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  1. #11
    Join Date
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    Sometimes I wonder about the GOA.

    NRA-ILA :: Statement From The National Rifle Association On H.R. 5175, The Disclose Act

    Statement From The National Rifle Association On H.R. 5175, The Disclose Act

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    We appreciate the concerns that some NRA members have raised regarding our position on H.R. 5175, the "DISCLOSE Act." Unfortunately, critics of our position have misstated or misunderstood the facts.

    We have never said we would support any version of this bill. To the contrary, we clearly stated NRA's strong opposition to the DISCLOSE Act (as introduced) in a letter sent to Members of Congress on May 26 (click here to read the letter).

    Through the courts and in Congress, the NRA has consistently and strongly opposed any effort to restrict the rights of our four million members to speak and have their voices heard on behalf of gun owners nationwide. H.R. 5175 would put a gag order on the NRA during elections and threaten our members' freedom of association, by forcing us to turn our donor lists over to the federal government. We would also be forced to list our top donors on all election-related television, radio and Internet ads and mailings—even mailings to our own members. We refuse to let this Congress impose those unconstitutional restrictions on our Association.

    The NRA provides critical firearms training for our Armed Forces and law enforcement throughout the country. This bill would force us to choose between training our men and women in uniform and exercising our right to free political speech. We refuse to let this Congress force us to make that choice.

    We didn't "sell out" to Nancy Pelosi or anyone else. We told Congress we opposed the bill. As a result, congressional leaders announced they would exempt us from its draconian restrictions on free speech. If that happens, we will not be involved in the final House debate. If it doesn't, we will continue to strongly oppose the bill.

    Our position is based on principle and experience. During consideration of the previous campaign finance legislation passed in 2002, congressional leadership repeatedly refused to exempt the NRA from its provisions, promising that our concerns would be fixed somewhere down the line. That didn't happen; instead, the NRA had to live under those restrictions for seven years and spend millions of dollars on compliance costs and on legal fees to challenge the law. We will not go down that road again when we have an opportunity to protect our ability to speak.

    There are those who say the NRA should put the Second Amendment at risk over a First Amendment principle. That's easy to say unless you have a sworn duty to protect the Second Amendment above all else, as we do.

    The NRA is a bipartisan, single-issue organization made up of millions of individual members dedicated to the protection of the Second Amendment. We do not represent the interests of other organizations. That's their responsibility. Our responsibility is to protect and defend the interests of our members. And that we do without apology.




    Copyright 2010, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
    This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
    11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 800-392-8683
    Contact Us | Privacy & Security Policy
    NRA-ILA letter to Congress members

    NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox's Letter to Members of Congress on H.R. 5175, the Disclose Act

    Thursday, June 10, 2010


    http://www.nraila.org/media/PDFs/DiscloseAct52710.pdf

    May 26, 2010



    Dear Member of Congress:



    I am writing to express the National Rifle Association's strong concerns with H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act, as well as our opposition to this bill in its current form. It is our sincere hope that these concerns will be addressed as this legislation is considered by the full House.



    Earlier this year, in Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court struck down the ban on certain political speech by nonprofit membership associations such as the NRA. In an attempt to characterize that ruling as something other than a vindication of the free speech and associational rights of millions of individual American citizens, H.R. 5175 attempts to reverse that decision.



    Under the First Amendment, as recognized in a long line of Supreme Court cases, citizens have the right to speak and associate privately and anonymously. H.R. 5175, however, would require the NRA to turn our membership and donor lists over to the government and to disclose top donors on political advertisements. The bill would empower the Federal Election Commission to require the NRA to reveal private, internal discussions with our four million members about political communications. This unnecessary and burdensome requirement would leave it in the hands of government officials to make a determination about the type and amount of speech that would trigger potential criminal penalties.



    H.R. 5175 creates a series of byzantine disclosure requirements that have the obvious effect of intimidating speech. The bill, for example, requires "top-five funder" disclosures on TV ads that mention candidates for federal office from 90 days prior to a primary election through the general election; "top-two funder" disclosure on similar radio ads during that period; "significant funder" and "top-five funder" disclosures on similar mass mailings during that period; and "significant funder" disclosure for similar "robocalls" during that period. Internet communications are covered if placed for a fee on another website, such as the use of banner ads that mention candidates for federal office. Even worse, no exceptions are included for organizations communicating with their members. This is far worse than current law and would severely restrict the various ways that the NRA communicates with our members and like-minded individuals.



    While there are some groups that have run ads and attempted to hide their identities, the NRA isn't one of them. The NRA has been in existence since 1871. Our four million members across the country contribute for the purpose of speaking during elections and participating in the political process. When the NRA runs ads, we clearly and proudly put our name on them. Indeed, that's what our members expect us to do. There is no reason to include the NRA in overly burdensome disclosure and reporting requirements that are supposedly aimed at so-called "shadow" groups.



    On the issue of reporting requirements, the bill mandates that the NRA electronically file all reports with the FEC within 24 hours of each expenditure. Within 24 hours of FEC posting of the reports, the NRA would be required to put a hyperlink on our website to the exact page on which the reports appear on the FEC's website - and keep that link: active for at least one year following the date of the general election. Independent Expenditure reports would have to disclose all individuals who donate $600 or more to the NRA during the reporting period and Electioneering Communication reports would have to disclose all individuals who donate $1,000 or more to the NRA during the reporting period. There are literally thousands of NRA donors who would meet those thresholds, so these requirements would create a significant and unwarranted burden.



    Some have argued that under the bill, all the NRA would have to do to avoid disclosing our $600 or $1,000 level donors is to create a "Campaign-Related Activity Account." Were we to set up such an account, however, we would be precluded from transferring more than $10,000 from our general treasury to the account; all individual donors to that account would have to specifically designate their contributions in that manner and would have to limit their contributions to $9,999; the burdensome disclosure requirements for ads, mailings and robocalls would still apply; and the NRA would be prohibited from spending money on election activity from any other source - including the NRA's Political Victory Fund (our PAC). In sum, this provision is completely unworkable.



    Unfortunately, H.R. 5175 attacks nearly all of the NRA's political speech by creating an arbitrary patchwork of unprecedented reporting and disclosure requirements. Under the bill, the NRA would have to track the political priorities of each of our individual members - all four million of them. The cost of complying with these requirements would be immense and significantly restrict our ability to speak.



    As noted above, there is no legitimate reason to include the NRA in H.R. 5175's overly burdensome disclosure and reporting requirements. Therefore, we will continue to work with members from both parties to address these issues. Should our concerns not be resolved - and to date, they have not been - the NRA will have no choice but to oppose passage of this legislation.



    Sincerely,



    Chris W. Cox

    Executive Director





    Copyright 2010, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
    This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
    11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 800-392-8683
    USAF Retired, CATM, SC CWP, NH NR CWP, NRA Benefactor
    To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them... -- Richard Henry Lee, 1787

  2.   
  3. #12
    mojo Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JJFlash View Post
    I get the "single issue" argument. But what we have here is "I got mine, screw you". It's not a single issue that they are protecting, it's a single organization.

    I do agree that it will probably not pass, based on this exemption alone.
    +1 JJ....I too get the premise of single issue. I am not a single issue voter but I get the principle behind a single issue organization, problem here is that the issue for NRA being the 2nd, is part of a much larger lil ole peice of paper called the Constitution!!!!! They need to take a bigger view IMHO. Destroy the 1st you wont be able to speak out against them when they try to destroy the 2nd and others.
    I hope it will not pass but I wont say with the certainty that others have that it wont; given this administrations record so far.

  4. #13
    This in the Washington Post by an NRA Board member nonetheless:
    washingtonpost.com

    NRA exemption shows campaign disclosure bill's cynical, fatal flaws

    By Cleta Mitchell
    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    The cynical decision this week by House Democrats to exempt the National Rifle Association from the latest campaign finance regulatory scheme is itself a public disclosure. It reveals the true purpose of the perversely named Disclose Act (H.R. 5175): namely, to silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections.

    The NRA "carve-out" reaffirms the wisdom of the First Amendment's precise language: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." Congress can't help itself. Since 1798, with the Alien and Sedition Acts, incumbent politicians have yearned for legal duct tape for their opponents' mouths. The Disclose Act is a doozy of a muzzle.

    For its part, the NRA -- on whose board of directors I serve -- rather than holding steadfastly to its historic principles of defending the Constitution and continuing its noble fight against government regulation of political speech instead opted for a political deal borne of self-interest in exchange for "neutrality" from the legislation's requirements. In doing so, the NRA has, sadly, affirmed the notion held by congressional Democrats (and some Republicans), liberal activists, the media establishment and, at least for now, a minority on the Supreme Court that First Amendment protections are subject to negotiation. The Second Amendment surely cannot be far behind.

    Since the court's January decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations cannot be constitutionally prohibited from making independent candidate-related expenditures, Democrats have been hyperventilating at the notion that corporations might spend millions of dollars criticizing them. To foreclose that possibility, the Disclose Act would impose onerous and complicated "disclosure" restrictions on organizations that dare to engage in constitutionally protected political speech and on corporations that
    dare to contribute to such organizations.

    Democrats would effectively neuter the court's decision by requiring the names of multiple donors to be recited in ads (thus shrinking the time spent on actual speech), requiring the CEO of a corporate donor to personally appear in campaign-related ads, expanding the coverage period to virtually the entire election year, and including myriad other rules that the NRA described last month as "byzantine" and an "arbitrary patchwork of reporting and disclosure requirements." The NRA's wheel-squeaking bought it an exemption from those requirements. Tea Party organizations arising spontaneously since 2009? Out of luck. Online organizations with large e-mail followings but perhaps no formal dues structure? Forget it.

    Receiving less attention than the NRA "carve-out" but no less cynical is the bill's sop to organized labor: Aggregate contributions of $600 or more would be disclosed. Why start at $600? Why not $200 or, say, $500? Because most union members' dues aggregate less than $600 in a calendar year and thus members' contributions to labor's campaign-related spending wouldn't need to be disclosed . . . even to the union members whose dues are spent for political purposes.

    In Citizens United, the court held that the First Amendment doesn't permit Congress to treat different corporations differently; that the protections afforded political speech arise from the Constitution, not Congress. Otherwise, it would be tantamount to a congressional power to license the speech of some while denying it to others.

    The NRA carve-out is a clear example of a congressional speech license.

    The ostensible purpose of the legislation is benign "disclosure," upheld in Citizens United as permissible under the First Amendment. Even conservative Justice Antonin Scalia has expressed skepticism about the constitutional infirmity of disclosure requirements in another case argued this term; Scalia intoned in oral argument that "running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage."

    That's true. Indeed, the law upheld in Citizens United requires all donors to candidate-related expenditures to be publicly disclosed to the FEC in a timely manner.

    But the Disclose Act isn't really intended to elicit information not currently required by law. The act serves notice on certain speakers that their involvement in the political process will exact a high price of regulation, penalty and notoriety, using disclosure and reporting as a subterfuge to chill their political speech and association.
    It is only disclosure, say the authors. And box-cutters are only handy household tools . . . until they are used by terrorists to crash airplanes.

    This is not just "disclosure." It is a scheme hatched by political insiders to eradicate disfavored speech. There is no room under the First Amendment for Congress to make deals on political speech, whether with the NRA or anyone else.

    The writer is a partner at Foley & Lardner who works in campaign finance law and is a member of the NRA's board of directors.
    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.

  5. #14
    Well, that about says it all, doesn't it? GOA, here I come.
    Prov. 27:3 - "Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both"

  6. I don't care what kind of damage control they do, they sold out. And it will be refelcted in their membership.
    You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  7. #16
    wolfhunter Guest

    Email chain with NRA-ILA Exec. Director

    From: _______ <[email protected]>
    To: ExecDir ILA <[email protected]>
    Subject: RE: DISCLOSE Act
    Date: 06/18/2010 04:51:44 PM


    I have contacted my congressmen several times about this.

    I'll quote you: "We do not represent the interests of other organizations."
    Now I'll remind you of the World War Two anecdote presented by Pastor Martin Niemöller:
    "THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up."

    Being a one dimensional organization with blinders on that allow you to protect the NRA's corporate interest (ie your paycheck) while watching your members' rights be trampled is just cause for a loss of membership. Since the NRA is a "single issue" organization, please explain why you refuse to work to repeal the GCA of 1968 and the NFA of 1934? When my membership renewal comes up, I'll be sending that check to someone who's name isn't NRA.
    --
    E U
    (850) xxx-xxxx
    [email protected]______




    On Fri, 2010-06-18 at 15:04 -0400, ExecDir ILA wrote:
    I received your email regarding the NRA`s position on H.R. 5175, the "DISCLOSE Act". Regrettably, our position has been misstated by some and intentionally misrepresented by others. I hope you`ll allow me to provide the proper context.
    >
    > The U.S. Supreme Court`s Citizens United decision was a significant victory for free speech and the Constitution. The NRA filed a strong brief in that case, which the Court specifically cited several times in its opinion. The DISCLOSE Act is an attempt to reverse that victory and that`s why we told Congress we oppose it.
    >
    > The NRA has never supported--nor would we ever 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. My job is to ensure they don`t apply to the NRA and our members. Without the NRA, the Second Amendment will be lost and I will do everything in my power to prevent that.
    >
    > We believe that any restriction on political speech is repugnant. But some of our critics believe we should put the Second Amendment at risk over a First Amendment principle to protect other organizations. That`s easy to say--unless you have a sworn duty to protect the Second Amendment above all else, as I do.
    >
    > The NRA is a single-issue organization made up of millions of individual members dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment. We do not represent the interests of other organizations. Nor do all groups fight all issues together. For example, we didn`t support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce when it backed amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens and we did not join the Chamber in its support of President Obama`s stimulus bill. And we`ve been in direct opposition when the Chamber has tried to restrict Second Amendment rights in publicly accessible parking lots.
    >
    > Rather than focusing on opposing this bill, some have encouraged people to blame the NRA for this Congress`s unconstitutional attack on free speech. That`s a shame. If you oppose this bill, I hope you will contact your Member of Congress and Senators so they can hear from you.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > From: [email protected]________
    > Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:22 PM
    > To: Cox, Christopher; Keene, David
    > Subject: DISCLOSE Act
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Sirs,
    > I realize that the NRA is a single-issue organization but not opposing a restriction of a right is giving a foothold for the removal of any right. Regardless of any special exemption the NRA has negotiated, I must insist that the organization stand against the DISCLOSE Act, H.R. 5175.
    >
    > You negotiated away some of our rights in 1934, 1968, and again in 1986, will this be another example of the NRA failing protect its members?
    >
    >
    --
    E U
    (850) xxx-xxxx
    [email protected]_____

  8. #17
    Go get 'em, WH. Nicely done.
    Prov. 27:3 - "Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both"

  9. #18
    I don't trust the NRA as far as I can throw them...

    ... congressional leaders announced they would exempt us from its draconian restrictions on free speech. If that happens, we will not be involved in the final House debate. If it doesn't, we will continue to strongly oppose the bill. - NRA Statement June 17th, 2010 ...

    “[T]he NRA -- on whose board of directors I serve -- rather than holding steadfastly to its historic principles of defending the Constitution and continuing its noble fight against government regulation of political speech instead opted for a political deal borne of self-interest in exchange for ‘neutrality’ from the legislation's requirements.”

    -- NRA Director Cleta Mitchell, June 17, 2010

    Source:
    washingtonpost.com


    The NRA Supported the National Firearms Act of 1934, In fact, they've supported gun rights infringements "since...1871." ...
    The NRA Continues To Compromise On The Second Amendment

    Gun Owners Of America - The Only No-Compromise Gun Lobby In Washington:
    Gun Owners of America

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

  10. #19
    It is foolish to deride the NRA because of their stand on H.R. 5175. They (we) have probably the largest pro 2A lobby in the world and have the most influence. A better approach, as I have done, is to contribute to other pro 2A organizations to add to their strengths as well. Don't "cut off your nose to spite your face."
    NRA Life Member, JPFO member, NAGR member, 2nd Amendment Foundation member and Life Member of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 996

  11. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bohemian View Post
    I don't trust the NRA as far as I can throw them...

    ... congressional leaders announced they would exempt us from its draconian restrictions on free speech. If that happens, we will not be involved in the final House debate. If it doesn't, we will continue to strongly oppose the bill. - NRA Statement June 17th, 2010 ...

    “[T]he NRA -- on whose board of directors I serve -- rather than holding steadfastly to its historic principles of defending the Constitution and continuing its noble fight against government regulation of political speech instead opted for a political deal borne of self-interest in exchange for ‘neutrality’ from the legislation's requirements.”

    -- NRA Director Cleta Mitchell, June 17, 2010

    Source:
    washingtonpost.com


    The NRA Supported the National Firearms Act of 1934, In fact, they've supported gun rights infringements "since...1871." ...
    The NRA Continues To Compromise On The Second Amendment

    Gun Owners Of America - The Only No-Compromise Gun Lobby In Washington:
    Gun Owners of America
    I rest my case...

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

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