At a hearing yesterday on the DISCLOSE Act, Senator Chuck Schumer doubled down on a previous statement he made in 2010 when introducing the original iteration of the legislation about how the “deterrent effect” of disclosure on political speech “should not be underestimated,” saying: “Let me tell you, I think it’s good when somebody is trying to influence government for their purposes, directly with ads and everything else, it’s good to have a deterrent effect.” (Video of the exchange at this link.)
It is unfortunate that our elected representatives openly seek to discourage participation in our political system. The DISCLOSE Act isn’t about fighting corruption; it’s about deterring groups and people from participating in politics.
It is no coincidence that the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights protects the rights of speech and assembly, as these rights are the bedrock of our democracy. The openly stated intent of the DISCLOSE Act by one of the bill’s primary supporters shows that the proposal is little more than an affront to these freedoms.
For more information on this year’s version of the DISCLOSE Act, check out CCP Chairman Bradley A. Smith’s testimony at this link.