The FEC Needs to Hear from All of You


March 30, 2004, 08:02 PM
This is from an email I received from

Are you involved in a local or national non-profit or public interest organization? As a leader or board director or member? Please read this message carefully, because your organization could be facing a serious threat.

The Republican National Committee is pressing the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") to issue new rules that would cripple groups that dare to communicate with the public in any way critical of President Bush or members of Congress. Incredibly, the FEC has just issued -- for public comment -- proposed rules that would do just that. Any kind of non-profit -- conservative, progressive, labor, religious, secular, social service, charitable, educational, civic participation, issue-oriented, large, and small -- could be affected by these rules.

By the way, one thing FEC's proposed rules do not affect is the donations you may have made in the past or may make now to or to the Voter Fund. They are aimed at activist non-profit groups, not donors.

Operatives in Washington are displaying a terrifying disregard for the values of free speech and openness which underlie our democracy. Essentially, they are willing to pay any price to stop criticism of Bush administration policy.

We've attached materials below to help you make a public comment to the FEC before the comment period ends on APRIL 9th. Your comment could be very important, because normally the FEC doesn't get much public feedback.

Public comments to the FEC are encouraged by email at

Comments should be addressed to Ms. Mai T. Dinh, Acting Assistant General Counsel, and must include the full name, electronic mail address, and postal service address of the commenter.

More details can be found at:

Gun rights groups/organizations will also be censored by the new rules.

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March 30, 2004, 09:53 PM
A gross mis-statement of the facts, I'm afraid. The submission to the FEC by the Republicans has to do with the "non-profits" concerned being funded to the tune of tens of millions of dollars to pay for political advertising, bypassing the McCain-Finegold restrictions, and allowing the use of un-accounted-for donations (which could conceivably even come from foreign citizens or governments) for US political campaigns. I'm all in favor, I'm afraid - the restrictions would apply equally to both sides, and I don't see anything unfair in it.

Either restrict all sides' speech equally, or give all sides unfettered access to speech (and the money to pay for it). What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

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