DownsizeDC.org
September 23, 2010
URGENT: DISCLOSE Act Vote Likely Today
By Jim Babka

The Senate will likely vote on the DISCLOSE Act again TODAY. That's why we're sending this message earlier than normal. It's urgent that you act quickly. 

Incumbents banded together in 2002 to make it effectively a crime, punishable by jail, for a non-profit group like DownsizeDC.org to broadcast issue ads during the final days of an election campaign.

The Supreme Court fixed this problem earlier this year, getting something right for a change. In the Citizens United case they restored the right of non-profit corporations like DownsizeDC.org, Inc., to broadcast issue ads during elections. 

The name of the case fits. Non-wealthy CITIZENS are UNITED in organizations: They band together using their First Amendment rights of association and press to publish and broadcast their opinions. Bad laws have forced we citizens into a legal cul de sac, where WE NEED CORPORATIONS LIKE CITIZENS UNITED AND DOWNSIZE DC TO HELP US ACHIEVE OUR GOAL OF BEING HEARD. But . . .

In this year when most Americans want to fire Congress, the incumbent politicians are making a last ditch effort to protect incumbency -- by chilling dissent. Here's what's at stake . . .

Because DownsizeDC.org is un-willing to expose its list of supporters (your name) to the Federal Election Commission we would be PROHIBITED from running ads exposing a candidate's record.

We explain, in greater detail, how this law would affect the groups you love most at the web page opposing the anti-First Amendment DISCLOSE Act.

To create artificial demand for this terrible bill, numerous politicians, including the President, have lied about the Citizens United decision. It's time to call them on it -- literally.

First, send them a letter RIGHT NOW. Here's what I wrote using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System: 

There has been a massive disinformation campaign designed to push through this anti-First Amendment bill.

* Some Representatives and Senators have said that the Citizens United ruling overturned 100 years of law, when it fact it merely overturned a 20-year old decision. http://tinyurl.com/2f9c4qq  

* Many of these same incumbent politicians claimed that now major corporations, like BP, would be able to buy our elections (one of your members even said bribery was now legal!).

* Which is richly ironic, because . . .
 
 a) The DISCLOSE Act only restricts regular-sized non-profits while exempting behemoths like the NRA and AARP, and . . . http://tinyurl.com/2vxe23w  
 b) Major commercial corporations have always held tremendous sway over our government, and any pretense that they don't insults my intelligence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture  

Face it: The DISCLOSE Act is about NOTHING MORE THAN CHILLING DISSENT.

And I'm in on the secret.

If you vote for this bill then it means you want to disenfranchise the little guy for the benfit of yourself and big special interests.

There's a better alternative. As James Madison said Federalist No.10, the best way to counter the influence of tremendous wealth, and the concentrated benefits that big corporations seek, is to foster the freedom for many voices to join the political fray. That's why the First Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law," that even "abridges" (remotely infringes) on my rights of association and expression -- NO LAW. 

I emphatically urge you to work and vote for a filibuster, and failing that, to work as hard as you can to defeat the DISCLOSE Act.

END LETTER

Second, because the vote is occurring today, PLEASE ALSO CALL YOUR SENATORS ON THE PHONE. Their numbers are provided on the same page where you send your letter to Congress, if you're logged-in to your account.

Remember to tell them you're a constituent of theirs, and to be brief, polite, but forceful.

Please pass this message on to others, removing the information below my signature so no one accidentally unsubscribes you. Also, if you have a blog, please repost this information. 

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Filed under Downsizer Dispatch
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