Pro-Life Orgs Hope Senate Will Defeat DISCLOSE Act in Tuesday Voting
by Steven Ertelt
July 26, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — When the Senate votes on Tuesday on the DISCLOSE Act campaign finance reform bill, pro-life groups hope senators will oppose the legislation. The National Right to Life Committee has been lobbying against the bill and the Family Research Council joins it.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, says the bill is nothing more than an attempt by pro-abortion Democrats to hold onto their congressional seats in an election cycle
"This past weekend Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama told a gathering of the most hard-edged liberal activists that they need to pull out all stops to win this November so that they can push more of their damaging agenda on the American people," he said.
"Fearful of what Election Day could mean for their extreme ideology, a number of liberals in Congress are pushing S. 3628, the DISCLOSE Act, which amounts to Democrat incumbent protection legislation disguised as campaign finance reform," Perkins added.
Instead of addressing the problems that may be found in some election campaigns, Perkins says the Disclose Act "seeks to add to the already onerous burdens placed on organizations that act within the law by going after their donors and exposing them in public forums."
Democrats sponsoring the bill have added exceptions, or "carve-outs," that provide special treatment for select special interest groups — something Perkins says is hypocritical.
"Too often, such tactics are used to intimidate donors. We saw this in the sixties during the civil rights struggles," he said.
Now, Perkins says the onerous requirements and limits would hurt pro-life organizations by making them name their donors and exposing them to potential harassment.
"How much of a farce is the DISCLOSE Act? The carve-outs in the bill give unions and traditional Democrat interest groups special protections, which is no surprise when you realize the legislation was written by legislators who have personal stakes in this election," he said.
Perkins says the way the bill is worded makes it clear the legislation is designed to protect congressional incumbents.
"In fact, the legislation allows for no expedited review, which means that if DISCLOSE passes, it cannot be reviewed by the courts until after the 2010 elections. Why? Because the Democrats know what they are passing is unconstitutional, and realize that once a federal court gives it a good look, it is likely to be overturned," he said.
Last week, the National Right to Life Committee sent senators a letter characterizing the bill as "a blatant political attack on the First Amendment rights of NRLC, our state affiliates, and our members and donors."
The letter advises members that the limits are so problematic, NRLC is forced to include a roll call of the vote in the annual ratings of Congress it provides to millions of pro-life voters.
The bill would codify a vague and expansive definition of express advocacy under which any expenditure for a public communication that takes a position on a candidates character, qualification, or fitness for office might be deemed to be an independent expenditure and therefore subject to numerous burdensome and intrusive regulations.
"The bill applies this vague standard not only to broadcast ads very near elections, but to any public communication broadcast or print at any time of the year, and even to paid ads on the Internet," the letter complains.
Related web sites:
Family Research Council – https://www.frc.org
National Right to Life – https://www.nrlc.org
NRLC letter – https://www.nrlc.org/FreeSpeech/NRLCLetterToSenateOnDISCLOSEAct.pdf
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