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Old June 24, 2010, 12:32 PM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Campaign Finance Reform and How It Limits Grassroots Lobbying

Since RKBA is very much a grassroots effort, I thought it was important that people have a good understanding of how our current campaign finance law impacts those efforts. Recently, the Volokh Conspiracy has two very good posts on that subject that are worth reading:

Unintended Consequences of Grassroots Lobbying by Jeff Milyo discusses how campaign finance reform helps prevent ordinary citizens from getting involved in the democratic process by creating an expensive regulatory barrier that not all grassroots organizations can afford. When the campaign finance laws are vague to the point that even lawyers can argue with them, trying to comply with them means you hire a lot of lawyers, accountants, etc. - dulling your advocacy efforts and still putting you at the mercy of regulators if your lawyers are wrong.

Why Regulate Grassroots Lobbying? - also by Jeff Milyo highlights the ways that grassroots lobbying is a different animal than many political lobbying organizations; yet is often bound by rules designed for those other organizations.

In addition to providing good reading on the subject, I'd be interested in hearing how those TFL members who help their local or state groups have been impacted by these laws and what methods they have used to help them with these problems.
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Old June 24, 2010, 04:56 PM   #2
Jim March
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In practice, here's what happens.

The "reporting rules" turn rapidly into a convoluted mess that some small campaigns or organizations can't fully follow because they can't hire the sort of specialized bookkeeper needed to really keep on top of it. So they get behind or make small technical mistakes, and then they can be stomped on at leisure with the full force of law including jail time.

Seriously. That's the inevitable pattern.

See also what Rand said about rules that people aren't supposed to be able to follow...
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Old June 28, 2010, 04:58 PM   #3
TexasFats
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The behavior of some of the proponents of the bill before congress after the exception was carved out for the NRA and one or two other organizations shows that the bill is really about silencing the NRA, the largest grass-roots organization in the country.

Our politicians only want "politically correct" (pro-leftist) grass roots lobbying.
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