For further information:
Derrick Jones, 202-626-8825,
NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE COMMITTEE URGES U.S. HOUSE TO
"DISCLOSE ACT" AS "A CORRUPTION OF THE LAWMAKING
WASHINGTON (May 27, 2010) -- The National Right to
Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of
right-to-life organizations in all 50 states, today
urged the U.S. House of Representatives to reject
the "DISCLOSE Act" (H.R. 5175), which it called a
"bullying political power grab," which is "not a
curb on corruption, but itself a type of corruption
-- a corruption of the lawmaking process, by which
incumbent lawmakers employ the threat of criminal
sanctions, among other deterrents, to reduce the
amount of private speech regarding the actions of
the lawmakers themselves." NRLC said that it would
include the dispositive roll calls on the measure in
its scorecard of key votes for the current Congress.
four-page letter, signed by NRLC Executive Director
David N. O'Steen and Legislative Director Douglas
Johnson, said that the bill "has been carefully
crafted to maximize short-term political benefits
for the dominant faction of one political party,
while running roughshod over the First Amendment
protections for political speech that have been
clearly and forcefully articulated by the U.S.
Supreme Court." The letter discusses a number of
ways in which the legislation is designed to "to
discourage, as much as possible, disfavored groups
(such as NRLC) from communicating about
officeholders, by exposing citizens who support such
efforts to harassment and intimidation, and by
smothering organizations in layer on layer of record
keeping and reporting requirements, all backed by
the threat of civil and criminal sanctions." The
letter suggests that the bill be amended to clarify
that "DISCLOSE" actually stands for "Deterring
Independent Speech about Congress except by Labor
Organizations and Selected Elites."
Democratic leadership had apparently intended to
bring the bill to the House floor tomorrow (May 28),
but -- faced by a rising chorus of protests from a
broad array of organizations -- has now postponed
floor action until the week of June 7.
letter is available here:
NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson and
Senior Legislative Counsel Susan T. Muskett, J.D.
are available to provide comment and analysis of the
"DISCLOSE Act." Please contact the NRLC
Communications Department at (202) 626-8825 to
arrange an interview.
The National Right to Life
Committee is the nation's largest pro-life group,
with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000
local chapters nationwide.
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