Saturday, October 31, 2015

City of Austin attacks The First Amendment


"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

Sigh, it looks like the City of Austin wants to get in on the donor intimidation game:

Adler proposes dark money ordinance

Mayor Steve Adler, who was the subject of dark money attacks during his campaign for mayor in 2014, is proposing an ordinance to deal with the problem. Members of the City Council Audit and Finance Committee discussed the matter Wednesday and voted unanimously to forward Adler’s resolution to the full Council for its consideration.
That resolution describes dark money this way: “In an attempt to hide their funding of election activity, large political actors across the country have been funding such activity through non-profit organizations and other entities that generally do not have to disclose their funding sources.”
The resolution also states that an ordinance addressing the issue needs to be in place at least six months before next November’s election “to ensure election funding transparency.”
The resolution directs the city manager to draft an ordinance for the Audit and Finance Committee’s consideration in November after reviewing dark money laws and proposals in other jurisdictions. Those other jurisdictions include California, which, according to the resolution, has “passed and implemented effective laws that require timely public disclosure of heretofore dark money.”
The resolution specifically asks staff to identify effective laws to ensure comprehensive disclosure of election contributions and expenditures “that are funneled through 501(c)4 non-profit organizations and other non-disclosing entities and persons.” The reference draws from a part of the Internal Revenue Code that allows certain nonprofits organized to promote social welfare to spend some of their funds on political expenditures.
Read the whole thing here.

It's also worth noting that if this resolution passed the Audit and Finance committee unanimously, that means Ellen Troxclair voted for it.

Bottom Line: The first amendment protects anonymous speech.  Heck, the Federalist Papers were originally written anonymously.  The City of Austin has no business suppressing speech or intimidating donors.

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