I was talking to my friend Ralph Benko, who is a lawyer and a Constitutional scholar, and he brought up the fact that all (or at least MOST) of the newspaper articles and pamphlets, pro and con, for the revolution, including the pamphlet, “Common Sense” (which launched the Revolution,) were anonymous. If the Disclose Act had been in place, these would not have been written and America would not have become independent.
I agree with Ralph’s point of view here, and I think people who love freedom should be shouting this from the roof tops- “The Disclose Act would have prevented America’s Founders from even starting their Revolution!”
Later, as we saw the problems with the Articles of Confederation, the Federalist Papers, which led to the ratification of the Constitution, were all written anonymously and if they had not been written then there would have been no Constitution, and who knows what would have happened.
I have seen fewer more un-American pieces of legislation than the Disclose Act- it is an Act as INTOLERABLE as anything our Founding Fathers would have opposed, like the Stamp Act, not merely for the specific provisions, which are onerous and burdensome, but because by enacting such a “law” Congress is straying outside of its legal powers and it giving itself the POTENTIAL power to decide what defines free speech and what does not, and what types or forms of private associations, whether for business or what have you, enjoy the protection of our most basic and fundamental right of freedom of association!
And then Warner Todd Huston, another blogger friend, has chimed in with this:
But, as it turns out, Democrats excluded some of the biggest spenders on political ads and campaigns in the country, most of them their patrons. In a manager’s amendment the Democrats excluded any organization that has over 1 million members. That leaves Big Labor free and clear of these new disclosure rules. It also leaves the National Rifle Association free of the new requirements.
And this is precisely what makes the whole thing unconstitutional. It is true that Congress has made rules requiring disclosure of campaign donations and it is also true that the courts have declared it constitutional. But those laws were all levied equally on everyone. The laws affect everyone that donates a certain amount of money and higher, for instance. This law treats some donations as necessary of disclosure while affording other donations the luxury of secrecy.
The Constitution of the United States has always been conceived as one that affects everyone equally. But if the courts let this law stand, then we will be solidifying into law the concept that Congress can make laws that discriminate against some Americans while giving other Americans more freedom. This is a dangerous precedent to set.
According to GovTrack, this is how Ohio representatives voted on the bill:
Aye OH-1 Driehaus, Steve [D]
No OH-2 Schmidt, Jean [R]
No OH-3 Turner, Michael [R]
No OH-4 Jordan, Jim [R]
No OH-5 Latta, Robert [R]
Aye OH-6 Wilson, Charles [D]
No OH-7 Austria, Steve [R]
No OH-8 Boehner, John [R]
Aye OH-9 Kaptur, Marcy [D]
Aye OH-10 Kucinich, Dennis [D]
No OH-11 Fudge, Marcia [D]
No OH-12 Tiberi, Patrick [R]
Aye OH-13 Sutton, Betty [D]
No OH-14 LaTourette, Steven [R]
Aye OH-15 Kilroy, Mary Jo [D]
Aye OH-16 Boccieri, John [D]
Aye OH-17 Ryan, Timothy [D]
Aye OH-18 Space, Zachary [D]