January 25, 2019
Conservative HQ dishes on the Democrat's first bill. From the article:
Yesterday, our friends at the Institute for Free Speech released an exhaustive analysisof three speech-chilling sections of HR 1. Those provisions would regulate political speech on the Internet, violate the privacy of advocacy groups and their supporters, and compel speakers to include lengthy government-mandated messages in their communications.
"By making it harder for Americans to speak about government, a better title for the bill would be the 'For the Politicians Act,'" said Institute for Free Speech President David Keating.
The Institute's analysis finds these sections of H.R. 1 would benefit politicians and campaign finance attorneys while harming the public. The legislation's many restrictions and regulations on speakers would make it harder for Americans to promote ideas about government and to hold elected officials accountable. H.R. 1 would also subject speakers to increased costs from legal and administrative compliance, liability risk, and would harm donor and associational privacy for civic groups that speak about policy issues and politicians.
"H.R. 1 appears to be a slapdash effort to stitch together every unworkable and unconstitutional idea from the past decade about how to increase regulation of Americans' free speech rights," said Institute for Free Speech Senior Fellow Eric Wang. "While the bill may be dead on arrival, it is nonetheless a deeply troubling statement of Congress's priorities and attitudes towards the First Amendment."
Among other outcomes, HR 1's speech regulations would:
Unconstitutionally regulate speech that
mentions a federal candidate or elected official at any time under a
severely vague, subjective, and broad standard that asks whether the
speech "promotes," "attacks," "supports," or "opposes" ("PASO") the
candidate or official.
Compel groups to file so-called "campaign-related disbursement" reports with the Federal Election Commission declaring that their ads are either "in support of or in opposition" to the elected official mentioned, even if their ads do neither.
Force groups to publicly identify certain donors on these reports for issue ads and on the face of the ads themselves. In many cases, these donors would not have given a cent to support the ads.
Force organizations that make grants to file their own reports and publicly identify their own donors if an organization is deemed to have "reason to know" that a donee entity has made or will make "campaign-related disbursements."
Disproportionately burden the political speech rights of corporations, thereby ending the long-standing parity in the campaign finance law between corporations and unions.
Expand the universe of regulated online political speech beyond paid advertising to include, apparently, communications on groups' or individuals' own websites and e-mail messages.
Impose a new and constitutionally dubious public reporting requirement on sponsors of online issue ads by expanding the "public file" requirement for broadcast, cable, and satellite media ads to many online platforms.
Impose inflexible disclaimer requirements on online ads that may make many forms of small, popular, and cost-effective ads off-limits for political advertisers.
Read the rest!
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