Internet freedom, and they know that their website could be shut down suddenly, their transactions monitored, their staffs harassed, they’ll look for opportunities elsewhere.

The Hill points out:

SOPA is the equivalent of curing a headache with a guillotine. It … would shut down our economy and unconstitutionally erode our most basic freedoms in the process.

Edward J. Black – President and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association – says:

The … legislation will also threaten the growth of the most economically dynamic and technologically innovative sector of the U.S. economy.

***

From an economic standpoint, the proposed legislation promises to saddle one of the U.S.’s most internationally competitive economic sectors with significant legal risk and a massive number of lawsuits — seriously hampering growth of and investment.

TechFreedom argues:

SOPA, regrettably, represents a big step backward in Washington’s efforts to support the digital revolution, one of the only sectors of the economy that continues to grow.

A group of high-powered Internet leaders note:

We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation, as well as to our Nation’s cybersecurity.

David Ulevitch – CEO of OpenDNS – points out:

If passed, they will be devastating to the growth of the Internet economy in the United States, will take jobs overseas and will have a chilling effect on innovation.

Andrew Lee – CEO of ESET North America – writes:

This legislation, if passed as currently written, would have a chilling effect on the economy of the United States.

The San Jose Mercury News editorializes:

There are times when Silicon Valley really can help you understand the complexities of legislation that will affect the tech industry – and the world economy. The raging debate over the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act is one of those times. . . . It’s not just the future of the industry that’s at stake here. It’s national security.

The Atlantic argues:

Congress is considering sweeping Internet legislation that purports to target “rogue websites” with the intent of cracking down on the theft of everything from movies to songs to designer handbags. While the goal is laudable, too many innocent websites would wind up in the crosshairs. These bills (the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, in the House) would do more harm than good to cybersecurity, the Internet economy, and online free expression.

The Daily Caller writes:

The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) — a bill currently before the House Judiciary Committee — is a threat to America’s ability to lead the Internet, and must be defeated before it has a chance to damage America’s ability to generate jobs and economic growth online.

TechDirt notes:

SOPA & PIPA don’t attack the real problem, do nothing to build up the services that do solve the problem, and won’t work from a technological standpoint. And that’s just if we look at the what these bills are supposed to do.

The real fear is the massive collateral damage these bills will have to jobs, the economy and innovation.

Why Are Unions Supporting It?

The AFL-CIO, Teamsters Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and some other unions are supporting Sopa. Their uneducated position gives cover to the other knuckleheads still supporting the bill.

Washingtons Blog

Breaking News: Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details..

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More proof of an out of control federal government…this is amazing that this even happened:

Imagine if the US government, with no notice or warning, raided a small but popular magazine’s offices (Dajaz.1.com) over a Thanksgiving weekend, seized the company’s printing presses, and told the world that the magazine was a criminal enterprise with a giant banner on their building. Then imagine that it never arrested anyone, never let a trial happen, and filed everything about the case under seal, not even letting the magazine’s lawyers talk to the judge presiding over the case. And it continued to deny any due process at all for over a year, before finally just handing everything back to the magazine and pretending nothing happened. I expect most people would be outraged. I expect that nearly all of you would say that’s a classic case of prior restraint, a massive First Amendment violation, and exactly the kind of thing that does not, or should not, happen in the United States.

But, in a story that’s been in the making for over a year, and which we’re exposing to the public for the first time now, this is exactly the scenario that has played out over the past year — with the only difference being that, rather than “a printing press” and a “magazine,” the story involved “a domain” and a “blog.”

There are so many things about this story that are crazy, it’s difficult to know where to start, so let’s give the most important point first: The US government has effectively admitted that it totally screwed up and falsely seized & censored a non-infringing domain of a popular blog, having falsely claimed that it was taking part in criminal copyright infringement. Then, after trying to hide behind a totally secretive court process with absolutely no due process whatsoever (in fact, not even serving papers on the lawyer for the site or providing timely notifications — or providing any documents at all), for over a year, the government has finally realized it couldn’t hide any more and has given up, and returned the domain name to its original owner. If you ever wanted to understand why ICE’s domain seizures violate the law — and why SOPA and PROTECT IP are almost certainly unconstitutional — look no further than what happened in this case.

Okay, now some details. First, remember Dajaz1.com? It was one of the sites seized over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend back in 2010 — a little over a year ago. Those seizures struck us as particularly interesting, because among the sites seized were a bunch of hip hop blogs, including a few that were highly ranked on Vibe’s list of the top hip hop blogs. These weren’t the kinds of things anyone would expect, when supporters of these domain seizures and laws like SOPA and PROTECT IP talk of “rogue sites.” Blogs would have lots of protected speech, and in the hip hop community these blogs, in particular, were like the new radio. Artists routinely leaked their works directly to these sites in order to promote their albums. We even pointed to a few cases of stars like Kanye West and Diddy tweeting links to some of the seized domains in the past.

In fact, as the details came out, it became clear that ICE and the Justice Department were in way over their heads. ICE’s “investigation” was done by a technically inept recent college grad, who didn’t even seem to understand the basics of the technology. But it didn’t stop him from going to a judge and asking for a site to be completely censored with no due process.

The Dajaz1 case became particularly interesting to us, after we saw evidence showing that the songs that ICE used in its affidavit as “evidence” of criminal copyright infringement were songs sent by representatives of the copyright holder with the request that the site publicize the works — in one case, even coming from a VP at a major music label. Even worse, about the only evidence that ICE had that these songs were infringing was the word of the “VP of Anti-Piracy Legal Affairs for the RIAA,” Carlos Linares, who was simply not in a position to know if the songs were infringing or authorized. In fact, one of the songs involved an artist not even represented by an RIAA label, and Linares clearly had absolutely no right to speak on behalf of that artist.

Despite all of this, the government simply seized the domain, put up a big scary warning graphic on the site, suggesting its operators were criminals, and then refused to comment at all about the case.

As we’d heard with a number of domain names that had been seized, the government began stalling like mad when contacted by representatives for domain holders seeking to get their domains back. ICE even flat out lied to the public, stating that no one was challenging the seizures, when it knew full well that some sites were, in fact, challenging. Out of that came the Rojadirecta case, but what of Dajaz1.com?

Let’s just take stock here for a second. We have the government clearly censoring free speech in the form of a blog that discussed the music world and was widely recognized for its influence in promoting new acts. The government seized the blog with no adversarial hearing and no initial due process. Then, rather than actually provide some sort of belated due process in the form of an adversarial hearing, it continued to deny any and all due process by secretly (even to Dajaz1′s own lawyer) extending the seizure without any way to challenge those extensions. All in all, the government completely censored a popular web site for over a year, when it had no real evidence for probable cause of infringement, as it had falsely claimed in the original rubber stamped affidavit. As we noted in reviewing the affidavit, the case had been put together by folks who clearly did not understand the law, the site or the music space. But to then double down on that and continue to hold the domain for a year in secret? That just compounds the error and takes it to new extremes.

This was flat out censorship for no reason, for an entire year, by the US government… Everyone should be horrified by this. It also shows what a joke the claims of supporters are that since “a judge reviewed the affidavit,” there’s due process. Without the other party, there is no real due process. Not only that, but the government made sure, at every step of the way, that the other party was not heard. That’s horrifying. It wasn’t just an act of omission in leaving out the party, but actively preventing the party from being heard.

And yet the feds and private companies continue to say we should just “trust them” to get these kinds of things right?

What happened next is a story that should never happen in the US. It’s like something out of Kafka or the movie Brazil, but it should never have happened under the US Constitution.

Sound interesting? Read more

Hopefully Not Coming Soon: Internet “Off” Switch…

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Caught this in the Washington Post. Please write your senator or congressman and tell them to worry about the economy and quit infringing on the last bastion of free speech…or we won’t even be able to bring you these stories:

 

Overkill on Internet piracy

By Jennifer Rubin

Over the weekend, First Amendment impresario Floyd Abrams addressed two controversial Internet piracy bills, the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the House version, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He argued that the bill, designed to stop Internet theft of intellectual property, has been denounced by critics for setting up “ ‘walled gardens patrolled by government censors.’ Or derided as imparting ‘major features’ of ‘China’s Great Firewall’ to America. And accused of being ‘potentially politically repressive.’ ” He contends, “This is not serious criticism. The proposition that efforts to enforce the Copyright Act on the Internet amount to some sort of censorship, let alone Chinese-level censorship, is not merely fanciful. It trivializes the pain inflicted by actual censorship that occurs in repressive states throughout the world. Chinese dissidents do not yearn for freedom in order to download pirated movies.”

I don’t quarrel with his assertion that it is hysterical to regard enforcement of libel and copyright infringement on the Internet as the beginning of a totalitarian state. But he misses the real point of sober-minded critics: The bill is unnecessarily overbroad and a formula for a host of undesirable and unintended consequences.

ABC News reported last month on the over broad nature of the remedies that would be available:

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, said the bills would overdo it — giving copyright holders and government the power to cut off Web sites unreasonably. They could be shut down, and search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo could be stopped from linking to them.

“The solutions are draconian,” Schmidt said Tuesday at the MIT Sloan School of Management. “There’s a bill that would require ISPs [Internet service providers] to remove URLs from the Web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked.”

Harvard law professor and Supreme Court advocate Laurence Tribe (whom I don’t always agree with but who takes the Bill of Rights quite seriously and was instrumental in developing the jurisprudence that confirmed the Second Amendment is an individual right) has submitted a memo detailing the multiple ways in which SOPA runs afoul of the First Amendment. For example, “SOPA provides that a complaining party can file a notice alleging that it is harmed by the activities occurring on the site ‘or portion thereof .’ Conceivably, an entire website containing tens of thousands of pages could be targeted if only a single page were accused of infringement. Such an approach would create severe practical problems for sites with substantial user-generated content, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and for blogs that allow users to post videos, photos, and other materials.”And likewise: “The notice-and-termination procedure of Section 103(a) runs afoul of the ‘prior restraint’ doctrine, because it delegates to a private party the power to suppress speech without prior notice and a judicial hearing. This provision of the bill would give complaining parties the power to stop online advertisers and credit card processors from doing business with a website,merely by filing a unilateral notice accusing the site of being ‘dedicated to theft of U.S. property’ — even if no court has actually found any infringement. The immunity provisions in the bill create an overwhelming incentive for advertisers and payment processors to comply with such a request immediately upon receipt.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced a competing bill, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (the “Open Act”), which seeks to address legitimate concerns about SOPA/PIPA and focus more specifically on the real problem without knocking down robust, protected speech in an indiscriminate fashion. Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mozilla, Yahoo!, and Zynga have signed on to support this alternative to SOPA/PIPA.

The Hill recently reported on OPEN: “The draft proposal would instead authorize the International Trade Commission to investigate and issue cease-and-desist orders against foreign websites that provide pirated content or sell counterfeit goods. The ITC would have to find that the site is ‘primarily’ and ‘willfully’ engaged in copyright infringement to issue the order.” Rather than take down entire websites and potentially interfere with perfectly legitimate and protected speech OPEN, would, after a court order, “compel payment providers and online advertising services to cease providing services to the offending website. The approach comports with current copyright law and hews to the ‘follow the money’ approach favored by Google and other tech companies.”

In short, this is not a fight between protectors of copyrights and Internet anarchists. Rather, there is a legitimate policy dispute about how broad and how disruptive government enforcement powers should be when core First Amendment rights are at issue. No doubt the Motion Picture Association of America, headed by disgraced former Connecticut senator Chris Dodd, has spread plenty of money around Congress to try to give the government the bluntest, heaviest weapon to fight piracy. But that doesn’t make it good policy. And it sure doesn’t make for constitutional legislation.

A Christian Georgia Student is Told to abandon her Christian beliefs in order to receive a degree

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This is unbelievable in America and especially in the South.

Christian student fights for her beliefs

A counseling student has filed suit against a university in Georgia because she claims the school is forcing her to abandon her Christian beliefs in order to receive a degree.

Jennifer Keeton (ADF client, Augusta State Univ.)Jennifer Keeton, 24, is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling at Augusta State University. But after her professors learned of her biblical beliefs — specifically her views on homosexual conduct — from both classroom discussions and private conversations with other students, the school imposed a “remediation plan.”

“It’s in essence [telling her] ‘you do not have the correct beliefs, we are going to re-educate you into the correct beliefs,’” explains David French, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. “And unless she completes this — quote — ‘remediation plan’ to their satisfaction, then she can be thrown out of [the school's counseling program].”

French tells OneNewsNow there are some absurd elements to the plan. “Such as admonishing her to go to — quote — a ‘gay-pride parade’ and write about her feelings after she’s been,” he describes. “In other words, [the school's plan would be] deliberately exposing her to behavior that she finds immoral in the hope that she’ll accept it. It’s ridiculous.”

David French (ADF)French calls it “pure thought reform” and accuses Augusta State of outlining “a program of indoctrination” for Keeton.

“Jennifer is not interested in being indoctrinated, she wants to be educated,” states the attorney. “She wants to learn about the counseling profession, she wants to be a good counselor — but being a good counselor does not require that one surrender their most fundamental religious beliefs.”

And so French says Keeton is filing suit [PDF] to get the school to respect her First Amendment rights. “A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian and refusing to publicly renounce her faith, but that’s exactly what’s happening here,” he concludes.

One News Now

House Passes the Disclose Act: The Greatest Assault on Free Speech Ever

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Here we have the Dems stealing more of our liberty again and for us in West Tn, our great  representative John Tanner voted Yes for the Disclose Act. See how your representative voted here.

The Disclose Act is the Democrats response to a Supreme Court decision that came down in January allowing corporations to sponsor election-related ads.

This new, and obviously unconstitutional, bill would require corporations, unions and nonprofit groups to disclose their top five donors if they participate in political activity, and to agree to other disclosures related to expenditures before elections.

The Supreme Court ruled that restrictions on the ability of Corporations to donate to political candidates was unconstitutional . And, that should end the matter.

But, now you are redressing that unconstitution law and passing your new unconstitutional version of that unconstitutional law !!!!!

When are the Democrats & Obama going to obey what the Supreme Court has laid down as the new Rule-Of-The-Land ?

Maybe after November they will be forced to obey our “rule of law”, the Constitution.

Democrats ‘Within Striking Distance’ on Disclose Act

House Democrats now claim to be “within striking distance” of the votes they need to sharply restrict the rights of organizations to participate in election campaigns — despite a recent Supreme Court finding that such legislative restrictions are unconstitutional.

Heritage Foundation legal scholar Hans A. Von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, tells Newsmax that the timing of the legislation indicates its true purpose is muzzling groups that otherwise might freely voice their opposition to Democratic policies in campaign ads.

The Disclose Act, also known as H.R. 5175, is written so that it takes effect 30 days after passage — just in time to impact the November midterms.

“That’s just crazy,” Von Spakovsky tells Newsmax, “because whenever a new statute gets passed on campaign finance reform, the FEC has the job of creating the regulations needed to implement the statute. There is just no way the FEC, which I served on for two years, could in two months come up with regulations to enforce this law.”

Instead, he says, Democrats “just seem to be intent on creating a legal morass,” the uncertainty of which would discourage organizations from trying to voice their views at all.

Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith, chairman of the Alexandria, Va.-based Center for Competitive Politics, recently told Newsmax the Act is “one of the most partisan pieces of legislation to come down the pike.”


When the NRA threatened to mobilize its legislative juggernaut to oppose the Disclose Act, Democrats offered the group a special “carve out,” or exception. Any longstanding organization with a million or more members that also met other criteria, would be exempted.

That exception provoked howls of outrage from groups on the left, as well as from smaller groups that complained the NRA was acting to protect its own narrow interests. Van Hollen responded by lowering the threshold for the exemption to 500,000 members, thereby broadening the exclusion.

The NRA said Monday it does not support the law, but also won’t marshal its considerable political might against it as long as it is exempted.

In a recent interview, Smith told Newsmax the bill would shackle the political activities of corporations and associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, while leaving unions largely free to influence political outcomes.(no surprise here…Obama loves the unions)

He said the bill contains numerous “absurd” regulations, such as requiring as many as six disclaimers in a 30-second ad regarding who paid for it.

The Disclose Act also requires leading donors to actually appear in the ads to state their involvement — whether the money they donated went to produce that particular ad or not. Nonprofits and companies would have to disclose the names of their top five donors, as well as face other restrictions.
Such provisions, opponents of the bill say, are less about transparency than intimidating the corporate and association donors to stop promoting conservative candidates.

Other indications that the Disclose Act battle continues unabated:

The U.S. Chamber rolled out an ad campaign on Monday that warns the Act would “limit the speech of businesses and the associations that represent them in order to prevent them from expressing their political views.”
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., released a statement saying Democrats were making “backroom” deals to try to salvage a defective bill. “They’re auctioning off the First Amendment with zero regard to the dire consequences of their actions,” he stated.
House members received a letter signed by over 232 organizations opposing the Disclose Act, saying it imposes “onerous restrictions on corporate free speech while ignoring unions’ immense political influence.”
The NRA’s Chris W. Cox issued a news release Monday stating: “The NRA has never supported — nor would we support — any version of this bill. Those who suggest otherwise are wrong. The restrictions in this bill should not apply to anyone or to any organization.”

Von Spakovsky predicts Democrats who try to justify the Disclose Act to constituents over the July recess are in for a big surprise.

He tells Newsmax: “The Democrats are making a mistake because actually, when you explain to folks what’s really in this act, and you explain to folks what the Supreme Court actually did, as opposed to what the media portrays, a majority of American believe in the First Amendment and they come out saying, ‘This is a bad law because it infringes on people’s right to speak politically.’”

Leading Republicans tell Newsmax they believe that even if the bill passes the House (which it did today), they have the votes to block it in the Senate.
NewsMax.com

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