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Bloggers Beware- They're coming after you!

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posted on May, 27 2010 @ 11:16 PM
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Bloggers Beware- They're coming after you!


biggovernment.com

Just when you thought it was safe to start expressing your right to free speech, Democrats in Congress are gearing up for a vote on a new piece of legislation to blatantly undermine the First Amendment. Known as the DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175), this bill – written by the head of the Democrats’ congressional campaign committee – is their response to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In short, the Supreme Court found that the government could not restric
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 27 2010 @ 11:16 PM
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I thought this would be a worthwhile topic to discuss on ATS. I'm sure by now many of you have heard of the Disclose act. Many of you are probably thinking, oh man this is going to just be like the Patriot Act, or the Economic Stimulus Act where they said they would help protect our freedoms and did the office, or, they said they were going to help the economy and just did the reverse.

I've actually read the whole entire bill- and I think this is the real deal. You should read the bill for yourself. The purpose of the bill is to ban foreign influence on elections and to provide for full transparency as to who is helping elect or defeat candidates.

I'm just going to quote the beginning portion of the bill since I think that would make it easier for all of you to understand its real purpose. I think this is the real deal. Just beware all of the smears about it. Congress is finally doing something about their corporate masters who control them behind the scenes. Expect most of all of the people criticizing this bill to have some conflict of interest.




To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes.
Findings Relating to Government Contractors- Congress finds and declares as follows:
(1) Government contracting is an activity that is particularly susceptible to improper influence, and to the appearance of improper influence. Government contracts must be awarded based on an objective evaluation of how well bidders or potential contractors meet relevant statutory criteria.

(2) Independent expenditures and electioneering communications that benefit particular candidates or elected officials or disfavor their opponents can lead to apparent and actual ingratiation, access, influence, and quid pro quo arrangements. Government contracts should be awarded based on an objective application of statutory criteria, not based on other forms of inappropriate or corrupting influence.

(3) Prohibiting independent expenditures and electioneering communications by persons negotiating for or performing government contracts will prevent government officials involved in or with influence over the contracting process from influencing the contracting process based, consciously or otherwise, on this kind of inappropriate or corrupting influence.

(4) Prohibiting independent expenditures and electioneering communications by persons negotiating for or performing government contracts will likewise prevent such persons from feeling pressure, whether actually exerted by government officials or not, to make expenditures and to fund communications in order to maximize their chances of receiving contracts, or to match similar expenditures and communications made by their competitors.

(5) Furthermore, because government contracts often involve large amounts of public money, it is critical that the public perceive that the government contracts are awarded strictly in accordance with prescribed statutory standards, and not based on other forms of inappropriate or corrupting influence. The public’s confidence in government is undermined when corporations that make significant expenditures during Federal election campaigns later receive government funds.

(6) Prohibiting independent expenditures and electioneering communications by persons negotiating for or performing government contracts will prevent any appearance that government contracts were awarded based in whole or in part on such expenditures or communications, or based on the inappropriate or corrupting influence such expenditures and communications can create and appear to create.

(7) In these ways, prohibiting independent expenditures and electioneering communications by persons negotiating for or performing government contracts will protect the actual and perceived integrity of the government contracting process.

(8) Moreover, the risks of waste, fraud and abuse, all resulting in economic losses to taxpayers, are significant when would-be public contractors or applicants for public funds make expenditures in Federal election campaigns in order to affect electoral outcomes.

(c) Findings Relating to Foreign Corporations- Congress finds and declares as follows:

(1) The Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case has provided the means by which United States corporations controlled by foreign entities can freely spend money to influence United States elections.

(2) Foreign corporations commonly own U.S. corporations in whole or in part, and U.S. corporate equity and debt are also held by foreign individuals, sovereign wealth funds, and even foreign nations at levels which permit effective control over those U.S. entities.

(3) As recognized in many areas of the law, foreign ownership interests and influences are exerted in a perceptible way even when the entity is not majority-foreign-owned.

(4) The Federal Government has broad constitutional power to protect American interests and sovereignty from foreign interference and intrusion.

(5) Congress has a clear interest in minimizing foreign intervention, and the perception of foreign intervention, in United States elections.

(d) Findings Relating to Coordinated Expenditures- Congress finds and declares as follows:

(1) It has been the consistent view of Congress and the courts that coordinated expenditures in campaigns for election are no different in nature from contributions.

(2) Existing rules still allow donors to evade contribution limits by making campaign expenditures which, while technically qualifying as independent expenditures under law, are for all relevant purposes coordinated with candidates and political parties and thus raise the potential for corruption or the appearance of corruption.

(3) Such arrangements have the potential to give rise to the reality or appearance of corruption to the same degree that direct contributions to a candidate may give rise to the reality or appearance of corruption. Moreover, expenditures which are in fact made in coordination with a candidate or political party have the potential to lessen the public’s trust and faith in the rules and the integrity of the electoral process.

(4) The government therefore has a compelling interest in making sure that expenditures that are de facto coordinated with a candidate are treated as such to prevent corruption, the appearance of corruption, or the perception that some participants are circumventing the laws and regulations which govern the financing of election campaigns.

(e) Findings Relating to Disclosures and Disclaimers- Congress finds and declares as follows:

(1) The American people have a compelling interest in knowing who is funding independent expenditures and electioneering communications to influence Federal elections, and the government has a compelling interest in providing the public with that information. Effective disclaimers and prompt disclosure of expenditures, and the disclosure of the funding sources for these expenditures, can provide shareholders, voters, and citizens with the information needed to evaluate the actions by special interests seeking influence over the democratic process. Transparency promotes accountability, increases the fund of information available to the public concerning the support given to candidates by special interests, sheds the light of publicity on political spending, and encourages the leaders of organizations to act only upon legitimate organizational purposes.

(2) Protecting this compelling interest has become particularly important to address the anticipated increase in special interest spending on election-related communications which will result from the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. The current disclosure and disclaimer requirements were designed for a campaign finance system in which such expenditures were subject to prohibitions that no longer apply.

(3) More rigorous disclosure and disclaimer requirements are necessary to protect against the evasion of current rules. Organizations that engage in election-related communications have used a variety of methods to attempt to obscure their sponsorship of communications from the general public. Robust disclosure and disclaimer requirements are necessary to ensure that the electorate is informed about who is paying for particular election-related communications, and so that the shareholders and members of these organizations are aware of their organizations’ election-related spending. CommentsClose CommentsPermalink

(4) The current lack of accountability and transparency allow special interest political spending to serve as a private benefit for the officials of special interest organizations, to the detriment of the organizations and their shareholders and members.

1
(5) Various factors, including the advent of the Internet, where particular communications can be circulated and remain available for viewing long after they are first broadcast, and the frequency of political campaigns that effectively begin long before election day, have also rendered the existing system of disclosure and disclaimer requirements (including the limited time periods during which some of those requirements currently apply) inadequate to protect fully the government’s interest in ensuring that the electorate is fully informed about the sources of election-related spending, and that shareholders and citizens alike have the information they need to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters.

(6) To serve the interests of accountability and transparency, it is also important that information about who is funding independent expenditures and electioneering communications be presented to the electorate in a manner that is readily accessible and that can be quickly and easily understood.

(f) Findings Relating to Campaign Spending by Lobbyists- Congress finds and declares as follows:

(1) Lobbyists and lobbying organizations, and through them, their clients, influence the public decision-making process in a variety of ways.

(2) In recent years, scandals involving undue lobbyist influence have lowered public trust in government and jeopardized the willingness of voters to take part in democratic governance.

(3) One way in which lobbyists may unduly influence Federal officials is through their or their clients making independent expenditures or electioneering communications targeting elected officials.

(4) Disclosure of such independent expenditures and electioneering communications will allow the public to examine connections between such spending and official actions, and will therefore limit the ability of lobbyists to exert an undue influence on elected officials.

www.opencongress.org...

biggovernment.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 27 2010 @ 11:21 PM
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This similar thing is happening in India as well as many of the politicians secrets are being known by people through the blogs.

theprudentindian.wordpress.com...


This is a further grip on people's neck by the governments to not talk the truth about them or raise their voice against them.



posted on May, 27 2010 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by chaosinorder
 


You didn't read the text of the bill did you? I was saying that it's not the case. The federal government is not trying to restrict your freedom of speech rights here. All of Tom Price's statements about this bill are lies. This bill would bring transparency about elections. It doesn't do anything with your blogging rights.



posted on May, 27 2010 @ 11:45 PM
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how ironic they call it the Disclose act. but when it comes to disclosure (et) they say nothing. well if this bill goes through, we will all be arrested and ats will be shut down........................
(it was fun while it lasted)



posted on May, 27 2010 @ 11:59 PM
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Are you people even reading the portion of the bill I posted? There is nothing in the bill that would restrict our right to free speech. I thought I made it clear that the guy who wrote the original op ed was a liar. This website is about denying ignorance, not spreading it just because you want to believe everything congress does is wrong. They are actually doing something right here.



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:09 AM
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cmon you trust the govt. they would alter and/or change the bill to restrict bloggers if it suited there needs, even the healthcare bill is incomplete. so be afraid be very very afraid. this bill will be the beginning of the end of ats. we will become but a memory in history



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:10 AM
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Holy hell, it amazes me how people don't read before posting.
Very interesting post, my friend...very interesting.
Perhaps the tide may change a bit in our favor!



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:15 AM
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If the quoted is indeed the entirety of the bill (I'll check after this post) then I have to say that I agree with FrankIdealist35 here. The intent of the bill is in recognition of the various financial interests dedicated to influencing public opinion (focusing mostly on foreign interests) but that of said interest nullifying any public interaction with the issues.

This is a pretty good thing, in my opinion, and the only aspect that can be misconstrued as an issue for bloggers is the following -



(5) Various factors, including the advent of the Internet, where particular communications can be circulated and remain available for viewing long after they are first broadcast, and the frequency of political campaigns that effectively begin long before election day, have also rendered the existing system of disclosure and disclaimer requirements (including the limited time periods during which some of those requirements currently apply) inadequate to protect fully the government’s interest in ensuring that the electorate is fully informed about the sources of election-related spending, and that shareholders and citizens alike have the information they need to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters.


Emphasis mine.

But I don't see it as an issue for discussion forums, necessarily, because the internet is used in a variety of ways to push campaigns forward or to denigrate opposing campaigns.

While I will always hold that partisanship is one of the major hurdles, making corporate interest transparent and accountable can only be a step in the right direction...

Good thread, FrankIdealist35...



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by gaurdian2012
cmon you trust the govt. they would alter and/or change the bill to restrict bloggers if it suited there needs,


There are other pieces of legislation that are focused soley on "blogging" restrictions.



this bill will be the beginning of the end of ats. we will become but a memory in history


If there ever is an end to ATS, this bill ain't gonna do it. And I have little faith that there is anything in the foreseeable future that'll do it...



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:24 AM
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Further, the source link is to a Republican's diatribe against the Democrats in which he completely misrepresents the bill without linking to the bill for proper analysis. Further, his entire article refuses to focus on corporate influence of the election process.

The guy has agenda written all over that page...(I would say the same thing if a Democrat wrote it).

Further, visiting the opencongress link takes me to a page saying that they are over traffic'ed...something I find interesting...



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:36 AM
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Admittedly I was unaware of this Disclose Act before the title of this posting caught my eye. I read both the linked article and the snippet of the bill. Here's how I would summarize the prologue that was posted:

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Government Contractors - No electioneering. Your involvement is too likely to provide opportunities for fraud, coercion or influence on one side of the equation or the other. Congress finds this to be bad.

Foreign Corporations - We know that foreign corporations own US Corporations, and now that the Supreme Court has allowed US Corps to spend freely on elections, the possibility exists for foreign interests to influence elections with unrestricted spending. Congress finds this to be bad.

Coordinated Expenditures - A gaping loophole in the tracking of election spending, coordinated expenditures allow monied interests to side step contribution limits by directly funding election efforts and not technically donating to the candidate. Congress finds this to be bad.

Disclosures - In consideration of the aforementioned issues, it is important to both the people and the government to have transparency in the money trail and full disclosure on who is funding whom. Enacting new rules to enforce full disclosure of paid electioneering will help everyone know who is in who's pocket. Congress finds this to be good.

Lobbyists - Scum suckers that utilize every loophole available to purchase favor, candidates, offices, policy, etc. Disclosure will force their hand as well. Congress finds this to be good.
----------

So, that said, I actually find nothing here I can disagree with. The linked article seems to have a bias and treats the threat of additional disclosures as an impact on First Amendment rights. I fail to see the connection, unless there are more draconian rules presented in the meat of this bill. The portion summarized just tells us what Congress is aware of, it says nothing about how they will go about fixing it. The only threat to bloggers would be reporting rules so we can all know who paid for their words. Doesn't mean that they can't say what they want (hence no impact on free speech), it just means they must account for and disclose who paid the bill.

For it.



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by Frankidealist35
reply to post by chaosinorder
 


You didn't read the text of the bill did you? I was saying that it's not the case. The federal government is not trying to restrict your freedom of speech rights here. All of Tom Price's statements about this bill are lies. This bill would bring transparency about elections. It doesn't do anything with your blogging rights.


The article makes a huge leap from "certain incorporated entities" being restricted, to all bloggers being under attack... reasoning:

"Bloggers will not have the same exemption provided to other media sources"

.. which assumes all bloggers are equal, from reading the bill thus far.. the act only applies to those posing as independent fair arbiters who are actually being funded for the purpose of influencing Federal elections... example: bloggers paid by the GOP or DNC would have to disclose same.

At face value seems ok, wouldn't it be interesting if some loud mouth like Alex Jones were compelled to disclose his blog is funded by, lets say.. General Electric? or The Rockefeller foundation?... lol

Then again, lets say AJ is legit and TPTB want to know who is organizing and funding those who dare speak truth to power??

Someone smarter than me once observed: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".. knowing how the GOP & DNC Mafioso politicians operate, although the "act" might sound good.. 'the man' it will end up screwing us with it, HARD.. as usual.



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 12:59 AM
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Frank if what you believe is true.......

why did you title this post " Bloggers Beware, they're coming after you "


is that sarcasm ?? or just a way to get hit points.



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by IntastellaBurst
 


There is a requirement when posting in the News forums to use the exact title of the article you're referencing as the thread title. That isn't something a member has control over.

If a member were to post an article in a News forum and NOT use the exact same title, staff will edit it to conform to that requirement.



You must use the original story headline from your source. If the headline is biased or otherwise inappropriate, explain why you think it is so in your submission comments. [url=http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/news_submission.php]>LINK



posted on May, 28 2010 @ 08:58 AM
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I already posted about a week ago:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Check out that thread:

Already came up with the good news and why it won't bring an end to ATS.

[edit on 28-5-2010 by Portugoal]



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