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Vote NO on H.R. 5175
The so-called “DISCLOSE Act.”
June 7, 2010
NTU urges all Representatives to vote "NO" on H.R. 5175, the so-called "DISCLOSE Act." This haphazardly designed legislation would impose onerous restrictions on a wide range of legitimate speech and threatens to further undermine the First Amendment. H.R. 5175 is not only severely misguided, it is nakedly political and should be opposed.
This legislation would prevent NTU from being able to speak on behalf of our 362,000 members unless we submit to unreasonable, and potentially unconstitutional, disclosure requirements. For example, the bill would force organizations to report even more extensive information about donors, despite Supreme Court precedent that such excessively intrusive requirements are unconstitutional violations of privacy. Ironically, H.R. 5175 justifies many of our supporters' fears about political retaliation if their NTU membership details were to be divulged. It also establishes lengthy and ill-defined "stand by your ad" requirements that are confusing and would be difficult to comply with, especially for citizen groups.
Furthermore, the bill goes into effect in just 30 days and essentially exempts labor unions from its complicated web of disclosures and regulations in a blatant attempt to tilt the political field for the upcoming November election. Stifling public discourse to engage in this kind of electoral gamesmanship is unbecoming of the United States Congress.
H.R. 5175 is an affront to the Constitution and principles of free speech. We urge all Members to vote "NO" on it, and roll call votes on the bill will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Director of Government Affairs Andrew Moylan at (703) 683-5700