House Democrats Close to Reinstituting Penalties for Criticizing Congress
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Thread: House Democrats Close to Reinstituting Penalties for Criticizing Congress

  1. #1
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    House Democrats Close to Reinstituting Penalties for Criticizing Congress

    We alerted you last week to the very dangerous DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175), where liberal House Democrats are trying to gag their political opponents.

    Well, there have been some late-breaking developments in the fight to kill this bill, but you're not going to believe what's happening. This is what Politico.com reported yesterday:
    House Democrats have offered to exempt the National Rifle Association from a sweeping campaign-finance bill, removing a major obstacle in the push to roll back the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.
    The NRA had objected to some of the strict financial disclosure provisions that Democrats have proposed for corporations and politically active nonprofits and that had kept moderate, pro-gun Democrats from backing the legislation.
    But if the NRA signs off on the deal, the bill could come to the House floor as early as this week. The NRA said it would not comment until specific legislative language is revealed.
    An NRA official also noted that the group would not be supporting the bill but would not actively oppose it if the deal with the Democratic leadership holds up.

    So if the NRA gets an exemption for itself, it will not oppose the anti-freedom DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175). This legislation is designed to overturn major parts of the recent Supreme Court decision which restored the ability of groups like GOA to freely criticize elected officials during a campaign.

    But the NRA would no longer oppose the bill once they've won an exemption for themselves. As reported by Politico.com:
    The legislation in question is designed to restore more campaign finance rules in the wake of last year's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which removed prohibitions on corporations and unions running TV ads opposing or backing candidates in the run-up to an election.
    Democratic leaders fear the Citizens United decision could open the floodgates for corporate money to flow into this year's midterm elections, which they believe would favor Republican interests.
    The legislation, offered by Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, would require special-interest groups to disclose their top donors if they choose to run TV ads or send out mass mailings in the final months of an election.
    In addition to benefiting the NRA, this "exemption" amendment will benefit Blue Dog Democrats who will be given a green light to support the Obama-Pelosi backed bill:
    Democrats are justifying the NRA exemption, saying the organization has a long history of being involved in the political process, and they say the real goal of the new campaign finance bill is to expose corporations and unions that create ambiguous front groups to run attack ads during campaigns. Unions would not be allowed to use the NRA exemption.
    North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler, an NRA backer and conservative Democrat, proved to be pivotal to the NRA deal. Shuler was the first to offer an amendment to exempt the NRA and other nonprofits from the legislation, but that move drew objections from campaign watchdog groups.
    "There were a number of concerns that the DISCLOSE Act could hinder or penalize the efforts of certain long-standing, member-driven organizations who have historically acted in good faith," Shuler said, referring to the NRA. "Most of those concerns are addressed within the manager's amendment."
    But here's the rub, the special exemption amendment will ONLY benefit the NRA and no other groups whatsoever. It will leave all other groups who are currently in Obama's crosshairs dangling in the wind:
    The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations. Democrats say the new language would apply to only the NRA, since no other organization would qualify under these specific provisions. The NRA, with 4 million members, will not actively oppose the DISCLOSE Act, according to Democratic sources.
    The exemption for a huge group like the NRA is sure to outrage smaller special-interest groups [like Gun Owners of America].
    We are in a political war, and our opponents are trying to change the rules of the game by gagging those groups that are their political enemies. Some might say that the requirement to disclose our membership is not a gag rule, but it most certainly is. Gun Owners of America will NOT do anything that would jeopardize the privacy of our members!

    Gun owners know the dangers of being registered, as it has often proven to be the first step towards gun confiscation -- which, by the way, is why it's lamentable that the management of the NRA is selling out its members for the proverbial bowl of pottage. (Go to Yet Again the NRA Sells Out Freedom to the Democrats | RedState to see what a leading Capitol Hill blog has written about this sell-out.)

    We're positive that regular members of the NRA would never want this to happen -- where all the other pro-gun organizations (like GOA) that are fighting to protect our rights would be gagged, while special favors are cut for one group in particular.

    We stand shoulder to shoulder with NRA and all the other pro-gun groups when they are fighting to defend our Second Amendment freedoms. We all have to stick together if we are going to win these battles.

    We're not sure who is making the decisions over at the NRA headquarters... but this type of thing would have never happened in the past, and we're positive that the NRA membership would not be happy with it. This cannot stand!

    ACTION: Please do everything you can to kill this dangerous DISCLOSE Act legislation (HR 5175). Here's what you can do:

    1. Urge your congressman to oppose HR 5175. You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send a pre-written message to your Representative.

    2. Call the NRA-ILA at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) and urge them to oppose this legislation and to rate any congressman who votes in favor of HR 5175 as having cast an ANTI-GUN vote. Urge them not to sell out our constitutional freedoms just because they can get an exemption for themselves.

    3. Please help Gun Owners of America to continue fighting for your rights. You can go to Contribute to GOA to help us alert as many people as possible to this new threat.

    ----- Pre-written letter -----

    Dear Representative:

    I stand with Gun Owners of America in opposing the DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175).

    There are reports that a deal may be cut to exempt one large organization from the terms of the DISCLOSE Act. This smacks of the money-for-votes fiasco which helped grease the skids for passage of ObamaCare and which has already lowered Congress' reputation to unprecedented depths.

    On the Senate side, Senator Mitch McConnell blasted this deal, which is aimed at carving out special exemptions for the NRA leadership in exchange for their promise to sit on their hands and not oppose the DISCLOSE Act. "If there is one thing Americans loathe about Washington, it's the backroom dealing to win the vote of organizations with power and influence at the expense of everyone else," McConnell said.

    "Just as it wasn't the Democrats' money to offer in the health care debate, free speech isn't theirs to ration out to those willing to play ball -- it's a right guaranteed by our First Amendment to all Americans."

    I agree wholeheartedly. Please do NOT vote in favor of this legislation, as it will have a chilling effect upon our free speech rights by forcing the organizations we associate with to disclose their membership lists.

    How ironic that a Congress and President who treat transparency with contempt should now be trying to force legal organizations to disclose the names of their law-abiding members. The hypocrisy is blatant, to say the least.

    Vote no on HR 5175.

    Sincerely,

    __________________________________________

    Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
    8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
    Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
    Gun Owners of America


    Memberships: NRA, GOA, USCCA
    Guns: Glock 26, Ruger LCP, Beretta 90-Two .40, Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact 9MM, Beretta Tomcat, Bushmaster Patrolman M4

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  3. #2
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    It's gonna be deal making like this that sells us out.

    Perhaps it's time to send a message to the NRA if they choose to compromise like that then they have become no better than the politicians they are supposed to protect us from...

    Make GOA the lead in the fight.

    Peace...
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  4. #3
    If reality is as the above post states, I will NOT renew my membership in the NRA and I"ll let 'em know why. And once I'm gone, I'm not coming back.

    Damn it, is there NO integrity left, anywhere, in the political class in this country?

    I'm getting closer and closer to just retreating to the compound and locking the gate.
    Prov. 27:3 - "Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both"

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJFlash View Post
    If reality is as the above post states, I will NOT renew my membership in the NRA and I"ll let 'em know why. And once I'm gone, I'm not coming back.

    Damn it, is there NO integrity left, anywhere, in the political class in this country?

    I'm getting closer and closer to just retreating to the compound and locking the gate.
    AMEN!!! It will be the last membership if what is printed above is true.

    Well, I guess guys like "Cooper" have managed to make supposed millions on bribery and dirty deal making, so that becomes the mark and measure of a lesser man. It feels like betrayal.

    I'm getting pissed again...

    If the NRA proves they can be bought what's next?

    Peace...
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  6. #5
    If the NRA is cutting a deal with politicians, I'll be among those who make a hasty exit from their membership rolls and loudly let them know why. And, if the NRA really does this, I hope that there is a mass migration to Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership. If an organization isn't going to be loyal to its members, then it's time to cut the ties.

    Not too long ago, AARP endorsed Obamacare. They betrayed us...DH and I withdrew our membership, told them why and that we'll never contribute to their organization again! They keep trying and everytime we get mail from AARP, we send it back unopened and marked "Return To Sender -- REFUSED".

    I DO know that AARP receives federal funds (taxpayers' money), and in so doing, they're obligated and "better toe the government line". It would be interesting to see if the NRA is going on the government payroll also! It would explain a lot (i.e. the government exemption from the Disclose Act).
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

  7. The NRA's response (from their website):

    STATEMENT FROM THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION ON H.R. 5175, THE DISCLOSE ACT


    Tuesday, June 15, 2010


    The National Rifle Association believes that any restrictions on the political speech of Americans are unconstitutional.

    In the past, through the courts and in Congress, the NRA has opposed any effort to restrict the rights of its four million members to speak and have their voices heard on behalf of gun owners nationwide.

    The NRA’s opposition to restrictions on political speech includes its May 26, 2010 letter to Members of Congress expressing strong concerns about H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act. As it stood at the time of that letter, the measure would have undermined or obliterated virtually all of the NRA’s right to free political speech and, therefore, jeopardized the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding American.

    The most potent defense of the Second Amendment requires the most adamant exercise of the First Amendment. The NRA stands absolutely obligated to its members to ensure maximum access to the First Amendment, in order to protect and preserve the freedom of the Second Amendment.

    The NRA must preserve its ability to speak. It cannot risk a strategy that would deny its rights, for the Second Amendment cannot be defended without them.

    Thus, the NRA’s first obligation must be to its members and to its most ardent defense of firearms freedom for America’s lawful gun owners.

    On June 14, 2010, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged that H.R. 5175 would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA, that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on political speech. As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill.

    The NRA cannot defend the Second Amendment from the attacks we face in the local, state, federal, international and judicial arenas without the ability to speak. We will not allow ourselves to be silenced while the national news media, politicians and others are allowed to attack us freely.

    The NRA will continue to fight for its right to speak out in defense of the Second Amendment. Any efforts to silence the political speech of NRA members will, as has been the case in the past, be met with strong opposition.

    ---nra---
    I'm curious what the "certain criteria" are and if they apply to other pro-2nd Amendment groups such as the GOA and NAGR.

  8. #7
    from the NRA response: "...onerous restrictions on political speech." The Obamanation is attempting to rob us of our 1st Amendment rights. If their plan is to do this numerically, 2A IS NEXT!

    1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 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."

    It appears that our Constitution is being completely ignored! Our Constitutional Republic is dying a painful death and tyranny is on the rise in the United States of America...soon to be renamed the United Socialist States of America.

    These are perilous days, indeed!
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mudinyeri View Post
    The NRA's response (from their website):



    I'm curious what the "certain criteria" are and if they apply to other pro-2nd Amendment groups such as the GOA and NAGR.
    "The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations. Democrats say the new language would apply to only the NRA, since no other organization would qualify under these specific provisions. The NRA, with 4 million members, will not actively oppose the DISCLOSE Act, according to Democratic sources."
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

  10. If you're a NRA member, you may want to consider sending them something along these lines:

    As I sit at my desk to compose this communication, I'm looking at a recent letter from Wayne LaPierre asking me to pay the remaining balance of my Easy Pay Life Membership in full to help the NRA in its fight to protect our Second Amendment rights.

    Apparently, Mr. LaPierre and the rest of the NRA leadership have decided that my other inalienable rights, such as freedom of speech, are not worth protecting and only the Second Amendment rights of NRA members are worth protecting. Apparently, only the NRA's right to freedom of speech is to be protected.

    Suffice to say, I am gravely disturbed by the NRA's deal-making with Democrat legislators on the DISCLOSE Act.

    At this point, I do not plan to pay my EPL balance in full and I am seriously considering canceling my membership entirely. I've spoken to dozens of other NRA members who all feel the same way. If you follow through with your current course of action you can fully expect a major drop in membership!

    Convince me to remain a member. Return the the staunch leadership position you have taken in the past and stop making back-room deals with gun-hating Democrats!
    The feedback form is here: https://secure.nraila.org/Contact.aspx

  11. #10

    GOA Update On NRA's Continued Sell-Outs...

    Free Speech Gag Bill Moving in House
    -- -- -- Please contact your Reps again
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    The ability of American citizens to communicate with their elected officials is one of the most important rights that help preserve our freedoms. In fact, of all the forms of speech protected by the First Amendment, political speech is at the top of the list.

    This is exactly what the Supreme Court said earlier this year, in Citizens United v. FEC, when it ruled unconstitutional huge portions of the McCain-Feingold law, otherwise known as the Incumbent Protection Act.

    Now, in an effort to undo the victory at the Supreme Court, liberals in Congress are attempting to pass the so-called DISCLOSE Act, which would severely limit the ability of GOA to communicate to our members and the general public.

    This unconstitutional bill could come to the floor of the House as early as Thursday.

    Sadly, as we reported yesterday, some in the pro-gun community have abandoned the principle of protecting the free speech rights of all Americans, so long as their ox is not being gored in this instance.

    The NRA, which had previously opposed the DISCLOSE Act, has now accepted a deal to exempt that organization from the bill.

    This is a startling about-face by the association.

    When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of political speech in Citizens United, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre praised the decision, saying, "This ruling is a victory for anyone who believes that the First Amendment applies to each and every one of us.... This is a defeat for arrogant elitists who wanted to carve out free speech as a privilege for themselves and deny it to the rest of us." (Emphasis added.)

    That's a far cry from the NRA statement to Congress this week regarding legislation specifically designed to undo that Supreme Court decision.

    "On June 14, 2010, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged that H.R. 5175 [DISCLOSE Act] would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA, that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on political speech," reads the statement.

    "As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill."

    Apparently it's ok to "carve out" a little free speech if you're in the role of the "elitists."

    But the misguided NRA exemption will leave millions and millions of gun owners and sportsmen belonging to dozens of different organizations out in the cold.

    We cannot allow this to happen. An attack on our First Amendment rights is a direct assault on our Second Amendment rights. After all, if GOA can't alert you about legislation affecting your Second Amendment rights, then we cannot protect those rights.

    Of course, that's precisely what the politicians in Washington want. Shut out the voices of the "commoners" like gun owners and Tea Party activists who are coming to -- in the words of Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky -- "take our government back!"

    There's a reason the Bill of Rights is considered as an entire unit, and an attack on one part of the Constitution poses a threat to the whole document.

    In short, if GOA loses this battle, all political organizations -- of any size -- will ultimately lose.

    ACTION: Please ask your congressman to vote against the anti-gun DISCLOSE Act. This bill could come to the floor of the House as early as Thursday, June 17, 2010. Here's what you can do:

    1. Urge your congressman to oppose HR 5175. You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send a pre-written message to your Representative.

    2.
    Urge the NRA to change its position and stand with Gun Owners of America. You know that GOA is the organization that consistently refuses to compromise on principle. Even still, GOA has fought alongside the NRA many times to fight unconstitutional legislation, and it is imperative that we fight side-by-side on this issue as well. It has often been said that, "We either hang together or we will hang alone." But impress upon the NRA management that being the last one hung doesn't make the situation any better. You can call the NRA at (800) 392-VOTE (8683).

    ----- Pre-written letter -----


    Dear Representative:

    Please oppose the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 5175).

    The manner in which this bill is moving forward is as despicable as the health care bill -- with backroom deals and special favors being doled out in order to ram this down the throats of the American people.

    This bill is a threat to the privacy of individuals and, by gagging the voices of groups like Gun Owners of America, it is silencing my voice as well.

    My ability to protect my Second Amendment rights relies on the First Amendment's right to freely and openly communicate with government officials, who at one time were called "public servants."

    I agree with GOA that this bill is an unconstitutional sham that will have a chilling effect upon my free speech.

    Please vote NO on HR 5175.

    Sincerely,
    your name here

    http://gunowners.org/current-alerts/

    http://capwiz.com/gunowners/home/



    "The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion." - Edmund Burke

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