Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Title: Urgent! Review of Senate Bill 1 Section 220

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Title: Urgent! Review of Senate Bill 1 Section 220Source: American Family AssociationURL Source: http://www.afa.netPublished: Jan 11, 2007Author: n/aPost Date: 2007-01-11 11:52:05 by Refinersfire1 Comments
Senate Tired of Your E-mails, Phone Calls; Expected to Pass Bill that Will Keep You From Getting Needed Information.
Review of Senate Bill 1 (Section 220)
The grassroots lobbying section of U.S. Senate Bill 1 (Section 220) contains onerous reporting requirements (on a quarterly basis), and civil fines of up to $100,000 for failing to comply. The effect by AFA and other grassroots groups to get you information on any bill before Congress will be profound.
Under Senate Bill 1, AFA would have to report the issues, employees, contractors and dollars spent in what is called "paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying" (that phrase is not defined). This reporting requirement is triggered by two actions: (1) a lobbying "contact" – a personal or written communication with an individual in the executive or legislative branch of the federal government concerning public policy issues, from legislation to nominations; and (2) communications with grassroots (that’s you) that "influence" them to contact the executive or legislative branches ("influence" is not defined, but it apparently doesn't even have to include a specific "call to action.") There is no minimum dollar spending requirement that triggers the reporting requirement by AFA for our efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying.
Once AFA identifies a "lobbying contact" that it has had (e.g., We talk with a senator about a Supreme Court nomination), then AFA will have to track all internal expenditures on that issue: AFA Journal articles, printing costs, payments to authors, etc.; AFA Online e-mailing costs; special website creations; broadcast expenses; and issue advertising (creative costs, ad buys, etc.). Cost of trips, speeches, and fundraising letters will have to be allocated to the correct "issue." (We could be dealing with a half-dozen issues, and we will have to keep tract and expense of every issue we deal with.) The compliance costs alone will be heavy, with the hiring of perhaps as many as 8-10 new employees to track both accounting and legal oversight involved and all the paperwork required.
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