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J. Michael Smith, Esq.
President

Michael P. Farris, Esq.
Chairman

DISCLOSE Act Halted: Victory for Free Speech!

By Melanie Palazzo
Congressional Action Program Director
Federal Relations Department

August 2, 2010

Your phone calls last week to your U.S. senators helped win an important victory. Thanks to your efforts—and those of millions of other Americans—the U.S. Senate voted last Tuesday against cloture and to sustain a filibuster against S. 3628, the DISCLOSE Act. It takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. However, senators received so many calls opposing this bill that the cloture vote only received 57 “yea” votes and 41 “nay” votes.

Though a close vote, this victory shows we can win when we work together. You can go online to see how your senator voted.

The DISCLOSE Act, if passed, would have severely muzzled the free speech of corporations and organizations by forcing them to comply with copious new regulations and disclosure forms before they could inform the public concerning political candidates.

We encourage you to thank your senators if they voted against the DISCLOSE Act. We also encourage you to keep pressing your senators to oppose the DISCLOSE Act over the August recess so that our victory is not short-lived. Unless major opposition is voiced, the Senate will probably revisit the legislation in September.

You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or use HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox to find the name and contact information of your U.S. senators. There is no need to identify yourself as a homeschooler. You can make your message as simple as:

“Please continue to oppose the DISCLOSE Act. Congress should not take away the free speech rights of organizations and corporations that are made up of ordinary American citizens.”

Thank you again for taking the time to call your U.S. senators and helping make this victory possible.

Background

Campaign finance reform is a complicated issue. While maintaining the integrity of the campaign and election system is important, we believe that the DISCLOSE Act goes too far toward discouraging free speech through its imposition of severe disclosure requirements. Additionally, the DISCLOSE Act could severely impact organizations like HSLDA which seek to influence citizens and public officials about issues such as homeschooling and parental rights.

 Other Resources

We encourage you to read the following materials for more information on the DISCLOSE Act (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader):

H.R. 5175/DISCLOSE Act: Another Congressional Attempt to Muzzle Free Speech

Group Letter to Members of Congress

Center for Competitive Politics Policy Briefing on DISCLOSE Act

ACLU Letter in Opposition to the DISCLOSE Act