One of most ironic and stupid things about Congress is its propensity to name bills in a manner that has nothing to do with the substance of the bill. One example is the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009. It had nothing to do with responsibility. The newest boondoggle is a monstrosity called DISCLOSE. It stands for Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act, or DISCLOSE Act. It won’t strengthen democracy and it wouldn’t cast light on anything. An analysis reported in the WSJ shows how wrong things would go.
The Disclose Act exacerbates many of these problems and is a blatant attempt by its sponsors to do indirectly, through excessively onerous regulatory requirements, what the Supreme Court told Congress it cannot do directly—restrict political speech.
I believe this is anything but a mistake. I think Schumer has every intention of limiting free speech. Some of the language is plainly stupid:
For example, companies such as Verizon Wireless, a Delaware corporation headquartered in New Jersey with 83,000 U.S. employees and 91 million U.S. customers, would be silenced because of the British Vodafone’s minority ownership in the corporation. But competing telecommunications companies could spend money to influence elections or issues being debated in Congress.
But here are the real threats:
While the Disclose Act does include an exemption for major media corporations, it does not include websites or the Internet, which means the government can regulate (and potentially censor) political dialogue on the Web. Additionally, the law would require any business or organization making political expenditures to create and maintain an extensive, highly sophisticated website with advanced search features to track its political activities.
So there it is. This bill is about shutting down the opposition on the web- meaning all of us.
It is a truly audacious effort on the part of Democrats when you remember that Barack Obama disabled the Automatic Verification System during the campaign so that he could collect millions of untraceable dollars from overseas contributors and probably dead people as well (he is from Chicago).
So the next chance you get, make a call to Chuck, and tell Schumer to Schove it.