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The bill would require reporting of 'paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying,' but defines 'paid' merely as communications to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers.
(a) Definitions- Section 3 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1602) is amended--
(1) in paragraph (7), by adding at the end of the following: `Lobbying activities include paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying, but do not include grassroots lobbying.'; and
(A) IN GENERAL- The term `paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying' means any paid attempt in support of lobbying contacts on behalf of a client to influence the general public or segments thereof to contact one or more covered legislative or executive branch officials (or Congress as a whole) to urge such officials (or Congress) to take specific action with respect to a matter described in section 3(8)(A),
except that such term does not include any communications by an entity directed to its members, employees, officers, or shareholders.
`(B) PAID ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE THE GENERAL PUBLIC OR SEGMENTS THEREOF- The term `paid attempt to influence the general public or segments thereof' does not include an attempt to influence directed at less than 500 members of the general public.
`(C) REGISTRANT- For purposes of this paragraph, a person or entity is a member of a registrant if the person or entity--
`(i) pays dues or makes a contribution of more than a nominal amount to the entity;
`(ii) makes a contribution of more than a nominal amount of time to the entity;
`(iii) is entitled to participate in the governance of the entity;
`(iv) is 1 of a limited number of honorary or life members of the entity; or
`(v) is an employee, officer, director or member of the entity.
`(19) GRASSROOTS LOBBYING FIRM- The term `grassroots lobbying firm' means a person or entity that--
`(A) is retained by 1 or more clients to engage in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of such clients; and
`(B) receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate of $25,000 or more for such efforts in any quarterly period.'.
Originally posted by NotOnMyWatch
What concerns me is that it sounds like this bill, if it passes, would censor anyone who has 500+ readers/members. Wondering if that only pertains to blogging, or would it include what we write on message boards, such as this? IMO, Big brother needs to be grounded from the computer!