McConnell Discloses the Truth About the DISCLOSE ACT
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Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is taking on what he calls an "urgent threat to political speech," and is making the case for a renewed defense of “the freedom to organize around the causes we believe in, and against any effort that would constrain our ability to do so.”
In an op-ed in Politico entitled “Fighting for the First Amendment,” McConnell writes:
“[T]he administration’s troubling view of free speech was perhaps best summed up just this week, when Obama’s top political adviser said that if the president is reelected in November, a top priority could be a constitutional amendment to change the First Amendment. ... [A] growing number of people on the left, and now in the government itself, appear to have concluded that they can’t win on the merits. So they’ve resorted to bullying and intimidation.”
McConnell also appeared on Fox News to discuss the Obama Administration efforts to silent critics and limit free speech protections under the first amendment:
“They would carve a niche out of the First Amendment saying that it’s possible now for the government to control political speech, Citizens United and other campaign finance decisions have made it clear that the government doesn’t have the power under the First Amendment to determine not only what we say but how much we say it. So they can’t control the spending it promotes speech.”
McConnell followed up with a wide-ranging speech to a packed audience at the American Enterprise Institute going into greater detail about the depth and breadth of harassment that conservative donors are facing from the Obama Administration.
Here’s what McConnell says on the DISCLOSE Act:
“What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit. Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon. And that’s precisely what those who are pushing this legislation have in mind. This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies. And that should concern every one of us.” ….
Democrats in the House and Senate recently proposed the so-called “People’s Rights Amendment”, which basically repeals the First Amendment. And just this week, citing Citizens United, the President’s top political advisor, David Axelrod, told an audience in Manhattan that, quote, “When we win, we will use whatever tools are out there, including a constitutional amendment, to turn [it] back.”
This, my friends, is all you need to know about this administration’s view of free speech. The courts have said that Congress doesn’t have the authority to muzzle political speech. So the President himself will seek to go around it by attempting to change the First Amendment.
“Leader McConnell’s remarks today correctly highlighted the dangers of the government attempting to limit our freedom of speech. The temptation for those in power to limit the speech of those who disagree with them is simply too great to allow the protections of the First Amendment to be eroded. Unfortunately this is a battle we must fight every day because despite the wisdom of our founding fathers, there will always be those who are more interested in silencing their critics than working to find solutions to the very real problems our country faces.”
McConnell's appearance on Fox News: