Campaign Finance “Deform” In The House

Gun Owners of America E-Mail/FAX Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408

(Monday, July 9, 2001) — Over the objections of pro-gun advocates, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) has moved to force House consideration of the anti-gun campaign finance deform bill, also known as the Incumbent Protection Act. The version the House is expected to consider may be H.R. 2356, H.R. 2360, or another as-yet-unnumbered bill.

The Senate version of this legislation, passed on April 2, would ban TV and radio appearances by tax-exempt groups like GOA which mention a congressman’s name within 60 days of a general election [section 203, as amended by the Wellstone amendment].

In the House, Republicans and Democrats are expected to push competing proposals:

* H.R. 2356, the Democratic bill, adopts the McCain-Feingold approach, requiring GOA to report its large donors if staff members appear on TV or radio and mention a congressman’s name. In addition, it would label these activities on behalf of the Second Amendment as “electioneering,” thereby threatening the tax status and the very existence of groups like GOA.

It is true the bill would invoke a $10,000 threshold — immediate expenditures under that amount would not trigger the “electioneering” provision — but every moment our staff spent studying gun control issues in preparation for radio and TV appearances could arguably count toward this threshold.

* Section 302 of H.R. 2360, the Republican bill introduced by Congressman Bob Ney (OH), would require reporting of “targeted mass communications” on TV and radio which exceed $50,000 in costs, but would not require disclosure of contributors.

But, whatever version the House adopts, the House leadership, if successful, will have moved an unacceptable anti-gun bill a step closer to enactment.

ACTION: Call your congressman. Ask him to vote against final passage of the Incumbent Protection Bill, IN WHATEVER FORM. Please use the pre-written letter below to help direct your comments to Capitol Hill. You can call your Representative at 1-877-762-8762 (toll free) or at 202-225-3121.

—– Pre-written message —–

Dear Congressman:

Every version of the anti-gun Incumbent Protection Bill is unconstitutional and unacceptable to me. The Senate bill would ban free speech within 60 days of an election if it mentions a congressman’s name on television.

The Shays bill would register groups which engage in this form of communication. Even the Ney bill would register pro-gun groups exercising their First Amendment rights.

Please vote against final passage of this abomination, IN WHATEVER FORM IT IS REPORTED by the Committee of the Whole.




GOA’s Larry Pratt to speak in NYC next week!

On Saturday, July 14, 2001, many Americans will be gathering at high noon in New York City to protest the United Nations, and GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt will be there as one of the featured speakers.