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The Liberty Lamp: Libertarian News & Editorials

A blog dedicated to the advancement of libertarian principles, and to the protection of activist groups' privacy and Constitutional rights. Topics include discussions on privacy tips, current events, political topics, and bulletins on how to get involved in various pro-liberty activities.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Political Activism In Danger- And What You Can Do!

Redress of greivances is central to quote "good" government. As many are aware, our current regime really sucks- but it could be a LOT worse. Things may in fact become worse, however, if the Senate's new anti grass-roots "lobbyist reform" bill is allowed to go into effect. It would force organizations to fill out many expensive new forms and drive many of the most important ones out of business. Below is an overview from DownsizeDC.org's president, along with a viable way to take action.

(Excerpted) "n response to our editorial earlier this week, "What Divides Us," a reader suggested that we address OMB Watch, and their ilk, directly -- explain where they are wrong about the grassroots lobbying provision of S.1.

Our opponents at groups like Public Citizen, Common Cause, and OMB Watch, want to make this a partisan/ideological issue -- to divide and conquer. They want to regulate so-called "Astroturf" groups (a funny play on the word "grassroots"), which they maintain are "fake" groups.

The thesis of the recent OMB Watch report, as well as the central claim of an open letter from Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen, is that the new regulations they propose won't _prohibit_ speech and political activity.

This is an instance of correct facts organized in a fashion that creates the wrong impression. These new regulations may not out-right prohibit, but they will definitely abridge and hurt small, upstart groups. They will chill political participation at the grassroots. AND YOU CAN VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION HERE: http://action.downsizedc.org/wyc.php?cid=61

Yet, as we'll explain later in this piece, they won't really do much to the so-called Astroturf class of groups.

On a more fundamental level, it doesn't matter whether or not the regulations "prohibit." We all agree that the Constitution excluded the ability to prohibit the rights in question. But the Constitution goes much farther than that.

And what should unite us is our Constitution and our desire for a healthy democracy where not only the rich and powerful can play, but where everyday Americans can petition their government without reservation.

And so today, I want to make the ultimate argument: I want to break this down to a fundamental level that every American should respect -- a Constitutional argument. And we'll conclude by offering a real solution to the problems these good government groups desire to address."

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