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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wall Street Journal Challenges NRA Deal

Today, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page weighed in on the NRA’s deal-making regarding First Amendment free speech rights in a piece titled “Guns and Free Speech.”

The editors noted:

The National Rifle Association is suffering a sudden onset of amnesia this week, as the gun lobby cuts a deal to exempt itself from the latest Congressional attempt to repeal the First Amendment. NRA members may soon regret the organization's bid to ingratiate itself with Democrats at the expense of its longtime free-speech allies.

The campaign finance bill, sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Chris Van Hollen, is the Democratic response to the Supreme Court's January decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which restored the First Amendment right of corporations, unions and nonprofits to make independent campaign expenditures. At the time, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre called Citizens United "a defeat for arrogant elitists who wanted to carve out free speech as a privilege for themselves and deny it to the rest of us.”

Look who’s arrogant and elitist now.

The DISCLOSE Act is nothing but an effort by political incumbents to silence all kinds of voices – including small business owners and the groups that represent them – in the policy/political process in order to shore up their incumbency. Those in Congress pushing this measure should be ashamed, as should the NRA.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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