February 8, 2006

McCain Lobbying Reform

The other day I blogged about Senator McCain and his lobbyist reform package.

At the time, I had said....

    But somehow, just somehow, something nags in me and says "Reform? Don't trust him."

    Senator McCain is, afterall, one of the fathers of the Campaign Finance Reform shackles which bind personal spending in a most unConstitutional way. Now he's interested in reforming the operation of K Street lobbyists?

    But I can only imagine how this "reform" is going to turn out. We're going to get screwed. The right kind of lobbyist will skate on through.

My friend Tim Chapman over at Townhall went looking around the lobbying reform bill and writes...
    Case in point is a little known provision tucked away in Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) lobby reform proposal (S. 2128) that would adversely affect many grassroots organizations on the right and left. If McCain’s provision stays in tact, grassroots organizations would for the first time be subject to requirements and regulations that would devastate their ability to reach out to the general public.

    The way McCain’s provision is written, “grassroots lobbying” means “any attempt to influence the general public, or segments thereof, to engage in lobbying contacts whether or not those contacts were made on behalf of a client.” So grassroots organizations could be prohibited from reaching out to people not already included in their membership. This legislation would seriously curtail many groups’ abilities to get their message out and arguably infringes on their 1st Amendment free speech rights.

I'll be damned.
    This is not the first time this issue has come up. In 1994, Congress considered enacting legislation but was beat back by a coalition of grassroots organizations featuring a political odd couple: Planned Parenthood and the National Right to Life Council.

Being that I'm a member a grassroots group that does at some level in an attempt to influence the general public (see the Pennsylvania legislative payraise and repeal issue this summer), stuff like this really gets under my skin. This group operates at the state level, however.

What is it with Senator McCain and his problem with the First Amendment?

Congress Posted by AlexC at February 8, 2006 8:45 PM

Ohhh - I'll take that one! The First Amendment is a huge threat to incumbency. Senator McCain calls himself a Republican but he is really an incumbent.

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2006 10:26 AM

A friend of mine once told me it's the Incumbent Party vs everyone else.

I'm beginning to believe him.

Posted by: AlexC at February 9, 2006 12:26 PM | What do you think? [2]