Right or Privilege?

political updates & opportunities

Grassroot Lobbyists Under Attack!

What has happened to freedom?  Is it because the government is making laws to try to control the troublemakers, but, the good people suffer as well.  This scenario reminds me of the times when we would go to Blodel Gardens that you could walk the grounds of.  We were always able to go off the path, onto the grass, and get closer to the swan in the pond.  But, because of some children, we are not able to have that freedom anymore.  We now have to stay on the path and lose the privilege to go onto the grass because of someone else. What are your thoughts on the freedom of America that is slowly starting to disappear, and be controlled? 

Okay…. that was a rabbit trail… back to my point.

The freedom of our grassroot lobbyist activity is under attack by a bill in the Senate.  Please read the bold below. (is short!)   

ACTION REQUESTED Senator Robert Bennett has introduced an amendment cosponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell to strike section 220 from S. 1.  The amendment could come up for a vote on the floor of the Senate as early as next Tuesday.  Please call your U.S. senators and urge them to support the Bennett amendment (amendment 20) to S. 1.  It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler. 

Your message can be as simple as: “I am very concerned about the grassroots lobbying provisions in section 220 of Senate Bill 1, the ‘Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007.’  Please support the Bennett amendment to remove section 220 from S. 1.  Organizations should not have to register with Congress in order to ask citizens to contact their elected officials.”  

You can reach your U.S. senators by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or by using our legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3602  

More info and background: 

“We need you to call your U.S. senators to fight efforts to place federal control over virtually all grassroots lobbying activity.  This means that all organizations and groups that encourage people to call their congressmen, including homeschool support groups, will be subject to registration and reporting to Congress. Section 220 of Senate Bill 1 (S. 1), the “Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007,” redefines lobbying to include “paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying.”  Organizations that engage in grassroots lobbying will have to comply with all federal lobbying disclosure laws, including registration with Congress and the filing of quarterly reports to Congress.  Failure to comply would result in a fine of up to $100,000. Currently, organizations do not need to report grassroots lobbying, which is when they contact their membership and the public or engage in some action that encourages people to call their federally elected officials.  However, if Section 220 is included in S. 1, federal lobbying laws would apply to all groups that spend money to reach more than 500 people with a message urging them to contact their elected officials.  For example, if a church or homeschool support group has a paid employee who emails more than 500 people asking them to call Congress about some issue, or puts an article on the Internet that is likely to reach more than 500 people, the church or homeschool support group would be subject to federal lobbying laws. Senate Bill 1 is a bipartisan bill and contains much-needed congressional reforms.  Section 220, however, is not needed.  It is unacceptable for Congress to attempt to require groups that encourage grassroots lobbying to be subject to registration and reporting to Congress. 

ACTION REQUESTED 

Senator Robert Bennett has introduced an amendment cosponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell to strike section 220 from S. 1.  The amendment could come up for a vote on the floor of the Senate as early as next Tuesday.  Please call your U.S. senators and urge them to support the Bennett amendment (amendment 20) to S. 1.  It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler. 

Your message can be as simple as: “I am very concerned about the grassroots lobbying provisions in section 220 of Senate Bill 1, the ‘Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007.’  Please support the Bennett amendment to remove section 220 from S. 1.  Organizations should not have to register with Congress in order to ask citizens to contact their elected officials.” 

You can reach your U.S. senators by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or by using our legislative toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3602

 Thank you for standing for liberty. 

Sincerely, J. Michael Smith

President, HSLDA” 

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January 13, 2007 - Posted by | Politics

2 Comments »

  1. Frankly, I saw this coming. Who didn’t? With the bad rub the Supreme Court candidates got for their campaigning and straight forwardness, I knew the Democrats, once they got in power, were going to try to silence the Republicans, Conservatives, Christians (big surprise), and anyone else who might actually tell the constituents the truth. The thing I was surprised about was that it didn’t happen in Washington State first. We can’t stop the fight, but right now, I think the Republicans need to get a better handle on what they are all about.

    Comment by Jahothanan | January 19, 2007 | Reply

  2. Update on Grassroot Lobbyist:

    Bold = quick answer

    “Last night, the U.S. Senate approved the Bennett amendment by a vote of 55-43. American citizens will remain free to organize and contact their congressional representatives without being forced to comply with federal regulation and oversight.

    We have reports from Congress that your outpouring of calls made the difference.

    Extra fluff:

    Thank you so much for making the time and sacrifice to call your U.S. Senators asking them to support the Bennett Amendment to Senate Bill 1 (S. 1), the “Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007.”

    The Bennett amendment removed section 220, the grassroots lobbying provision, from S. 1. Section 220 would have redefined lobbying to include “paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying.” Entities that engaged in grassroots lobbying would have had to comply with all federal lobbying disclosure laws, including registration with Congress and the filing of quarterly reports to Congress, or face serious consequences.

    With the successful passage of the Bennett amendment, the Senate’s attempt to place federal control over virtually all grassroots lobbying activity has been defeated.

    Immediately after the Bennett amendment passed, S. 1 was passed with amendments by a vote of 96-2.

    HSLDA will continue to watch as this legislation goes to the House of Representatives. It is possible that a House version of this bill will again attempt to regulate grassroots lobbying. We will notify you if more calls are necessary.

    The Bennett amendment would not have passed without the calls and support of you and millions of other concerned citizens. The senators who supported the amendment were very thankful for your calls and credited them with this victory.

    Thank you for standing with us for liberty.

    Sincerely,

    J. Michael Smith
    President, HSLDA”

    Comment by Betsy | January 23, 2007 | Reply


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