This is as important as it gets friends, and it is absolutely vital that you contact Texas Governor Rick Perry to ask him to veto Texas S.B. 346 as soon as you receive this email. The main number for the Governor’s office is (512) 463-2000.
Even if you are not based in Texas, if you donate to or lead an organization that publishes and distributes a non-partisan voter guide on state races or a newsletter on what is happening on your issues in State Houses around the country -- that includes coverage of Texas politics -- you could very well find yourself subject to this law.
You may have seen the editorial in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Texas Targets Conservatives” that criticized legislation (Texas S.B. 346) sponsored by Texas Republican State Senator Kel Seliger of Amarillo that introduced the kind of intrusive campaign disclosure bill that establishment free speech opponents in Congress could only dream of.
This bill, which has already passed both Houses of the Texas legislature, is already on Governor Perry’s desk.
Texas S.B. 346 requires that all social-welfare and nonprofit groups that spend more than $25,000 a year on politics to report the details of their spending.
Groups (such as the ones you lead or make donations to) which file under sections 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) of the tax code, would also have to disclose their donors, providing, as the WSJ observed, “a new opportunity for advocacy groups to intimidate businesses and others from participating in elections.”
As The Wall Street Journal noted, in 2012, independent political spending by 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s made up about 1% of overall election spending in Texas -- hardly a political juggernaut.
The sponsor of Texas S.B. 346, Republican State Senator Seliger, wrote in an op-ed in the Midland Reporter-Telegram, “Whereas, differing views and interpretations are a constitutional right of free speech, fraudulent manipulation of voting records is shameful and needs to be condemned.”
The purpose of this bill isn’t “reform.” It is to create an environment where politicians get to decide what can or can’t be said about their voting records.
Time is of the essence in the fight to stop this shameful sneak attack on free speech.
We urge you to call Governor Rick Perry as soon as you get this email at (512) 463-2000 to urge the Governor to veto Texas S.B. 346.
Please also send this email to your friends and those you know who support conservative causes and ask them to call Governor Perry today to veto S.B. 346.
Remember, this is not just about Texas.
Even if they live in another state, anyone who supports an organization that helped Tea Party backed Senator Ted Cruz or that might report on the goings-on in the Texas legislature on issues such as the right to life, home schooling or traditional marriage might suddenly find their name and how much they gave to a 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 in another state disclosed in filings to the State of Texas and published in newspapers across the country.