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1/11/2007 2:55:04 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA: Urgent Calls Needed to Protect Grassroots Lobbying from Federal Control

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 11, 2007

HSLDA: Urgent Calls Needed to Protect
Grassroots Lobbying from Federal Control

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

We need you to call your U.S. senators to fight efforts to place
federal control over virtually all grassroots lobbying activity. This
means that all organizations and groups that encourage people to call
their congressmen, including homeschool support groups, will be
subject to registration and reporting to Congress.

Section 220 of Senate Bill 1 (S. 1), the "Legislative Transparency and
Accountability Act of 2007," redefines lobbying to include "paid
efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying." Organizations that engage
in grassroots lobbying will have to comply with all federal lobbying
disclosure laws, including registration with Congress and the filing
of quarterly reports to Congress. Failure to comply would result in a
fine of up to $100,000.

Currently, organizations do not need to report grassroots lobbying,
which is when they contact their membership and the public or engage
in some action that encourages people to call their federally elected
officials. However, if Section 220 is included in S. 1, federal
lobbying laws would apply to all groups that spend money to reach more
than 500 people with a message urging them to contact their elected
officials. For example, if a church or homeschool support group has a
paid employee who emails more than 500 people asking them to call
Congress about some issue, or puts an article on the Internet that is
likely to reach more than 500 people, the church or homeschool support
group would be subject to federal lobbying laws.

Senate Bill 1 is a bipartisan bill and contains much-needed
congressional reforms. Section 220, however, is not needed. It is
unacceptable for Congress to attempt to require groups that encourage
grassroots lobbying to be subject to registration and reporting to
Congress.

ACTION REQUESTED

Senator Robert Bennett has introduced an amendment cosponsored by
Senator Mitch McConnell to strike section 220 from S. 1. The
amendment could come up for a vote on the floor of the Senate as early
as next Tuesday. Please call your U.S. senators and urge them to
support the Bennett amendment (amendment 20) to S. 1. It is not
necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

Your message can be as simple as: "I am very concerned about the
grassroots lobbying provisions in section 220 of Senate Bill 1, the
'Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007.' Please
support the Bennett amendment to remove section 220 from S. 1.
Organizations should not have to register with Congress in order to
ask citizens to contact their elected officials."

You can reach your U.S. senators by calling the U.S. Capitol
Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or by using our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3602 .

Thank you for standing for liberty.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith
President, HSLDA

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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Fax: (540) 338-2733
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