SPECIAL ALERT! (courtesy of RLCNH)

Contact the Senate to oppose the attempt to gag political speech!

Tomorrow (Wednesday, June 9) the Senate is considering a Committee Amendment to HB 1704 that would make it harder for political organizations such as the RLCNH to criticize elected state senators and state representatives.

The Senate Amendment, which the RLCNH is calling the “Incumbent Protection Act,” would essentially put a gag order on political committees by preventing them from spending more than $500 criticizing members of the Legislature without disclosing the expenditure to the Secretary of State within 24 hours.

Frankly, we’re stunned that Senate Republicans would advance an amendment that is so clearly motivated out of political self-interest. We expect this type of power-grabbing bill from statists and Democrats, but we expect Republicans in the Senate and in the House to put the rights of the People above their own political ambitions.

It’s important to note that Section 12 of the bill under the Senate Amendment would not require reporting when political groups express support for legislators. Reporting would only be required when these groups’ expressions are “critical” of senators and representatives!

The fact is that nonprofit, issue-based groups on both the right and the left are formed to help keep elected officials accountable to their campaign promises and to the people they represent. Stifling our voices using onerous government regulation is not in the public interest. It is purely in the interest of incumbent politicians who don’t like the criticism that their own actions bring about.

If you’re as upset about this as I am, please email all Senators at Senators@leg.state.nh.us or call your Senator and ask them to oppose the WHOLE committee amendment to HB 1704. (If you’re not sure who is your Senator, you can look it up here http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/senate_roster.aspx)

Sen. John Gallus 271-3076
Sen. Jeanie Forrester 271-4151
Sen. Jeb Bradley 271-8472
Sen. James Forsythe 271-3067
Sen. Matthew Houde 271-8631
Sen. Fenton Groen 271-2609
Sen. Andy Sanborn 271-3067

Sen. Bob Odell 271-4063
Sen. Ray White 271-2609
Sen. Molly Kelly 271-3207
Sen. Peter Bragdon 271-2111
Sen. Jim Luther 271-4151
Sen. Gary Lambert 271-2609
Sen. Sharon Carson 271-1403
Sen. Sylvia Larsen 271-3207
Sen. David Boutin 271-3092
Sen. Jack Barnes 271-4063
Sen. Tom DeBlois 271-4151
Sen. Jim Rausch 271-3091
Sen. Lou D’Allesandro 271-2117
Sen. Amanda Merrill 271-3207
Sen. Chuck Morse 271-4980
Sen. Russell Prescott 271-4063
Sen. Nancy Stiles 271-3093

Time is of the essence—the vote on this is a mere hours away. Let your voice be heard!