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Campaign Finance "Reform" Looms as Threat to Free Speech

Friday, February 1, 2002

The McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign finance "reform" bills (S. 27 and H.R. 2356, respectively) are poised for action in the very near future. Last week, proponents of the House of Representatives’ version of this legislative assault on the First Amendment attained the 218 signatures needed on a discharge petition for H.R. 2356. And this week, House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.) indicated that the bill would be brought up for consideration by the full House very soon. Although the House already considered campaign finance "reform" last year—rejecting the proposal—backers of the Shays-Meehan package were able to convince 218 U.S. Representatives to sign their petition. Armey remains opposed to H.R. 2356, predicting that its passage would result in "a substantial reduction in First Amendment rights across the country," according to "Regulation, Law & Economics," a publication of the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. While Rep. Armey is working on an alternative bill, he stated opponents of H.R. 2356 would not "stand in the way" of the House rules governing the discharge petition.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, in an interview with Fox Newss Neil Cavuto, said that if H.R. 2356 should pass, "Im afraid were going to lose the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of petition. And what they are doing here in this so-called campaign finance bill cuts to the heart of the First Amendment."

LaPierre went on to explain, "Im saying that what this bill does in its purest form is it gives the media conglomerates with all their billions of dollars and the politicians free run of the political system and freezes everyone else out. And thats not America."

Please contact your U.S. Representative once again at (202) 225-3121, and urge him to oppose H.R. 2356. or you can also find contact information by using our "Write Your Reps" feature. Be sure to tell your Representatives that we hold all of the Constitution to be inviolate—including the First and the Second Amendments!

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.