Friday, December 29, 2006

Have 500 Friends? Now You Report to Pelosi

File this under "Free Speech? WHAT Free Speech? All Your Speech Belong to Us!!"

House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) has pledged to take up a lobbying reform proposal that would impose new regulations on speech by grassroots organizations, while providing a loophole in the rules for large corporations and labor unions.

The legislation would make changes to the legal definition of “grassroots lobbying” and require any organization that encourages 500 or more members of the general public to contact their elected representatives to file a report with detailed information about their organization to the government on a quarterly basis.

The report would include identifying the organization’s expenditures, the issues focused on and the members of Congress and other federal officials who are the subject of the advocacy efforts. A separate report would be required for each policy issue the group is active on.

Pelosi is obviously a McCainiac under all those facelifts. Or maybe a Feinie-ac.

“This bill would apply to those who have no Washington-based lobbyists, who provide no money or gifts to members of Congress, and who merely seek to speak, associate and petition the government,” it said. “Regulating the speech, publishing, association and petitioning rights of citizens is not targeted at corruption in Washington, ...Instead, it is targeted directly at the 1st-Amendment rights of citizens and their voluntary associations.”

The above statement from a coalition of grassroots organizers, including David Keene of the American Conservative Union, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America and Terrence Scanlon of the Capitol Research Center.

It ain't "lobbying reform," that's for sure. It's encumbrance of political speech--which is to say, it's another manifestation of Party-In-Government (PIG) tendencies.

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