Blogger’s "Right" to speak? may soon be criminal
“In what sounds like a comedy sketch from the Bob and Tom Show, but isn’t, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on grassroots and causes and citizens of those who criticize Congress.
Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting laws by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.
My jaw dropped when I received this in an email from my friend and attorney.
The email stated:
“Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even blogger’s, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big Washington lobbyists.
“On January 9 2007, the Senate passed Amendment 7 to S. 1, to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone knowingly and willingly fails to file or report to congress.’ “That amendment was introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA). trying to make a blatant attempt to take mine and your Freedom away. The Right of Freedom of Speech.
Yet this legislation, which is well known to be targeted at rights of speech, the press, association and them that petition the government, is being withheld intentionally from the public to prevent a debate.
Senator Vitter, however, is now a co-sponsor of Amendment 20 by Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) to remove Section 220 from the bill. if so the Senate will have criminalized the exercise of First Amendment rights. We’d be living under totalitarianism, not democracy.
“Thousands of nonprofit leaders, blogger’s, Chatters and other citizens I hope will hammer the Senate with calls and emails in opposition to Section 220, which seeks to silence the grassroots and the blog. The criminal provisions will scare citizens into SILENCE unless this is stopped.
“We the People.” What a grand and magnificent concept! With these words we began the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States.
From the First Amendment (in the “Bill of Rights”) to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“NO LAW”! We the people have the right to freely communicate with each other and to petition the government WITHOUT INTERFERENCE.
Current attempts to regulate grassroots activists, under the guise of “lobbying reform,” would overturn this core concept behind the American Republic. These attempts must be stopped. This is one more attempt to tell the American people to shutup and sit down and never mind what what congress is doing behind our backs. The grassroots legislation is not only unconstitutional on its face, it will certainly lead to further governmental abuses of rights of citizens.
Daily the Will County Watchers reach out to 3,500 readers and we are growing daily, I currently receive 119 to 436 emails daily this is on average and respond to as many as possible, It is even unclear if I will be breaking the law by responding back to said emails.
“The bill would require reporting of ‘ paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying. ‘ Grassroots is defined merely as communications of and to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers.
I strongly oppose as we all should the required registration and reporting of efforts to communicate to the general public that urges citizens and informs the public relating Congresses actions. Personally I need less government not more government, Americans have fought and died for the rights enumerated in our Constitution, and now at our finger tips we have computers that allows us to chat vast distances, yet Congress wants to take away this right to discuss what’s going on in our country and to legislate away the free exercise of those rights, this brings Americans closer to tyranny. We have men and women, soldiers, American solders fighting to give another county a voice yet our own congress wants to take away our voices, this will have made our own solders on their return to have fought and died in vain.