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On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on the so-called “For the People” Act, S. 2093. More appropriately titled the “Corrupt Politicians” Act, S. 2093 would have profoundly negative implications for the Constitution, free speech, and states’ prerogative to run their own elections.
It should first be noted that, in order to hold a vote on this bill, Democrats have chosen to do a blatantly political bait-and-switch on the American people and hold a vote on S. 2093 instead of S. 1 in order to bypass the outlined committee process, which S. 1 failed to pass through. At this point, on such a significant piece of legislation, it is par for the course for partisan Washington elected officials to introduce and fast-track an updated bill reflecting a last-minute negotiation done out of the sight of the American people or the open input of their elected officials.
This bill, however, is still the bulk of the original S. 1 text, and as such, would impose several mandates on states, dictating how they must run their elections, which directly contradicts Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution. This endeavor to federalize elections is an attempt to, among other things, influence elections, voter qualifications, and redistricting, as well as even provide a match of public funds to certain candidates’ campaigns.
Although there are several provisions of this legislation that are troubling, perhaps one of the most concerning provisions come in Division B, Title IV, Subtitles B, and C. These two provisions are specifically designed to steamroll the Supreme Court’s decision in `Citizens United v. FEC (2010) to stifle speech protected by the First Amendment.
Subtitle B is known as the DISCLOSE Act. This is a thinly veiled attempt to reveal the names of donors to 501(c)(4) organizations in an era where the “cancel culture” mob has become the norm. Unmasking private citizens in the manner that this bill proposes could dissuade generations of Americans from making the bold stands necessary to improve our nation.
Subtitle C is the Honest Ads Act. The bill is framed with careful messaging, such as stopping foreign influence in American elections through ad buys on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The bill, however, is far broader.
For example, the bill would expand the definition of a “qualified political advertisement” to include “a message relating to any political matter of national importance,” such as mentioning “a candidate” or “a national legislative issue of public importance.”
The Honest Ads Act would require digital platforms to maintain, and make publicly available, a database of any request to purchase a “qualified political advertisement” that exceeds $500. Again, this would include advertisements on legislative issues pending before Congress, which may not even mention a candidate. This public file would also include the contact information of the purchaser. This would open almost all political advertisers to widespread intimidation.
The “Corrupt Politicians” Act” is among the most dangerous pieces of legislation that Congress will consider over the next two years. It’s rife with unconstitutional provisions that threaten the very fabric of our republic. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “A republic, if you can keep it.” With this bill, it is evident that Democrats do not want to keep it. They want to destroy it.
FreedomWorks will count the vote on S. 2093 when calculating our 2021 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score any related votes or amendments and to weigh any such votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks