H.R. 5175 is now being pushed through the house. This is the bill co-written by Delaware's own Mike Castle which is intended to reverse the Supreme Court decision from earlier this year that upheld that per the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech clause, government has no business regulating political speech. Those opposed to the ruling said it would flood politics with corporate dollars which would of course dilute the all powerful Union money and of course even out the system and allow EVERYONE a voice. Progressives and their union friends can't have that now can they?
Once again Congressman Castle has his heart in the right place with this bill but he overreaches again with his Progressive friends in Congress. The bill seeks to prohibit government contractors and those negotiating for government contracts from participating in electioneering on behalf of candidates and/or parties. The question is, would this include the unions like SEIU, AFSCME and the AFL-CIO? Would the unions who currently hold government contracts be excluded from the bill? According to the Campaign for Liberty, thanks to the NRA's sweetheart deal that provides "parity" across ideological lines, the answer is yes. Organizations with more than 1 million members across all 50 states and who have been around for more than 10 years would be exempt from this provision. Why not just say no to everyone regardless of size if they have a government contract? Also, why does the bill limit the size of the contract to to above $7,000,000 taxpayer dollars in order to qualify for these rules? If you really want to stop these expenditures by government contractors why don't we stop them all regardless of the size of the contract?
The bill also stops foreign business owners from influencing elections. I haven't read anything in the bill relating to this condition that I do not think is fair. There's no reason foreign nationals should be influencing American elections.
The next section details coordinated campaign communications. This portion of the bill explains that American groups/corporations/unions cannot coordinate their messages with the political campaigns. The bill states that it stops donors from evading “contribution limits by making campaign expenditures which, while technically qualifying as independent expenditures under law, are for all relevant purposes coordinated with candidates and political parties and thus raise the potential for corruption or the appearance of corruption". Someone should talk to SEIU and Barack Obama about that. I guess that means no more block walking with their union shirts on?
The next section mandates that all persons/corporations who make independent expenditures exceeding $10,000 must file an electronic report which will be made public. Corporations must also release the individual names of their employees who contribute to 3rd party funds that are used to make independent political expenditures. The bill further goes on to mandate that companies use specific types of their own funds for candidate assistance and even suggests that they should use a separate bank account.
Disclosure must include the name of the organization, the top funder (if an individual) or the top 5 funders if a group. Each must make a statement authorizing the message.
As usual, government's solution to the problem is to stand on liberty's throat. What we need in the bill is the following AND ONLY THE FOLLOWING:
1.) It must prohibit active government contractors and those negotiating for contracts(including labor unions) from engaging in electioneering.
2.) It must stop majority owned foreign corporations and foreign nationals from engaging in electioneering or contributing to political segregated funds.
3.) It must mandate full disclosure of each organizations total expenditures per candidate and mandate that ever political advertisement contain a full disclosure of the core group that funds it. (this means if the ad is placed by "Working Families for Skunks and Possums" which is funded by ACORN...ACORN must be identified as the funding group)