We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Stop Congress from Restricting Grassroots Activism

As you saw below, it didn't take long for the new congress to start "restructuring" the constitution in order to take them from being elected representatives to becoming "government for life".

We need to take action now! McCain-Feingold made it so only the wealthy or Washington insiders could run for office, now "Madam Speaker" will make it hard for an informed citizenry to petition congress in an organized fashion,

Read on and then act as if your country depended on it!

We have a SERIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL EMERGENCY on our hands -- and we need YOUR help to put a stop to it!

With a new Congress in session, there are a lot of calls for "lobbying reform," to help "clean up" the high-priced favoritism that's all-too-common on BOTH sides of the aisle in Congress.

However, there are some proposals that are being advanced that would establish, for the first time, federal regulation of grassroots activity that is intended to encourage members of the public to communicate with Members of Congress about pending legislative matters -- so-called "grassroots lobbying."

In other words... some members of Congress want to take advantage of the current demands for "lobbying reform" and implement provisions that would actually be a restriction on the type of grassroots activism that YOU are a part of through RightMarch.com!

We take no issue with proposals that may be legitimate responses to recent allegations of certain unethical actions by Members of Congress, congressional staff and lobbyists. But nothing in those allegations provides ANY justification whatsoever for the notion that incumbent Members of Congress should seize authority to scrutinize and regulate the constitutionally protected efforts of groups such as RightMarch.com -- and even MoveOn.org -- to alert citizens regarding legislative developments in Congress, and to encourage them to communicate their views to their elected representatives. The First Amendment protects the right to "petition the government," and such activities are at the heart of our republic.

RightMarch.com has joined with dozens of other grassroots leaders in announcing that grassroots legislation being crafted by the left-wing group, "Public Citizen," for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the name of ethics and lobbying reform is hypocrisy since it would actually help protect the culture of corruption in Washington.

RightMarch joined with the Virginia-based Free Speech Coalition in a letter signed by 47 grassroots leaders that the grassroots reporting and penalty provisions being crafted by Public Citizen and others violate the First Amendment rights of small citizen action groups, yet creates loopholes for big corporations, unions, trade associations and membership special interests such as Public Citizen itself.

As Dick Dingman of the Free Speech Coalition noted, "Public Citizen fails to disclose how the grassroots legislation would hurt citizen advocates and critics, protect big special interests and assist corruption in Washington. Public Citizen, with its eight-figure assets and multi-million dollar revenues, shows no shame in being less than honest about so-called 'honest government' legislation."

Public Citizen acknowledges it is helping craft legislation for Pelosi modeled after her 2006 legislation, H.R. 4682. The bill would treat communications to the general public more harshly under lobbying disclosure law than actual lobbying conducted by high-priced K Street lobbyists! The new legislation hasn't been introduced yet, but its model, H.R. 4682, would create unprecedented restrictions and penalties, potentially criminal, on the free exercise of First Amendment rights by citizens to speak, publish, associate and petition the government.

Seriously -- you wouldn't believe how bad this bill is, and how much the Democrats want to restrict YOUR right to free speech!

First Amendment lawyer and Co-Counsel for the Free Speech Coalition, William J. Olson, said, "The Public Citizen/Pelosi bill would allow corporations, unions and even foreign interests to spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars mobilizing their shareholders, officers, employees and members, yet hide those expenditures. On the flipside, their bill would require real citizen associations to essentially obtain Congress's consent to communicate about important policy matters that impact on them. It's not just the imbalance that is wrong; it's a frontal attack on the First Amendment and political speech."

Nancy Pelosi and her leftist friends at Public Citizen plan to introduce -- AND PASS - this legislation in the FIRST 100 HOURS. We need to act NOW to generate enough heat to STOP THEM!

TAKE ACTION: Our good friend (and top-notch constitutional lawyer) Mark Fitzgibbons noted, "The grassroots legislation may be the most expansive and wrongly targeted regulation of First Amendment rights ever written. We hope that Democrats who pledged reform when campaigning will target real corruption instead of the rights of citizens to participate in their democracy," he concluded.

Free Speech Coalition Co-Counsel, Mark Weinberg, expressed confidence that his fellow liberal Democrats will see the light and correct these inequities. But we can't count on them -- we need to tell our legislators right away to support free speech!

Click below NOW to send a FREE message to your Congressman and both Senators, telling them to OPPOSE any attempt to restrict grassroots activism:

NOTE: You can go to http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2007/1/1/200135.shtml to read more about this terrible assault on our most basic freedoms.

Be sure to send this Alert to EVERYONE you know who wants to help tell Congress to support free speech rights and oppose restrictions on grassroots activism.

Thank you!

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