A letter from Concerned Women for America:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) pledged to end the “Culture of Corruption” in Washington, D.C and make politicians more accountable. To eliminate this stench of corruption, she plans to move a lobbying reform package by Memorial Day which includes provisions to silence grassroots communication.

This legislation is expected to be similar to provisions in The Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007 which failed in the Senate by a 55-43 vote earlier this year. While revised grassroots lobbying language was leaked to lawyers and lobbyists who have professional ties to key congressional sponsors of the legislation, we believe it is being intentionally withheld from the public to prevent debate. The legislation’s sponsors are carrying out an agenda in Washington which seeks to ignore the voice of the people.

Proponents of this legislation say this bill is necessary because it eliminates paid attempts to influence the general public. They argue that it is wrong for these organizations to mobilize people to communicate with their Members of Congress. However, the right to petition our government for redress of our grievances is a clearly protected right.

Further, this legislation will not accomplish its main goal to target money in politics because the legislation exempts communications to “shareholders, officers, employees and members.” Halliburton and Fortune 500 companies would be able spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars mobilizing untold millions of corporate shareholders, officers and employees – all people with vested financial interests in legislation – yet not report a dime. Corporate membership PACs could make large political contributions, then mobilize dozens or hundreds of “member” corporations on issues, which in turn could mobilize millions of shareholders, etc., yet not report any of these “grassroots” expenditures. Organizations that hire high paid communications experts on staff, but are funded stealthily by George Soros and politically slanted foundations, would not be required to report their expenditures.

This bill would bury organizations like Concerned Women for America (CWA) with onerous paperwork and burdensome reporting requirements any time we communicate with our members on public policy issues pending before Congress. And, if CWA failed to comply with the bill’s requirements, we could be subject to substantial fines and criminal penalties.

This legislation must be defeated because it affects our ability to communicate candidly with our members. The grassroots lobbying provisions will restrict which citizens can engage in grassroots lobbying and it’s precisely this sort of government interference with free speech that the First Amendment is meant to prevent.

If the grassroots lobbying provision passes, it will be much more difficult for us to mobilize grassroots campaigns in the future. The only way to kill the grassroots provision is to create one of the largest surges of grassroots support we’ve mounted in a long time. Essentially, this is a fight to make sure that we can continue fighting for family values.

Take Action Now!!

1) Call your Representatives at (202) 225-3121 and tell them to oppose any legislation that restricts grassroots lobbying. If you’d like to also send an e-mail, simply place your zip code in the box at your right. [Having trouble with the zip code box? Try us online at http://www.capwiz.com/cwfa/issues/alert/?alertid=9672586]

2) Call or email Speaker Pelosi and remind her of her pledge to “break the link between lobbyists and legislation,” and remind her that Democrats are violating that pledge on the lobbying reform bill itself! (Speaker Pelosi can be contacted via her contact form at http://www.speaker.gov/contact or at AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov )


Begin Sample Letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi


Dear Speaker Pelosi:

As one of Concerned Women for America’s 500,000 members, I am writing to you to urge you to investigate why language restricting certain grassroots lobbying was leaked to a few privileged, insider lobbyists, at the same time the public, whose rights would be violated, was not afforded the same opportunity.

Since it is clear that the grassroots legislation would violate constitutional rights, withholding the revised language appears to be an attempt by some with vested interests to violate the First Amendment rights of citizens. You pledged to break the link between lobbyists and legislation, yet some in Congress are trying to legislate away our Constitutional rights.

I not only oppose attempts to violate the First Amendment rights of Americans who make up the “grassroots,” but the way that is being done in “secret” gives the appearance of wrongdoing.

Sincerely,

[Your name here]


End Sample Letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi


Your quick action on this is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Legislation Department
Concerned Women for America

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