The Senate vote on Shays/Meehan is expected some time THIS WEEK!
Analysis by Former Minority Leader –
February 25th, 2002
This Senate vote is our last chance to stop Shays-Meehan --and that vote could take place this week!
Please take a moment to read the article below and then call any or all of the Senators listed below, who supported McCain-Feingold. Ask them to support Senator Mitch McConnell in his effort to force this bill into a Conference Committee where it can be amended to at least be Constitutional!
RUSH LIMBAUGH is calling this bill the "Campaign Finance Reform Scandal." And he's right! It protects incumbents, empowers the mainstream media, and strips ordinary citizens of free speech rights.
This bill transfers power to special interests and 3rd party groups and away from individuals.
Shays-Meehan limits the right of federal officeholders to solicit money for political parties and other groups, but specifically allows lawmakers to continue to solicit funds for "non-partisan" entities such as the NAACP.
Furthermore, it’s unfair because it does nothing to prevent third party organizations (i.e. Unions) from continuing with their massive voter registration and GOTV programs. The Republican Party doesn’t have the Unions to turn to in order to accomplish our GOTV goals.
Under this bill a group of Maryland citizens would be banned from running an issue ad on the radio after August 11 (when no one is paying attention to politics) if they are unhappy because a candidate for Congress wants to put a casino in their neighborhood, confiscate their property, or trample on other Constitutional rights.
Read why in the article that follows:
DISMANTLING THE CONSTITUTION IN THE NAME OF REFORM
By Ellen Sauerbrey
The passage of Shays-Meehan should alarm every freedom loving American. Those who think the Constitution really means it when it says, "Congress shall make no law.... abridging the freedom of speech", are stunned that Congress is in the process of doing just that. Columnist George Will called this issue "the most pivotal moment in the history of American freedom" over the past 35 years.
Members of Congress would actually make it a federal crime for a group of citizens to broadcast ads that discuss the record of a candidate for federal office within 30 days of a primary or within 60 days of a general election. Incumbents are more likely than challengers to have a voting record that ordinary citizens might like to criticize so no wonder many call this measure an "incumbent protection act".
Congressional supporters dismiss concerns about this trampling on the Constitution as a trivial detail; one that is necessary to keep them from being corrupted. But, in fact, it will deprive citizens of free speech and voters of the variety of opinions that are necessary to help them decide how to vote.
Let’s see how this gag rule would work. Let's pretend that a candidate for Congress had supported legislation that allowed government to grab people's property and put it to use for other purposes in the name of the "public good". Suppose that a group of the homeowners, whose properties were in danger of being confiscated, were outraged and decided to band together and run an ad. Perhaps that ad would point out that the candidate had shown little respect for their private property rights. Maybe that knowledge would be of importance and interest to other voters as they decide how to cast their ballot.
But when our group of citizens prepares to run their ad they find they have a problem. This year, the General Election is on November 5th, so they are banned from running their ad for sixty days prior to the election. Sixty days prior to the General Election happens to be September 6th. But our homeowners can not run their ad in early September because the Primary Election is September 10th and the law says no ads can be run for thirty days prior to the Primary. They now count back thirty days prior to the September 10th primary and find…Bingo! They can finally run their ad but only prior to August 11.
So under the guise of campaign finance reform our citizens are muzzled. The only time that our homeowners can broadcast their ad is while people are on the beaches in
Maybe the press will report on the candidate’s position on this issue. Or maybe the press supports the candidate and doesn’t want to remind voters of an unpopular position that the candidate has taken.
The gag rule does not apply to an individual, so maybe our homeowners can find a "sugar daddy’ willing to spend $50,000 to broadcast their ad; but this is not likely. How ironic that supporters of Shays-Meehan would bar middle class citizens from banding together to do what millionaires and media moguls will be able to do.
There is really only one way to avoid corruption in politics. That is to elect honest people.
Former Minority Leader –
The following Republican Senators voted Yea on McCain- Feingold.
If you haven't done so already, please take a moment to contact your two
Sen. Barbara Mikulski
Sen. Paul Sarbanes
Web Site: www.SauerbreyOnline.com