Once again: How do you figure it's hyperbole and alarmism if you don't know anything about it?
Here's a Washington Post article on the bill:
Here's a copy of a letter Club for Growth sent to Congressman Boehner, which is pretty good:
[i]Boehner's Office Spreading FALSE Information About 527 Bill
(We just faxed the following letter ? slightly edited for HTML ? to Boehner?s office.)
April 5, 2006
The Honorable John Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
H-107, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Leader:
I am greatly disappointed in your press office?s misinformation about the so-called ?527 Reform Act? (H.R. 513). Your office has a responsibility to publish accurate information about a bill you sponsor and promote, yet this posting on your website is riddled with false and misleading information.
Claim: "[It] is a bill designed to close loopholes created by the overhaul of campaign finance laws in 2002. It does not create new rules or regulations, but rather will require 527 groups to comply with the same disclosure requirements and other campaign finance laws that apply to political parties and political action committees."
Fact: The claim is false because it does create new laws, and creates criminal penalties for their violations, that apply to speech by citizen groups that do not work for the election or defeat of any candidate.
Further, this claim is false because the First Amendment is not a loophole. The 2002 act specifically excluded regulation of speech that was not:
* express advocacy or
* coordinated with candidates or parties or
* aired on broadcast outlets by corporations or labor unions within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary.
Congress made a conscious decision in 2002 to not regulate speech on issues beyond 60 days of an election. My understanding is that you voted against that bill in part because you thought that its restrictions on speech were too draconian. This bill is far more restrictive as it would regulate speech by many citizen groups 365 days a year in any medium, not just broadcast outlets.
It is false because the bill does not apply the same laws as those applied to political parties to citizen groups whose speech would be repressed by this bill. It does not allow citizen groups to raise $25,000 per year for express advocacy or issue advocacy, as allowed to parties. It does not allow candidates to raise $25,000 for citizen groups, as allowed to parties. It does not allow citizen groups to benefit from subsidized postal rates, as allowed to parties. It subjects citizen donations to citizen groups to stricter overall biennial limits on giving.
It is misleading because current law already applies essentially identical disclosure requirements to 527 groups as applies to PACs or party committees through regular reports by these groups to the IRS.
Claim: "Many members who expressed concerns about the 2002 law believed it would create new loopholes and push dollars out of the transparent process that existed into a new world with little to no disclosure. That is exactly what happened, and that?s why the 527 Reform Act closes this loophole."
Fact: This claim is false. Groups covered by H.R. 513 already make extensive disclosures. A 2000 law requires 527 groups covered by H.R. 513 to disclose all donors over $200 per year ? the exact same threshold requirement for candidates, PACs and party committees. Expenditures must also be disclosed.
Ironically, it is H.R. 513 that would push dollars out of the transparent process that exists today for 527 groups into 501-c groups or for profit groups where there is either no disclosure or very limited disclosure of donations and expenditures.
I won't address the other points in your press office?s statement about soft money as we did not support the 2002 act. However, I believe that most fair observers would agree there is clearly a distinction between so-called soft money raised in unlimited amounts by elected officials and candidates from corporations and labor unions and money voluntarily donated by citizens to citizen groups without assistance from elected officials, candidates or party committees. H.R. 513 would make many such donations to citizen groups illegal.
Republicans profess a belief in limited and constitutional government. H.R. 513 is the most outrageous attack on free speech in decades. If you believe, as you did in 2002, that BCRA contained too much regulation on party committees, the proper response is more freedom for the parties ? not repression of American citizens. The best way to do this is to back the bill sponsored by Reps. Pence and Wynn instead of your proposal to drastically limit the constitutional rights of Americans. Each new attack on our free speech leads to more restrictions on speech.
We call on you to take down this publication on your web site as I am sure it is not your intent to mislead members of the House and the public. We call on you to return to your belief in limited and constitutional government and to faithfully execute your oath of office to "support this Constitution."
Here is a National Review editorial against the bill:
I expect there will be more if and when the Senate picks it up.