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Washington, D.C. – This week, FreedomWorks will be reaching out to Tea Party organizations and allied conservative grassroots groups in addition to its own nationwide membership of nearly 1 million volunteer activists to focus opposition against H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act.
The Act is the brain-child of Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D, MD-8), who as the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is tasked with getting Democrats elected to Congress. FreedomWorks believes the bill is a clear partisan political tool that would further expand the government’s reach into Americans’ daily lives by restricting political giving and involvement in elections. The most onerous restrictions conveniently hit corporations and conservative groups the hardest, while traditional Democrat allies such as the unions are immune. Particularly in new reporting requirements and prohibitions on electioneering communications, the DISCLOSE Act specifically lets unions off the hook. For all others, the new regulations and unconstitutional restrictions on political speech would apply.
A closed-door, carve-out deal that was originally cut with the National Rifle Association (NRA) exempting them from the DISCLOSE Act, was recently expanded to include other membership organizations as well. FreedomWorks, while not involved in the negotiations, would likely benefit from the expanded exemption, and yet still plans to oppose the bill.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented, “The DISCLOSE Act is a desperate play by Democrats looking to limit losses in this election cycle by trampling all over Americans’ First Amendment rights. Even though a backroom carve-out would likely protect FreedomWorks, we still plan to fight the bill on the fundamental principle that you can’t ‘carve out’ limited allowances on free speech.”
Kibbe continued, “We feel it is especially important to fight this battle on behalf of the Tea Party movement. These citizen activists represent a living, breathing defense of the timeless virtues of the First Amendment. The DISCLOSE Act would penalize them for their political associations and discourage them from taking part in our democratic process.”
FreedomWorks will engage a nationwide “call to action” this week to members and allies to generate grassroots pressure against the DISCLOSE Act through emails, phone calls, and face-to-face visits.