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Action Alert: Anti-business Campaign Finance Legislation

June 16, 2010

The House will consider newly introduced campaign finance legislation (H.R. 5175) that directly threatens the First Amendment rights of roofing contractors and other businesses; the House vote may come as soon as tomorrow, June 17. NRCA strongly opposes H.R. 5175 and urges members to contact their representatives and senators to register opposition to this legislation.

Democratic congressional leaders in the House recently introduced H.R. 5175 in an attempt to gain political advantage in the 2010 elections. This legislation, the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act, is aimed squarely at preventing businesses from supporting pro-business candidates for Congress. H.R. 5175 creates excessive regulatory requirements to prohibit or deter businesses and trade associations from participating in the political process. For example, it prevents most government contractors from expressing their political views by prohibiting them from making independent expenditures or funding election-related communications. Also, it contains onerous disclosure requirements that apply only to businesses, such as requiring the photo of a company's chief executive officer to appear in political ads. Such provisions are clearly aimed at intimidating businesses from exercising their constitutional rights.

NRCA has already signed two coalition letters to House members registering strong opposition to H.R. 5175. Now, we need your help to let members of Congress know of your concerns.

Contact your House representative and senators and urge them to oppose H.R. 5175 because:
  • It is an assault on the First Amendment rights of businesses and associations.
  • It will severely restrict and deter businesses and associations from supporting candidates of their choice in the midterm elections in November 2010.
  • With its overwhelming emphasis on restricting the speech of businesses and associations, it discriminates against businesses in their efforts to support pro-business candidates for public office.
  • It would subvert the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Citizens United decision, which holds that businesses and unions have the same First Amendment rights as individuals. Many legal experts believe the bill is unconstitutional.
NRCA asks all members to contact their representatives and senators in opposition to H.R. 5175. Although the key battleground for this legislation will be in the Senate, the fewer votes the bill gets in the House the better (even if passes).

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Duane Musser, NRCA's vice president of government relations, at (202) 546-7584 or dmusser@nrca.net. Thank you!

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