WASHINGTON (March 9) - - The ability of NRLC and other pro-life groups to tell the public about the positions of specific politicians on pro-life issues would be severely restricted by several so-called "campaign reform" proposals that are expected to come before the U.S. House of Representatives during the week of March 23.
These bills to restrict free speech about politicians are being pushed by powerful members of Congress of both political parties, in alliance with President Clinton and well-funded special-interest groups such as the League of Women Voters and Common Cause.
Action Request for House
Please telephone your U.S. House member:
* at his nearest in-district office you can get the number from local information; and/or
* at his Washington, D.C. office, by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121, and telling the switchboard operator the name of your congressman. If you're not sure of the name, just give your zip code.
Your message should be along these lines: "I believe that Americans have a right to free speech about politicians. I am opposed to any so-called `campaign reform' legislation that would restrict the right of any group to run ads that talk about the positions or voting record of any politician. For example, I am opposed to any bill that would restrict how much money often referred to as "soft money" - - can be used to pay for ads that mention the names of lawmakers or candidates for Congress.
NRLC has produced a number of articles and papers that explain how many of the current proposals for "campaign reform" would greatly restrict the ability of NRLC, NRLC affiliates, and other pro-life groups and pro-family groups to engage in free speech about politicians, thereby crippling the pro-life movement's ability to advance pro-life policies. See, for example, "Do American Voters Need Speech Nannies?," Sept. 30, 1997 NRL News, page 1, and "An Open Letter from NRLC to the Nation's Roman Catholic Bishops," March 5, 1998, available from NRLC.
A detailed analysis of the McCain-Feingold bill, and extensive additional documentation on "campaign reform" bills to restrict free speech about politicians, are available in the "Campaign Reform and Free Speech" section on the NRLC website at www.nrlc.org/campaign.html.
You can help educate the public about this issue by writing a letter (usually 250-300 words is about right) to the "letters to the editor" columns of your local newspapers, explaining how the McCain-Feingold bill and many other "campaign reform" bills would restrict the right of pro-life groups and other citizen groups to speak freely regarding the voting records and positions of members of Congress and candidates for Congress. Emphasize that these bills are strongly opposed by groups as diverse as NRLC, the ACLU, the Christian Coalition, and the NRA.
You can greatly assist NRLC's lobbying efforts by sending copies of any letters from members of Congress dealing with this or any other pro-life issue, and pertinent stories and editorials from local newspapers, to: NRLC Federal Legislative Office, 419-Seventh Street, Northwest, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20004. Fax (202) 347-3668, e-mail: Legfederal@aol.com. Legislative Update Recording: (202) 393-5433.